Review: Deschutes Brewery Zarabanda

What’s this? Acclaimed chef Jose Andres slumming it in the beer world? In Oregon? Believe it or not, Andres and Deschutes have been collaborating for three years to come up with this: A spiced saison brewed with lemon verbena, pink peppercorns, sumac, and dried lime. Made with Vienna and Spelt malts (among others) along with Saaz…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 02.11.2015 – Budweiser Branches Out, Hilhaven Sues Heaven Hill

Budweiser, that firm pillar of macrobrewing, is pleased as punch to announce a new product extension under the Bud Light umbrella. The Mixxtail series of pre-made cocktails will make its debut next week in Firewalker, Hurricane, and Long Island flavors. Not to be confused with the Straw-Ber-Rita, Mang-O-Rita and Raz-Ber-Rita macro cocktails it also makes. [STL…

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Review: Charbay R5 Hop-Flavored Whiskey Lot 3 (2015)

Three years back, Charbay released its first edition of Charbay R5 Hop-Flavored Whiskey, a unique whiskey made from Racer 5 IPA. Last year, it struck again with Charbay R5 Lot 511A. Now there’s another version of R5 coming out. Lot 511B? No: This one is called Lot 3. Confusing matters further, Lot 3 is aged for 28…

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Review: NV Blandy’s Sercial Madeira 10 Years Old

This Sercial bottling of Blandy’s Madeira is a 10 year old expression of its driest style of Madeira. Here it takes on notes of dry apple cider, roasted nuts, and spiced raisins. The finish has a sharpness to it — think spiked, wintry mulled wine — leading to more spicy, almost perfumed, baked apple notes.…

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Review: Troy & Sons Platinum, Oak Reserve, and Blonde Whiskey

Asheville Distilling Company in North Carolina is behind the Troy & Sons brand, but there really is a Troy: Troy Ball, who happens to be a woman. She indeed has three sons. This craft distillery is heavily focused on corn whiskey/moonshine, and relies on heirloom grains for all its distillate. To date the company has three…

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Review: Anchor Distilling Old Tom Gin

Old Tom, for the uninitiated, is a style of gin that was last at its height of popularity somewhere around 1880. As London Dry came to the forefront, Old Tom fell out of favor, and from the 1950s until a few years ago, no one made it. The modernist cocktail revival has brought Old Tom…

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Review: Boulard Calvados Pays d’Auge VSOP

Boulard is one of the pre-eminent producers of Calvados. This VSOP is just one step up from Boulard’s entry-level bottling, composed of a blend of brandies aged 4 to 10 years old, but it shows nonetheless how one company can do wonders with the simple apple. Crisp, classic apple notes are fresh on the nose, touched…

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Review: Label 5 Blended Scotch – Complete Lineup

Label 5 is a blended scotch whisky that is marketed not by the Scots but by a French company called La Martiniquaise. The company dates back to 1934, and its products comprise a number of spirit brands that you have surely never heard of. Label 5 has a small footprint here in America, namely with its…

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