Review: Don Q 151 Rum

Whether you truly need to set a cocktail on fire or just want a little ultra-high-octane in your glass, 151 proof rum is a mixing ingredient without a peer. (Mention Everclear and I’ll barf on you.) Make no mistake: 151 is dangerous. Don Q knows it and with this new bottling it even includes a…

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Review: Old Forester Whiskey Row Series – 1897 Bottled in Bond Bourbon

Last year Old Forester got started with its new Whiskey Row Series of Bourbons with its 1870 Original Batch Bourbon, meant to recreate the company’s batching process that it introduced in that year. Now comes OldFo’s 1897 Bottled in Bond, the next in the series, is bottled in honor of the 1987 Bottled-in-Bond Act and a…

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Bar Review: The Franklin, Philadelphia

Philadelphia isn’t exactly known as a hotspot for craft cocktails, but those of discriminating tastes do know at least one spot to go for elevated libations: The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., a cheeky name for an underground bar and seemingly one of the only drinking establishments in Philly that doesn’t have a TV. I’ve…

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Review: Baron Cooper 2013 Chardonnay and 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Baron Cooper isn’t a winemaker. He’s a dog and as the namesake of this series of wines he’s leading the charge toward the raising of funds for Best Friends Animal Shelter. Five percent of all sales of these wines — about a buck a bottle — will go toward ending the killing of dogs and…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Pinedrops, Foray 2015, Twilight 2015, and The Stoic 2015

We’ve been falling behind on Deschutes’ beer releases, so here’s a look at four new/seasonal/reissued bottlings hitting in time for summer sipping! Deschutes Brewery Pinedrops IPA – Formerly an experimental brew served only on tap (and amde with Chinook, Centennial, and Equinox hops), this year Pinedrops goes into year-round rotation in bottles. A burly IPA…

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Review: Southern Comfort Caramel

SoCo’s latest flavor is Caramel — “Caramel Comfort” being the alternate name for this sticky concoction. As flavorings go, caramel can be an overpowering one, and it does quite a number on the otherwise pungent SoCo core. Here, syrupy caramel notes — burnt sugar and marshmallow — dominate the nose, with just a hint of fruit…

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Review: 2012 Volunteer Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Another Tony Leonardini wine, Volunteer is a considerably higher-end offering than the Butternut Chardonnay we recently reviewed. Volunteer is a relatively light-bodied cabernet (blended with small amounts of merlot and cabernet franc), with simple notes of currants and cherries, backed with a bit of rosemary and mixed, dried herbs. The finish is easygoing, slightly sweet,…

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Review: Punt e Mes Vermouth

Cola brown in color and dense with flavor, the venerable Punt e Mes is pretty much at the end of the line in the world of sweet vermouth. As brand owner Branca puts it, “The story goes that back in 1870 a stock broker, caught up in a debate with a few colleagues at Bottega Carpano,…

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