Review: Sipsmith V.J.O.P. Gin and Sloe Gin

Sipsmith isn’t content to just make a single gin in its garage of an operation in London, England. It actually produces a range of artisan spirits and fortified wines — including the two reviewed below, which are exported to the U.S. Sipsmith co-founder Sam Galsworthy (pictured) was recently in my neck of the woods, and we…

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Recipes: Super Bowl Pre-Game Cocktails, 2016

Hailing from a city that hasn’t won a major professional football championship since Dwight Eisenhower was President, it can be difficult to get excited about this time of year. Drinking with friends certainly helps numb the pain during Super Bowl Sunday (with the exception of the trash talking and reminders of your home team), so…

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Review: Vida Tequila Reposado

We did the Blanco. We did the Anejo. Now it’s time for the final frontier, Vida Tequila’s Reposado bottling. This tequila, aged a relatively lengthy six months in barrel before bottling, offers a quiet nose that is mostly sweeter notes. At first sip, it evokes gentle notes of caramel flan, melding burnt sugar with a dense…

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Review: NV Faire la Fete Brut Cremant de Limoux (2016)

A sparkler from France’s Languedoc region (the Limoux AOC dates back only to 2005), Faire la Fete is a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and chenin blanc grapes. It’s an intriguing wine — very fruit-forward, with a moderate level of fizz. The palate includes notes of fresh apple, tangerine, banana, and light floral touches. The finish…

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Review: The Famous Grouse Blended Scotch

The Famous Grouse — a blended whiskey made by the same folks that produce Highland Park and The Macallan, including a significant sherry cask regimen — is a major player in the blended world. (It is the best-selling whisky in Scotland, so that’s saying something.) Somehow it’s escaped our review (though the more recent Black Grouse…

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Review: 2013 Carmel Road Pinot Noir Monterey Drew’s Blend

Who is Drew, you ask? Drew Barrymore, that’s who. America’s favorite ’80s star is the name brand behind this wine, produced with winemaker Kris Kato, which is a delightful little pinot from the little-known label Carmel Road. Drew’s Blend is a precious wine, gentle on the palate but studded with notes of cherry, tea leaf,…

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Review: Redemption Aged Barrel Proof Straight Rye – 7, 8, and 10 Years Old (2015)

In our recent coverage of Redemption, I mentioned some rare, older, cask strength whiskeys that the company was releasing. We unexpectedly received samples of all three — all of which are 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley, aged 7, 8, or 10 years in oak — and all “honey barrel” picks of the…

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Review: New Belgium Accumulation White IPA (2016)

Colorado-based New Belgium is out with a winter special called Accumulation, a seasonal, Belgian-style IPA. This combination of pale malt and wheat offers a a malty, bready attack that fades into a chewiness that loads up some crisp apple notes, chocolate, caramel, and a hint of pineapple. The body is moderate in weight and backed…

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