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New Release Roundup for August 2020

My bottle review column (last month’s edition here) is less about tasting notes and more about what is unique, new or trending in spirits alongside my ratings (on a 1–5 rating scale). Now more than ever, small-batch distillers and...

Congratulations to ADI’s 2020 Judging Award Winners

Once again, ADI’s Judging of Craft Spirits took place in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we were blessed to have perfect weather when we received 11 pallets of some of the world’s best craft spirits. Over the years...

South African Gin

Given the intricate blend of cultures and wealth of natural biomes scattered across 470,000 square miles (1.2 million km²) of land, it should come as no surprise that South Africa is a pioneer within the realm of booze. Many...

Cachaça

Rum, in some quarters, is seeing a resurgence: a burgeoning interest in production methods and an appetite for consumption. But between the blurred lines of rum regulations and definitions hides an overlooked relative — Brazilian cachaça. The conversation around the...

Anisette

As if life ain’t confusing enough, we have this: absinthe, aguardiente, anisette, arrack and arak; and those are just the A’s. Then there’s chinchón, ouzo, pastis, Pernod, raki and sambuca. All are licorice-flavored liqueurs from around the world. I’m...

Vodka

 On the one hand, it’s a liquid defined by three words — colorless, odorless, flavorless — and on the other, it’s a vast spectrum of ingredients and approaches. In Eastern Europe and Russia, it is recognized by its neutrality;...

A History of Rye in the US: Part 2

Between 1810 and 1840 it’s estimated 14,000 to 20,000 distilleries, licensed and otherwise, operated in the young United States. Most of its population was northerly with rail transport yet to be developed. But once railroads were built, it was...

New Release Roundup for July 2020

My bottle review column (last month’s edition here) is less about tasting notes and more about what is unique, new or trending in spirits alongside my ratings (on a 1-5 rating scale). Now more than ever, small-batch distillers and...

New Release Roundup for June 2020

My bottle review column (last month’s edition here) is less about tasting notes and more about what is unique, new or trending in spirits alongside my ratings (on a 1-5 rating scale). Now more than ever, small-batch distillers and...

A History of Rye in the US: Part I

Virginia lays claim to the birthplace of American distilled spirits as the first batch of whiskey, albeit from corn, was documented to have been produced as early as 1620 by English settler George Thorpe near Jamestown. Rye’s presence and...