Review: Kai Lemongrass Ginger Shochu, Lychee Vodka, and Coconut Pandan Vodka

Vietnam’s only vodka comes from Kai, which distills rice into both vodka and shochu (aka soju — it puts both names on the bottles), in a variety of flavors. Kai (slogan: “Taste the pleasure”) sent us three expressions of its Asian-inspired spirits for our investigation. Thoughts follow. Kai Lemongrass Ginger Shochu/Soju – Very light and…

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Review: Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

And now for something completely different from Crown Royal — no, not another flavored whiskey — it’s Crown Royal’s first ever single barrel expression, straight from the cask! The catch: It will only be on sale in Texas (and only through retailers who sign up to buy a full barrel of the stuff). Off-the-rack Crown Royal…

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Review: 2012 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

This well-pedigreed Cabernet offers a ripe, blackberry-laden nose with touches of black pepper and dried herbs. The body is rich and lush with chocolate notes, some coffee bean, and vanilla. The finish is big and fruity, its tannins mellowing with ample time in the glass, leaving behind some notes of tea leaf, charcoal, and cocoa…

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Review: 2010 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard

For the 2010 vintage, Chile’s (arguably) biggest cult wine Don Melchor (a splinter of Concha y Toro) is composed of 97% cabernet sauvignon and 3% cabernet franc. Grown in the Alto Maipo Valley, the wine is aged 15 months in French oak (3/4 new, 1/4 second use). Appropriately huge, the nose is thick with notes of…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 01.29.2015 – Craft Beer Made From Sewage Water: The New Trend

A company in Oregon wants to make craft beer out of recycled wastewater. There’s certainly an argument that this is not innovative, as a few craft breweries are already unintentionally engaging in this process. [NPR] The demand for Japanese whisky is still hot with no signs of slowing down. The Spirits Business reports that a…

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Review: Sidra Fran Ramos del Valle Spanish Cider

Most of the cider we see here at Drinkhacker — which seems to be growing week by week — hails from Washington state or thereabouts. Sidra Fran is based in the Asturias region of Spain — and rarely does it travel far from home. Imported cider? Here it is, and it’s a far different experience…

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Review: Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Winter Lager (2014), Cold Snap (2015), and White Christmas

The Boston Beer Company produces over 100 varieties of beer, but the biggest of them all is Samuel Adams Boston Lager. Oddly, we’ve never reviewed it, but today we’re taking that opportunity, along with a look at three winter/spring seasonals now on the market. Thoughts follow. Samuel Adams Boston Lager – The original (though surely…

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Review: Jim Beam Bonded Bourbon

Here’s a new release that really came out of the blue. Bonded whiskey was a big deal before Prohibition — when heavy tampering with spirits was a major problem — but it is rarely seen these days because of the cost involved and, surely, limited demand. (Rittenhouse 100 is one good example that’s still around.)…

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