Review: Piehole Flavored Whiskeys

Piehole is arguably the most maligned name in spirits today. Named in honor of a common insult, designed with labels that feature buxom farmer’s daughters, and a member of what is probably the most reviled category of spirits on the market — flavored whiskey — that’s three strikes before the bottle’s even open. Piehole is…

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Review: 2013 Kalfu Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Kalfu is a new Chilean wine brand hailing from the Leyda Yalley on the country’s coast. Here’s a look at two of the winery’s inaugural releases. 2013 Kalfu “Kuda” Chardonnay Unoaked Leyda Valley Chile – Engaging, tastes expensive. Quite neutral, apple notes on the nose, with light creme brulee, kumquat, and some light tropical character on…

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Review: Manhattan Moonshine

Moonshine connotes hillbillies cooking up corn in a crude oil drum still tucked away in the woods, high-test hooch bottled in a ceramic jug. And then there’s Manhattan Moonshine, made “using a unique blend of four premium New York grains [including rye, spelt, and oats — but not corn] and innovative, modern production methods,” bottled in an…

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Review: LIQS Ready To Drink Cocktail Shots

LIQS looks like the ultimate expression of laziness — single-serve shots in a foil-covered plastic cup. And yeah, LIQS is designed for the beachgoer who can’t figure out how to get his blood orange kamikaze into a water bottle, but there’s a surprising level of gourmet sensibility under the hood. Billing itself as the “world’s…

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Kentucky Derby Recipe: Grandstand Julep

Looking for a mint julep that isn’t blown out with tooth-aching sweetness? Try this version, which subs in bitter Cynar for about 2/3 of the bourbon and adds some fresh fruit juices to give it a little citrus character. It’s quite a fun spin on the Derby classic and the only julep I know that works…

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Review: Global Vodka

Global? Well, Italian. So, pretty global. This vodka is triple distilled from organic wheat and blended with spring water from the Dolomites, and the results are… not entirely distinguishable from any number of well-crafted but largely anonymous vodkas. The nose is heavily medicinal, with some woody notes giving it some backbone. The body is indistinct…

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Review: Highland Park Valhalla Collection – Odin

The final expression of Highland Park’s four Valhalla Collection whiskies is here — Odin, “the Allfather” of the Norse pantheon. Odin follows Thor, Loki, and Freya (the lattermost was not readily available in the U.S. and we never reviewed it in depth), rounding out the collectible series. 16 years old and higher in proof than any…

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Review: 2010 Mesa Cantina Buio Buio Isola dei Nurachi IGT

2010 Mesa Cantina Buio Buio Isola dei Nurachi is produced in Sulcis, on the southwestern tip of Sardinia. Produced from 100% carignano (the Italian name for carignane), it’s part of a vanguard of wines from Sulcis that are just now making their way to the U.S. Buio Buio is restrained and almost floral on the nose,…

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