Armagnac Darroze Grand Assemblage 12 year

With a dark gold-amber color and strong nose of dried fig and macerated cherries, even after ten years in oak, this blend of Gascony grapes is still dominated by peppery spice notes, particularly cinnamon, clove and cigar box. Underneath is caramel, clotted cream and orange peel in this complex eau-de-vie, which opens up nicely with [...]


Shaw Vineyard Finger Lakes Riesling 2008

  I've never been a huge booster of Finger Lakes rieslings--they're pleasant enough in my experience--good for the local New York market, but not enough to displace anything from Washington State or Alsace once shipping enters the equation. But this cellared bottle by longtime Seneca lake grower Steve Shaw made a nice impression on me:  [...]

Cognac Leyrat

V.S.O.P. Cognac Leyrat

Brandy is an underappreciated category in the US--Cognac in particular by anyone who isn't a cigar smoker or rapper--and I confess I have been slow to understand it's charms. But this small house V.S.O.P. really made an impression on me: drinkable but complex, like all of the best casked spirits. A nose dominated by dried [...]


2001 Lur-Saluces Sauternes by Chateau de Fargues

It isn't every day that I get to converse with a prince of Orleans, but it also isn't every day that I get to sample as exceptional a wine as this one. Prince Eudes D'Orleans is the Directeur General of Chateau de Fargues, whom I was lucky enough to meet when he poured this wine [...]

recuerdo wines

Recuerdo 2012 Malbec, 2012 Torrontes

Wines from Argentina are becoming increasingly commonplace in the US Market, but I was intrigued to try these boutique bottlings, efforts of a truly cross-cultural collaboration between the people who supervise the Vines of Mendoza private vineyard estates in the Uco Valley (including winemakers Santiago Achával and Pablo Martorell), and the aesthetes behind Napa's Ma(i)sonry. [...]


Four Roses Japanese-only Fine Old Bourbon

There are two possible ways for you to experience this particular bottling by Kentucky's Four Roses Bourbon: Either you get it in Japan, where it has been exclusively available for decades (even before the FR brand was resurrected when Kirin bought it from Seagrams)... or, you visit the distillery about an hour outside Louisville, and [...]

manila rum punch ec gladstone

Minute Mixologist: “Ninja Whale” Manila Rum Punch

For a recent Typhoon Haiyan survivors benefit, I created this simple rum punch inspired by Filipino flavors: Cut the heart of a medium size pineapple into small dice, and soak in calamansi nectar for at least 4 hours at room temp. Add this to 1 1/2 bottles (or roughly 1 liter) Tandeña Manila Rum or [...]

bourbon rum body scrubs

Bourbon, Rum, Vodkatini Body Scrubs by Farmhouse Fresh

Hello! A scrub made from Bourbon, buttered rum or watermelon basil and vodka? Talk about date bait! Let the boozy spa day commence... Farmhouse Fresh


Fred Minnick and “Whiskey Women”

I just finished reading his new book "Whiskey Women" in time to meet up with my colleague and friend Fred Minnick in Louisville this week and congratulate him (I also coincidently got to meet Peggy Noe Stevens, the book's inspiration). An amalgam of anecdotes that forms an alternate history of barrel-aged spirits, Whiskey Women is [...]

cloudy bay sauvignon blanc 2013

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013: One To Remember

  A bushel of ripe grapefruit hits you on the nose of this impossibly pale new release, along with a few limes. Lemon and kiwi add to the abundant acidity on the palate, though I wouldn't call it bracing, because with some light effervescence and strong minerality, it balances out to a soft, dry but lasting [...]

Crater Lake Root Beer

Crater Lake Root Beer

Might be the rootbeeriest Root Beer these lips have ever tasted: richly sweet and herbaceous, but not a darn thing 'grown-uppy' about it. Stewart's, be thankful this isn't available everywhere...yet. In fact, you'll only find it in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska...and SoCal! [yay] Crater Lake Soda Click the photo above for a full view!

Glenlivet 70, The Balvenie 50 at Talon Club, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Glenlivet 70, Balvenie 50 at Talon Club, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

However there is only one place in Vegas to sample the rare delights of both Glenlivet 70 (circa 1940, 200 bottles worldwide) and The Balvenie 50 (circa 1962, only 88 bottles worldwide)


Minute Mixologist: Tequila Moda Viejo

This started as a Mexican riff on the Old Fashioned (hence the name: Old Fashion in bad Spanish), and that's essentially what it is, but the emphasis on fruit and spice--not to mention the reposado tequila being a softer spirit than rye--makes it a much less bracing sipper. Using maraschino-infused moonshine gives it a bit [...]

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