Review: The Macallan Rare Cask

A $300 no-age-statement Scotch whisky? The time is here, folks, and Macallan is leading the charge. The Macallan Rare Cask is matured fully in first-fill Spanish oak casks that formerly held dry oloroso sherry for 18 months. How long the whisky was in there remains a secret. This is a classic, heavy-sherry (and intensely deep-amber)…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 11.12.2014 – Quick Links Edition

Lots of stuff to get to today, so let’s dig right in! Mass protests in Champagne, France over taxes and other changes. Things aren’t bubbling over yet, but it’s about to pop! [Decanter] Larger wine stores are cutting back on selection, presenting a new set of challenges for wine lovers and an opportunity for specialty stores.…

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Review: Pisco Waqar

Waqar! Waqoff! Sorry. Pisco, essentially an unaged brandy, has been fueled by the revival of the Pisco Sour and a few other piscoriffic cocktails. But Chilean pisco is something of a rarity in a day and age where Peruvian pisco rules the market. Waqar is produced from muscat grapes grown at the foot of the…

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Review: 2012 Collazzi Liberta Toscana IGT

This Tuscan mutt is 55% merlot, 30% syrah, and 15% sangiovese. It’s also awfully damn good for a sub-$20 wine. Earth hits the nose first, with notes of dried mint, violets, and cedar chest coming along in short order. On the palate, the merlot is right up front, offering those characteristic floral notes, slightly sweetened…

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Review: VEEV 2.0 and VitaFrute Cocktails

Remember, VeeV, the “acai spirit” that rode the superfruit craze in the late zeroes, launching in 2008 as “the only açai spirit on the market?” I figured you didn’t, and that’s probably why VeeV — now an even louder VEEV — is relaunching, reformulating, and re-hoping you will get on the bandwagon of endorsing a speciously healthier…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 11.10.2014 – Anheuser-Busch and the Case of the Purchased Microbrewery

Just mere hours after announcing its intention to launch a tequila-flavored beer in Spring of 2015, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV announced its acquisition of Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing Co. This is just the latest in AB InBev’s attempt to enter the craft market, after purchasing Goose Island in 2011. Look for the company to make more…

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Review: Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum Cream

Somehow we never managed to review Blue Chair Bay Rum — a product rolled out by country star Kenny Chesney — when it launched last year, but today we did land a sample of a new limited edition line extension: Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum Cream. Now that sounds like a lot of pressure…

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Review: 2013 Achaval Ferrer Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 releases from Achaval Ferrer, based in Mendoza, are here. We tasted the Malbec and the Cab from this major Argentinian producer. 2013 Achaval Ferrer Malbec Mendoza – Overpowering, and not in a good way. Intense notes of menthol cigarette smoke, backed by a heavily balsamic vinegar character. Mouth-puckering with heavy acidity and a vegetal underpinning,…

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