Review: Bender’s Whiskey Small Batch Rye 7 Years Old Batch #2

What we’ve got here is Canadian rye, aged for seven years, then shipped off to San Francisco’s Treasure Island for bottling by a craft distilling operation, Treasure Island Distillery. The label says seven years, but actually for this second batch, the mashbill has been updated (now it’s 92% 9 year old rye, 8% 13 year…

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Review: Glenmorangie Tusail

The Glenmorangie Private Collection continues to grow, with Tusail the latest launch from this Highlands producer. The focus on this one isn’t a special barrel-aging regimen (typical for Glenmorangie), but rather it’s a unique type of barley used to make the whisky. In Glenmorangie’s own words: The 6th release from Glenmorangie’s award-winning Private Edition, Tùsail is the product…

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Review: Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey and Single Malt Straight Rye

Old Potrero is the craft distilling arm of San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling, and in addition to a number of gin and unaged whiskey products, it also produces a handful of aged spirits under the OP label. Today we look at two extreme oddities, both made 100% malted rye, which means the rye has been partially…

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Review: The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Whiskey

Much has been made about the authenticity of the genealogy behind Hatfield & McCoy whiskey — a new spirit allegedly being produced by blood relatives of the infamous West Virginia-vs.-Kentucky clans who put aside their differences to sell hooch. I won’t rehash the who’s-who behind this new brand or whether this is just an attempt…

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Review: 2013 Menage a Trois Chardonnay California

This year’s expression of California Chardonnay from Menage a Trois is a tough one, loaded with vanilla candy to within an inch of its life, and balanced only by a hint of caramel apple and a twist of lemon on the finish. Cloying and mouth-coating from the get-go, it grabs you by the sweet tooth and…

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Review: Arkansas Black Applejack

As far as local spirits go, for me, there’s nothing more local than Arkansas Black Applejack. It’s made by a husband and wife that live right around the corner from me, from Arkansas Black apples (hence the name) plus some Golden Delicious. The applejack is actually produced in Oregon at Clear Creek, after which it…

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Review: 2012 Loveblock Pinot Noir Central Otago

This New Zealand Pinot (produced by Kim Crawford) is a lean expression of the grape, particularly by Kiwi standards. Herbal, almost vegetal on the nose, it hits the palate with a surprising degree of sweetness. This settles down quickly once it gets some air, however, revealing notes of cherry juice, cinnamon, a bit of oxidized…

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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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