Review: Diageo Orphan Barrel Project The Gifted Horse American Whiskey

Some time ago at the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Ky., a batch of beautiful 17-year-old Kentucky bourbon was accidentally mixed with barrels of much younger whiskey. This error turned out better than anyone could have expected as the older bourbon wasn’t marred, but was transformed into something surprisingly special. Realizing this unique liquid deserved…

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Review: Warsteiner Grapefruit Special Edition

A 50:50 blend of Warsteiner Pilsener and “grapefruit flavored drink” is what makes up this special edition concoction — marketed, oddly, as a special edition for winter drinking. The results are largely as expected: lightly sweetened but largely sour citrus notes come in up front, followed by malty, somewhat musty, German beer character. Both manage to…

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Experimenting with Beyond Barrels Bottle Aging Staves

Beyond Barrels doesn’t exactly have a new idea: Take whiskey you don’t quite like as is, add a small piece of wood to the bottle, wait a few weeks, then presto, you’ve got extra-aged whiskey for just a few extra bucks. So-called “whiskey sticks” are everywhere these days. Sounds good, but does this all work quite…

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Review: Russell’s Reserve Bourbon 10 Years Old and Rye 6 Years Old (2016)

Wild Turkey has been on a rebranding tear of late, updating its labels and corporate design in a push of gentle modernization of its image. We took the opportunity to crack open two new bottles of its Russell’s Reserve line — the 10 year old bourbon and the 6 year old rye, both staples of…

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Review: Cannonborough Beverage Co. Sodas and Mixers

Charleston-based Cannonborough Beverage Co. started making its fresh fruit sodas in 2012, where they are sold for drinking soda and for use as cocktail mixers. These all-natural sodas come in 750ml bottles (the crown caps can be a problem unless you’re preparing drinks for a party or a punch bowl), and can be purchased online…

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Review: Afrohead Aged Rum XO 15 Years Old

Last year Afrohead Rum, a capable 7 year old, hit the scene. Today we turn out head toward Afrohead XO, a 15 year old blend from the same Bahamas-based distillery (bottled in Barbados) and featuring the same afro-headed mascot on the bottle. As with its forebear, Afrohead XO showcases a somewhat rustic and simplistic style. On…

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Review: Beach Whiskey Original and Island Coconut

I say coconut-flavored spirit. You say… whiskey? It’s hard to believe, particularly with a name like “Beach” and pastel-colored bottles, but this really is a corn-based product. A pure corn, white whiskey is the one in white. Red is a cinnamon spirit (not reviewed here) and blue is the coconut whiskey. Coconut whiskey. Still can’t get…

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Reviewing Douro Wines: 2013 Vale do Bomfin and 2012 Prazo de Roriz

The Symington family is a titan of Port-making — producing Dow, Graham, Cockburn, Warre, and more — but it also produces plenty of table wine, right in the same region where Port grapes are cultivated: The Douro of northern Portugal. Made using traditional Portuguese grapes, these wines are rustic and often simple. Let’s explore a…

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