Recipe: Fall Cocktails from Courvoisier

We’re well into the autumn months at this point, and the good folks at Courvoisier have offered us their fall collection of recipe ideas for your consideration. Of special note, the Blackberry Beret went over like wildfire at a recent football tailgating affair. Not exactly a standard offering associated with tailgating, but the supply went…

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Review: Greenhook Ginsmiths Beach Plum Gin Liqueur

Who knew they grew plums on the beach? This is the first commercial “beach plum gin” liqueur, and I have to imagine the reason for that is that making a liqueur out of beach plum gins didn’t occur to anyone. The beach plums in question hail from Long Island, and their juice is blended with…

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Notes on Grading

Today I received a comment on my review of the 2013 Buffalo Trace Antique Collection. The commenter asked whether my B+ rating of this year’s George T. Stagg bourbon meant I would rather drink Stagg Jr., which I awarded with an A rating last month. It’s a good question, but also a bad one in…

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Review: TOPO Vodka, Gin, and Carolina Whiskey (2013)

Top of the Hill Distillery, affectionately “TOPO,” promises its spirits are “100 miles from grain to glass.” That’d be more comforting if I was closer to North Carolina, where TOPO is based. Good luck finding these farther afield. Fortunately, I was able to sample the full lineup of three unaged spirits from way out here…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2013 Edition

It’s always a glorious day when Buffalo Trace’s Antique Collection annual samples arrive, letting us stick our noses and tongues in these classics of the American whiskey world. 2013 offers the quintet at ages of up to 19 years old. Here’s how the five whiskeys of the 2013 Collection stack up. (Hint: It’s one of the…

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Review: Chinaco Tequila – Complete Lineup (2013)

An oddity in the tequila world, Chinaco — one of the first, if not the very first, 100% agave tequila released in the U.S. — is produced not in Jalisco (where the vast majority of tequila hails from) but in Tamaulipas, a state to the east which borders on the gulf of Mexico. This terroir…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection – Wheated Bourbon Entry Proof Experiments

Buffalo Trace, no stranger to experimentation, recently released this intriguing series of bourbons as part of its Experimental Collection. The idea: Vary entry proof from very low (90) to fairly high (125), and keep the barrels otherwise exactly the same. Entry proof, for those not familiar with the lingo, is the term that describes the…

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Review: 2012 Battistina Gavi DOCG

A nice end-of season white wine from Italy, 2012 Battistina Gavi DOCG is made from 100% estate Cortese grapes in Piedmont. A well-balanced white, loaded with floral elements and stone fruit, namely peaches and a touch of apricot. There’s a little pineapple on the finish, too. Modest acidity on a medium body, it all comes together as…

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