Review: Firelit Coffee Liqueur

Firelit is an artisan coffee liqueur, originated in 2009 by Jeff Kessinger, “who developed the original cold brew coffee liqueur formula along with his two high school friends, Marcus Urani and Tyler Warrender, and with the help of James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee Co.” After five years of contract distilling, Kessinger is now producing in…

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Review: Dogfish Head Squall IPA

Dogfish Head’s Squall IPA is a “continually hopped, unfiltered Double IPA that’s brewed with three types of malt as well as dry-hopped with Simcoe, Amarillo and Palisade hops.” It’s naturally carbonated through bottle conditioning, which gives this a much different character than you’re probably used to in an IPA. What you get immediately is how creamy…

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Review: 2014 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

New wines from Landmark — not just the chardonnay we frequently see, but also the winery’s pinot noir. Thoughts on both expressions follow. 2014 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay Sonoma County – Robust on the nose, with an initial body that offers notes of melon and citrus. Notes of buttered popcorn emerge on what fades into…

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Review: Usquaebach “Old-Rare” Superior Blended Flagon

We last covered Usquaebach, a Highland producer of blended whiskies and blended malts, in late 2015. Missing from that lineup was the blender’s top-end bottling, “Old-Rare,” most easily recognized by the stoneware flagon in which it is bottled. (“Old-Rare” is in tiny print at the very top of the decanter; the rest of the writing…

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Review: The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition Pullman Train Collection

I scratched my head, too: Why would a major producer of Scotch whisky name a series of high-end releases after a train invented in the United States? We’ve got the full story, courtesy of The Glenlivet. The Glenlivet has been a standard-setting luxury brand for nearly 200 years, appealing to whisky connoisseurs looking for a…

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Review: Four Roses 2016 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon “Elliott’s Select”

Astute readers might recall that in January 2015, Four Roses discontinued its annual Limited Edition Single Barrel releases, citing a shortage of available stock to produce it. Then beloved distiller Jim Rutledge retired and Brent Elliott got promoted to the job. Somewhere, Elliott found enough 14 year old, lower-rye OESK-recipe bourbon to revive the bottling…

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Review: Iichiko Kurobin Shochu and Yuzu Liqueur

We last visited with two of Iichiko’s shochus in 2013. Today we look at a third variety from Iichiko, plus a liqueur made from yuzu fruit. Thoughts follow. Iichiko Kurobin Shochu – No production information available; “Kurobin” means “black bottle.” Heavy melon notes on the nose, with a touch of sugar distinctly sake-like. Nose and palate…

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Review: Woodchuck June & Juice Juniper Hard Cider

Woodchuck’s latest “Out on a Limb” cider is this true oddity — June & Juice — a juniper-based cider that takes the gin and tonic as its inspiration. It’s a semi-sweet apple cider made by steeping fresh juniper berries, rose buds, and orange peel into the mix. The results are better than I expected, a light…

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