Review: Grand Macnish Black Edition Blended Scotch

That weirdly dimpled bottle belongs to Grand Macnish, a venerable — but seldom seen in the States — brand of blended Scotch whisky that hails from Glasgow. Several expressions are produced, with this newly released “Black Edition” being a non-age-statement spirit that is aged in double-charred bourbon barrels. A little brutish on the nose, it…

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Review: Sauza 901 Silver Tequila

Justin Timberlake-backed 901 Tequila made a huge splash back in 2009. So huge in fact that Sauza — one of the biggest names in the business — bought the brand in 2014. Promptly renamed “Sauza 901” and semi-repackaged (same bottle, new label), Sauza 901 is a different product that’s made in Sauza’s own distillery. JT is…

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Review: Dulce Vida Extra Anejo Tequila (2015)

The arrival of a new extra anejo tequila is always cause for rejoicing, and Dulce Vida’s new bottling is no exception. This tequila spends 5 1/2 years not in bourbon barrels but in a mix of former Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot barrels from Napa’s Rombauer winery. Crafted in the Jalisco Highlands, the tequila is fair-trade…

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Review: Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth

Carpano’s Antica Formula vermouth is the first lady of aromatic wines. In a world where most vermouth runs under $10 for a bottle and is tossed out during clean-up from last night’s party, the $30 or more you’ll pay for a liter of Antica Formula indicates at least someone thinks pretty highly of it. The heritage…

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Review: The Exceptional Grain – Blended Grain Scotch Whisky

Grain whisky fans can get excited. Here’s a new blended grain whisky that’s whipped up from some really old stock — by some industry pros. Don’t be confused by the label — “Sutcliffe & Son” — this is a limited edition from Don Sutcliffe at our own Craft Distillers in Ukiah, California. Here’s the official word: [The…

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Get Your Irish on with Flaviar’s Irish Whiskey Sample Pack (2015)

St. Patrick’s Day is just a few weeks away, and that means the Jameson and Bushmills will be flowing freely. But there’s no need to stop there. There are dozens of high-quality Irish whiskey brands available, and St. Patty’s is the perfect excuse to try them all. Enter Flaviar, a company that specializes in sampler packs…

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Tasting with Branded Spirts: Hana Gin, Motu Rum, HM Blended Scotch, and Majeste Cognac

Treasure Island, California-based Branded Spirits recently sent us its Arctic Fox Vodka for review… then they stopped by with more — everything the company is currently producing, in fact. Originally a major exporter to China — where it once held the license to sell Heineken beer — it’s now making a bigger, broader push for the U.S.…

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Review: Kibo Junmai Sake

Canned beer is old news. Canned sake, now that’s something else. Kibo, made in Japan and imported by Oregon’s SakeOne, is released in memory of the 2011 earthquake that devastated Japan and the Suisen Shuzo in which this sake is made. Rising from the rubble, Suisen Shuzo is now exporting Kibo (the name translates as “hope”)…

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