Review: Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2013, Black Art 11.1, Port Charlotte PMC:01, and Octomore 14

Another fall is upon us, and that means Islay’s Bruichladdich is pushing out its biggest releases of the year. Normally we’d see these trickle out in bits and bobs, but for 2023, the distillery dropped a bomb on us all at once, with Bere Barley, Black Art, a new Port Charlotte, and the three Octomore…

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Review: Westward Two Malts Rye (2023)

Last fall we sampled our first special release from Westward’s Whiskey Club, an elaborate single malt that showcased a variety of elements unique to the distillery’s home in the Pacific Northwest. For its second club release of 2023, Westward continues to focus on provenance with the re-release if its Two Malts Rye, part of the…

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Review: Crown Royal Golden Apple 23 Years Old

Is the world ready to try a high-end, 23-year-old flavored whiskey? One brand is banking on the answer being “yes,” and thus Crown Royal Golden Apple was born. As the newest entry in Crown Royal’s Master Series, Golden Apple is a blend of Canadian whiskies aged for 23 long years that is flavored with golden…

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Review: St. George Botanivore Gin

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview St. George Master Distiller, Lance Winters. I learned that whiskey got him into distilling back in the 1990s, but gin has since become a real passion, as much as any other spirit in his distillery’s wide-ranging portfolio. St. George offers not one, not two, but a…

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Review: Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 4

It’s been three years since Highland Park inaugurated its Cask Strength Release — the first full-proof release the distillery had ever put out. We reviewed the second edition a year later, and now we’re finally on to Release No. 4. It’s not the same old story, by the way: Cask Strength No.4 is quite a…

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Review: Riedel Cocktail-Specific Glassware

Over a decade ago, Riedel made us believers in the power of quality glassware to enhance our wine drinking experience. We should have expected nothing less from a centuries-old Austrian crystal maker whose motto is “The Wine Glass Company.” Fast forward to the present, when Riedel is applying its glassmaking expertise to a new line…

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Review: 2022 Kenefick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Calistoga

Sauvignon blanc can be ultra-grassy, ultra-fruity, or ultra-ammonia-driven, but Kenefick Ranch’s Calistoga-grown release manages to be none of the three. Moderated pineapple and mango lead the way to notes of baking spice and white flowers, evoking a traipse through wildflowers — all without ever coming across as overly acidic or grassy. Well balanced amongst its…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Batch Proof 2023

While Woodford Reserve’s Batch Proof has been an annual release since 2018, we’ve reviewed it only once, in 2020. The whiskey isn’t designed to change dramatically from year to year, however. It’s a mingling of standard Woodford Reserve barrels all pulled into a single batch, then bottled at barrel — or, in this case —…

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