Review: Mezan Extra Old Rum XO Jamaica

If you’re familiar with Plantation Rum, which offers a wide range of expressions sourced from throughout the Caribbean and beyond, you’ll get the idea of Mezan, a line of rums that similarly has no specific home but rather sources product, most of it vintage dated. These are all limited-edition releases, so if you see one…

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Review: 2012 Matchbook The Arsonist and Tinto Rey

Two new releases just arrived from our friends at Matchbook in Zamora, California. One of them blew my socks off. Keep reading to find out which one! 2012 Matchbook The Arsonist Red Blend – 52% petit verdot, 24% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better wine at this price level.…

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Review: Captain Morgan Cannon Blast

Captain Morgan already has a vast command of bars around the world. Now the company is getting into the shot game with the launch of Captain Morgan Cannon Blast, “an intensely delicious shot” that comes in the cleverest packaging I’ve seen in years. What’s Cannon Blast? “Caribbean rum with spice and natural flavors.” Isn’t that…

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Review: Ballantine Burton Ale 2015

Not familiar with Ballantine? I wasn’t either, so draw near and listen to a story. Ballantine Burton Ale is a legendary and storied beer that has been decidedly limited in availability. One source says he’s heard of $500 being paid for a single bottle. Ballantine, founded in 1878, was a popular brew at the time,…

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Review: Ciroc X Vodka

‘Tis the season for luxe vodka bottlings, and at the top of the heap you’ll find this monster from Ciroc, an ostentatiously-packaged vodka that retails for two-fiddy. Er, $250. Ciroc is of course vociferously repped by P. Diddy, who has been stumping for the brand for more than a decade. And now, it seems, it’s…

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Review: Magic Opener Extreme

This electric yellow gadget is more than a bottle opener. Well, it’s three bottle openers and one can opener, all in one device. A standard crown cap opener is just the start. Flip it over and you’ll find two tooth-ringed circles of slightly different sizes, designed to help you open plastic water bottles and other…

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Review: Gordon & MacPhail Glenburgie 10 Years Old

Glenburgie isn’t a name one encounters too often on this side of the world, but this Speyside distillery has been operating since 1824. An all new distillery was built in 2004, and Pernod Ricard acquired the operation in 2005. The vast majority of Glenburgie ends up in Ballatine’s blended whisky, but Gordon & MacPhail bottles…

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Book Review: Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual

From the oversized-yet-slim hardcover format to the big “Haynes” logo on the cover to, well, just about everything else, right down to the font selection, Tim Hampson’s Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual seems like one of those books you’d pick up at the hardware store when you needed a quick primer on plumbing or wiring. Even the…

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