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Rabbit Hole Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Matt EvansLeave a Comment

What happens when you chase both a woman and your dream of opening a distillery? You go down the Rabbit Hole! And that is exactly what happened to Kaveh Zamanian. After 20 years as a very successful psychoanalyst in Chicago, Kaveh left behind his practice and the Windy City to follow his wife, Heather, back to her native hometown of Louisville, KY. It was then that Kaveh fell in love with Kentucky’s greatest exports and America’s native spirit.

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Boondocks American Whiskey Cask Strength Review

In American Whiskey Reviews, Banter by Luke CastleLeave a Comment

Boondocks American Whiskey Cask Strength 127 Proof has distinctive aromas of rich caramel and vanilla. A robust and pleasantly aggressive palate is highlighted by fall spices and oak that leaves a long-lasting finish. This expression received a Gold Medal/91 Points in the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition 2016 and Best of Category in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2016.

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Boondocks American Whiskey Review

In American Whiskey Reviews by Luke CastleLeave a Comment

Aged for 11 years in American white oak barrel in Kentucky, Boondocks American Whiskey 95 Proof is made from corn, rye, and malt. Light in color but rich, nuanced and complex, fruitiness and exotic spices enhance some of the subtler aromatic characteristics like the toasted marshmallow oak barrel notes. Mouthfeel is creamy and buttery with a long, pleasant finish. Overall, the whiskey is spicy and warm but does not burn and is sweet like cotton candy.

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Trader Joe’s Kentucky Bourbon Straight Whiskey Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Jeffrey SchwartzLeave a Comment

I am Mr. #RespectTheBottomShelf. I’m not afraid of “cheap” whiskey, and, in fact, when I see something super-affordable, it piques my curiosity. Normally, I make a mental note to keep the bottle in mind for my next bar tasting. There are times, however, when I come across something that I know won’t be at any bar, such as a store pick or something similar. There are just times when I’m willing to take a chance – if the price is right.

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Sometimes the Bourbon Hunt Comes to You

In Banter by Lee StangLeave a Comment


I am a big fan of the Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, but as I grow in my bourbon journey, I will admit I have limited my hunt for the BTAC more towards pours at bars then scouring the secondary market. My favorite is William LaRue Weller. I was able to get a bottle of George T Stagg back in 2011 from a store in Frederick County, MD. I still have a couple of pours left of that one. But over the years I have shied away from the hunt.

This year, the Virginia ABC system has been doing lotteries for limited availability products. The BTAC and Pappy Van Winkle 20 and 23-year-old bourbons, however, go to people on a waiting list which are at least three years long. Montgomery County in Maryland does a lottery for BTAC and other limited availability products. I have never paid much attention to their lottery.

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Reverse Manhattan – The Perfect Second & Third Drink

In Cocktails by Thomas FondanoLeave a Comment

I love cocktails. Happy hour is 5 pm daily at our house, usually two rounds. I love Old Fashioneds and Manhattans, but two high-proof cocktails before dinner can be a bit much. As I get older happy hour seems to get shorter.

I love sweet vermouth. (You can learn more about vermouth in Amaro, which I have reviewed for you or visit Some people say they don’t like sweet vermouth. These people are wrong. Vermouth is wine and you need to treat it that way. You wouldn’t leave an open bottle of wine in the back of your cupboard for a year and expect it to be good, would you? No. Refrigerate after opening and use within a couple weeks.

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Outryder Straight American Whiskey Review

In American Whiskey Reviews by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

A straight American whiskey with higher rye content than our Small Batch Bourbon, but short of a true rye whiskey. Different and great. Perfect for sipping or making cocktails.
It’s crafted from two distinct mash bills distilled in November of 2011. The first mash bill contains 48% winter rye, 40% corn, and 12% malted barley and the second reflects a traditional bourbon mash bill of 68% corn, 20% winter rye, and 12% malted barley. In keeping with Wyoming Whiskey’s tradition, these grains are all non-GMO and grown in Byron, Wyoming by Rageth Farms.

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Happy New Year, Thank You & A Few Thoughts

In Banter by Patrick "Pops" GarrettLeave a Comment

In less than 24 hours until we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in a brand new shiny year. Many folks online are going to write about how terrible a year 2016 was due to the election, wars, celebrity deaths, and soaring bourbon prices but I’m not going down that rabbit hole. Instead, I’m going to focus on the things I’m thankful for as we close out 2016 and offer up some news about what you can expect from Bourbon & Banter in 2017. As a bonus, I’m going to keep it short since I picked up a cold overnight and I have hard time keeping focus.

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Big O Ginger Liqueur Review & Cocktails

In Cocktails by Thomas FondanoLeave a Comment

“Big O is a premium ginger liqueur handcrafted from high-quality, all-natural ingredients and artisan-crafted spirits. Prepared with hand-chopped fresh ginger, whole spices, citrus, wine-based vodka, and brandy. Big O is a smooth, warming drink that’s both flavorful and pleasing to the palate. Big O is a superb after-dinner drink, but it is also a versatile base or modifier for creating craft cocktails, giving a fresh twist to classic concoctions or inspiring new creations sure to please any palate.”

Hmmm, no explanation there. Cheeky name aside, Big O is a tasty liqueur in a pretty bottle. Less sharp than other ginger liqueurs, it is also less sweet and more nuanced due to the addition of other spices to complement the ginger. To me, there is something reminiscent of Juicy Fruit gum in the aroma with a nice punch of ginger flavor. It’s very versatile. I recommend substituting it for sweet or fruity liqueurs like orange curaçao. Or combine Big O with club soda to make a hard ginger ale to use in a buck.