Review: Compass Box The Circus and Enlightenment

Two new limited expressions from the ever-interesting blenders at Compass Box: The Circus and Enlightenment. Let’s take a look at both. Thoughts follow. Compass Box The Circus – This is another complicated whisky that requires an infographic to explain how it is blended. The gist is that The Circus is composed of a mix of…

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Review: Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company Juices and Lemonades

Florida-based Natalie’s Orchid Island makes fresh juices and lemonades, packing them in those familiar, squared-off, plastic pint bottles. These products are “gourmet pasteurized” but contain no preservatives, and must be kept refrigerated at all times. Is upscale juice worth the splurge? We checked out six varieties of juice and lemonade. For your consideration: Natalie’s Orange Juice…

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Review: Blue Ice Creme Brulee Vodka

Outside of its “G” line, Blue Ice has just one flavored vodka, and that flavor is… no, not lemon. Not citrus. Creme brulee. Or, as it is listed on the Blue Ice website: Creme burlee. Or, elsewhere, Creme burele. That is an extremely weird choice for one’s sole flavor, but to be sure, “creme brulee” is…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2016 Edition

Here’s a quintet of whiskeys you might have heard of once or twice. Yes, the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection has arrived, which will probably be sold out before I finish typing this sentence. Well, if you’re a glutton for punishment and want to take a stab at finding one of these rarities — particularly because…

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Tasting Report: Family Winemakers of California 2016

It’s been a few years since I’ve attended Family Winemakers of California, and event that once billed itself as the largest wine event in America, with hundreds of wineries showing off their wares. Things have settled down a bit in more recent years, but with 125 wineries showcasing some 500-plus wines, there’s still far more…

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Review: Coravin Model One Wine Preservation System

Since I reviewed the first Coravin wine preservation system in 2013 — the first review of the device ever published #humblebrag — the company has been up to a lot of work. The Coravin Model 1000 is now known as the Coravin Model Eight. A luxe edition called the Coravin Model Two has been released,…

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Fall Cocktail: Jardesca Fall Harvest Spritz

It’s getting downright cool in parts, so it’s time to break out some seasonally-appropriate ingredients. Check out this offering from Jardesca aperitiva. (Note, you can also use white wine in this recipe if you want a more restrained experience.) Jardesca Fall Harvest Spritz 3 oz. Jardesca eau de vie 3 slices ripe pair bruised basil leaf Add ingredients…

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Review: 2015 Boen Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Joe Wagner is not one to shy away from bold and fruit-forward winemaking, and with his latest release, Boen, he is continuing the traditions of Belle Glos and the other wines in the Copper Cane collection. Bold vanilla and fresh raspberry and strawberry notes lead the way into a creamy palate, uncharacteristic for pinot (even…

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