Review: Flaviar “Eau de Vie! Oui!” Cognac Sampler & the Flaviar App

We’ve been friends with Flaviar for quite a while, and we’re going to start looking more deeply into their sampler packs. These are available on a one-off basis or as a monthly subscription, featuring rum, whiskey, brandy, or just about anything else. Today we’re looking at Flaviar’s Cognac sampler, a set of spirits packaged under…

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Review: Cocktail & Sons Cocktail Syrups

Cocktail & Sons is a brand new operation (we tasted the first draft of their four artisan syrups late last year) that is going national as we speak. Here’s a look at the complete lineup from the fledgling company — all four of which are wholly worthwhile and clearly made with cocktailing knowhow. (Not into drinking? Drop a…

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Review: Hibiki Japanese Harmony

A little of this and a little of that, Hibiki’s latest is a blended whisky, something we don’t see often represented from Japan on American shores. If you can’t find something to like in this dram, well, you shouldn’t be drinking whisky at all. Let’s back up a bit, though, with some Suntory time background:…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2015 Edition

As bourbon (and rye) mania continue to sweep the nation, this year’s Buffalo Trace Antique Collection is setting up to be one of the hottest releases ever. (Surely you’re heard about Stagg? If not, read on for the spoiler…) As always, these are all highly capable, unique, and for the most part worthwhile whiskeys. But…

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Bar Review: Bar Mia, San Francisco

There are whiskey bars. There are rum bars. There are even vodka bars. Bar Mia is the first amaro-focused bar that I can recall ever visiting. Housed in San Francisco’s Mission District, Bar Mia only just opened, the libation side of Nostra Spaghetteria, the Italian-focused eatery which it shares space with. Under the direction of…

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Review: Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey

Heaven Hill loves to make rye, and based on the enormous success of Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond, people like to drink it, too. The company is expanding its rye portfolio with Pikesville, a 6 year old straight rye bottled at a blazing 110 proof — clearly inspired by the success of Rittenhouse at 100 proof. (Pikesville…

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Review: Wines of Planeta (Focus on Sicily’s Etna), 2015 Releases

Planeta is one of the icons of Sicilian winemaking, and recently I had the pleasure of meeting Alessio Planeta (pictured below), head winemaker for this operation that sprawls across the island of Sicily. Over lunch at San Francisco’s SPQR, we tasted through a series of Planeta’s Etna-grown wines. (Etna is on the east coast of…

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Review: Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley and Alexander Valley, 2012 Vintage

The 2012 vintage releases from cabernet-focused Louis Martini are here. (For 2011 vintage reviews, click here.) Let’s see what this vintage has in store for us! 2012 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Dense and raisiny on the nose, almost pruny at times. The body offers dried herbs atop a plum, raisin, and dark…

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