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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Recipe: National Pisco Sour Day 2015

Did you know that America has a national day dedicated to the national cocktail of… Peru? We do, and it’s this Saturday (February 7)! For anyone here not Pisco savvy or Peruvian, we’ve got a whole backlog of Pisco profiles for your perusal, but here’s a recipe to get you started on your way to…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Rye

Rye has long been the Next Big Thing in whiskeydom, and now it’s Woodford Reserve’s turn to get into the game. (When Maker’s Mark Rye eventually comes out, we can finally be assured that we’ve hit Peak Rye.) Woodford Reserve Straight Rye uses a mash of 53% rye, 14% malted barley, and 33% corn, and,…

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The A-List January 2015

Welcome to another edition of the A-List, our look back at the best of best we’ve reviewed here over last month. January was quite the busy month, with over 50 products sampled and reviewed including one with a very rare A+ rating (and quite the price tag). Sláinte! Related Stories: The A-List – January 2014 The Drinkhacker…

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