Review: Jim Beam Black XA Extra Aged Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2015)

While I wasn’t paying attention, Jim Beam quietly updated its venerable Black Label bottling. What was once bottled with an 8 Year Old (“Double Aged”) age statement now carries none. Beam assures me the product in the new bottle is the same as the old Jim Beam Black Label even if the exterior isn’t quite the…

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Review: Afrohead Original Rum

You wouldn’t put out a rum called Afrohead and not put a line art drawing of a woman with a huge, stylized afro on the bottle, would you? Of course not. After years of hand bottling rum in an unnamed bottle featuring only the Afrohead logo, Joe Farrell and Toby Tyler are bringing this Bahamanian rum to…

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Review: Jim Beam Signature Craft Harvest Bourbon Collection – Brown Rice

Four our fourth review in Jim Beam’s 6-whiskey Signature Craft Harvest Bourbon Collection we’re finally checking out the Brown Rice release. This was actually released last year, so we’re late to the game, but our completionist streak compels a review regardless. As a reminder, these are all bourbons, each made with one unusual grain in the mashbill. As with…

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Review: Craft Distillers Mezcalero Release #11 Bramaderos (Miahuatlan)

Craft Distillers’ Mezcalero is a series of one-time batches of mezcal, similar to the ArteNOM tequila releases. Once they’re all sold, they’re gone for good. But don’t worry — in both cases, they always make more. We first encountered Mezcalero in its second batch, and while I felt that release was a touch lackluster, it…

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Review: Pickett’s Ginger Beer Concentrated Syrup

Pickett’s approach to ginger beer was a new one for me: Rather than bottle or can a finished product, Pickett’s makes ginger syrup, which you mix with sparkling water to make on-the-spot ginger beer. It’s a more efficient way to make a mixer if you need a lot of it (or don’t want to stock…

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Review: 2014 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc – Icon and Regional Collection

Two new releases from New Zealand’s Nobilo, including the budget Regional Collection bottling and the flagship Icon expression. Thoughts on these 2014 vintage releases follow. 2014 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Regional Collection Marlborough – Moderately tropical, with strong lemon overtones and just a touch of vanilla. Bright acidity lends the wine an easy, festive finish. Uncomplicated, but…

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Review: Tomatin 12 Years Old French Oak

This Highland whisky is a limited edition available only in North America. It is aged for 9 years in bourbon hogsheads, then spends 3 years in French oak casks. “The casks were specially sourced from various European cooperages, including Lafite, Vicard and Seguin Moreau, and originally contained red wine from the Bacalhoa winery which was formerly…

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Review: Balblair Vintage 2003, 1999, 1990, and 1983

I encounter Balblair regularly at whiskey events, but I was surprised to see that in all these years we’ve only ever done a formal review of Balblair one time — of the Vintage 2000 release. Today we’re fixing that with reviews of four more expressions from this Highland distillery. On with the show! Balblair Vintage…

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