Review: 4 Albarinos from Rias Baixas, 2013 Vintage

Four new albarinos from the Rias Baixas region of Spain, each showcasing that classic acid-meets-the-tropics character… but each with a unique little spin on the theme. Thoughts follow. 2013 Paco & Lola Abarino Rias Baixas – A perfectly serviceable albarino, creamy with notes of peaches and tropical fruits, and a caramel-dusted finish. A juicy party…

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Review: Balls Vodka

Well, at least Balls vodka isn’t trying to take the vodka category too seriously. There’s no story of frost-kissed grapes, diamond-filtration, or crystal decanters to contend with. This is bulk vodka with a pinup model on the label, and, in case you missed it, it’s called BALLS, which appears in great big letters. Even my…

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Review: Skyy Infusions Texas Grapefruit Vodka

Skyy turns to the south for this latest flavored vodka: Texas Grapefruit. It’s very brisk on the nose with fresh grapefruit notes. It’s not overly candied or sweet, but appropriately tart. That carries through to the palate, a modestly sweet vodka that balances its sugar with dauthentic grapefruit notes, appropriately sour and tangy with a…

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Review: Anaba 2013 Turbine White and 2012 Turbine Red

You’ll find Anaba in southern Sonoma, where it focuses on Rhone-style wines along with chardonnay and pinot noir. Today we look at two of the Rhoneish releases, both bottled under the “Turbine” moniker. 2013 Anaba Turbine White Sonoma Valley – 42% roussanne, 20% grenache blanc, 20% picpoul blanc, 18% marsanne. Slightly tropical, with lots of oak…

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Review: Captain Morgan Grapefruit, Pineapple, and Coconut Rum

Is the world crying out for more flavored rum? Captain Morgan thinks so, and as such it’s released a trio of new tiki-friendly rums, each naturally flavored and beyond-intensely sugared. All three are bottled at 70 proof. Thoughts on each follow. Captain Morgan Grapefruit Rum – Strong grapefruit notes on the nose, with a slight…

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Review: Deepwells Botanical Dry Gin

Long Island Spirits is the producer of LiV Vodka and other products — and now it’s at long last expanding into gin (after six reported years of tinkering with the recipe). Deepwells takes the triple-distilled LiV potato-based distillate and infuses it with 28 botanicals — 9 local botanicals and 19 “exotic” ones. That botanical list is exhaustive,…

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Review: Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2015)

John Wayne wouldn’t let something as silly as being dead get in the way of drinking a good whiskey, and neither should you. Now you can drink just like John Wayne by drinking, er, the very essence of John Wayne — by swilling some Duke. Duke Bourbon (sometimes called “The Duke,” but that’s not what…

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Swords (and Glasses) Up to the Knights of the Single Oak Project!

Recently I ventured to Frankfort, Kentucky with a handful of other spirits writers to digest Buffalo Trace’s exhaustive Single Oak Project. We tasted the five bourbons from the project most highly rated by consumers and voted for the winner. That winner… Barrel #80, whose recipe will be recreated by Buffalo Trace and commercially bottled —…

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