Review: Samuel Adams Cold Snap (2014)

For the upcoming spring season, Sam Adams has bottled this experimental brew, originally rolled out at beer fests last October. It’s an unfiltered white ale, a golden wheat blended with ten fruits, flowers, and spices, including grains of paradise, anise, hibiscus, and orange peel. Tasting notes follow. Cold Snap pours, as expected, a cloudy gold…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 02.05.2014 – Bourbon Tops $1 Billion; Beer Bots Baffle

In a press release sent yesterday afternoon, the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) announced that American distilled spirits broke previous records in 2013 by crossing the $1.5 billion threshold, driven largely by bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, which broke the $1 billion sales mark for the first time. According to Council Senior Vice President for International Trade…

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Review: Abreojos Tequila Silver

Colloquially “open eyes,” this Lowlands tequila is the only 100% agave tequila you’ll find that features an enormous eye-meets-lobster drawing on the label. Inside the frosted bottle you’ll find a standard blanco (reposado and anejo, not reviewed, are also available from Abreojos), made sans resting or aging. The spirit’s nose is initially heavy on earth…

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Review: Laphroaig Triple Wood

We’ve written an epic amount about Laphroaig over the years, but somehow one of its core bottlings has eluded a formal review. Laphroaig Triple Wood is officially a seasonal offering, but it’s pretty generally available, with 12,000 bottles produced for the U.S. market in 2012. (No figures were offered for 2013.) You’ll even find the…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 02.03.2014 – Booker’s 25th Anniversary Edition

Beam will be celebrating 25 years of its excellent Booker’s bourbon with a 9 to 11 year old uncut unfiltered goodness in a limited run. Bottles will be shipping soon at a price tag of around $100. In its honor, the Beam folks recently did a promo video interviewing the Noe family, and the importance…

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Review: Exclusiv XO Napoleon Brandy-Flavored Vodka

Flavored vodka gets a whole new whaaaaaa? factor with the release of Exclusiv XO Napoleon, a brownish-colored vodka that is made “with natural brandy flavor and caramel added.” This may look like brandy — and that big “XO” on the front has to earn the award for the most misleading liquor designation of all time —…

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Review: Charbay R5, S, and Release III Hop Flavored Whiskeys (2014)

It’s commonly said that “whiskey is made from beer,” though that’s typically not quite true. Most whiskey is made from a low-alcohol, fermented grain sludge that you would never want anywhere near your mouth (I know, I’ve tried it). Usually this is just called mash, but sometimes it’s colloquially known as beer, because it’s kind of…

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Review: Charbay Brandy No. 89

Ukiah, California-based Charbay turned its alembic pot stills to crafting this brandy in the winter of 1989. The grapes used are 74% pinot noir and 26% sauvignon blanc. The distillate has since been mellowing in barrels made of oak from France’s Limousin and Nevers regions for 24 years. 22 of those barrels were bottled to…

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