Rachel Halpren

Dancing Pines Bourbon Whiskey Review

This bourbon hails from a small craft distillery in Loveland Colorado - the brainchild of a wife-husband-husband's father combo! Dancing Pines is one of many new craft distilleries that have been popping up across America that have embraced the modern American whiskey renaissance with it's bourbon whiskey. Yes, Dancing Pines does produce a bourbon. We like to point that out as many people think that bourbon can only come from Kentucky. Bourbon can come from anywhere in the United States but only Kentucky bourbon can come from Kentucky.

Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review

Appearance: clean, medium minus tawny golden color with thick legs

Nose:  clean with a medium intensity of corn, kernel, maple syrup, brown sugar, floral and muted oak 

Palate: dry, integrated but spicy alcohol, medium notes of corn, kernel, sourdough, maple syrup, cinnamon, pepper and soft oak.  Medium finish with notes of kernel and sourdough

Rating:  Average to good.  Basic bourbon that sees limited time in oak so the wood influence is muted.  This allows the … Read more

Water Cocktails

One of the hottest trends this year has been Water Cocktails! You may ask, what is a water cocktail? I had that same question when I first heard the term.

Happy National Coffee Day

National Coffee Day: It's time to get your buzz on and for once we don't mean with booze ... OK, so coffee and booze make a good pair

The Life of a Spirits Judge

Recently, I had the honor of judging not one but two events. Needless to say, I was thrilled with the opportunities and learned so much.

Judgment of Paris – Literary Monday

For any of you movie buffs, the 1976 battle between French wines and their upstart American counterparts entitled the "Judgment of Paris" was chronicled in the highly fictionalized movie Bottleshock. While Bottleshock was certainly entertaining and spotlighted the super cute Chris Pine, it didn't exactly stick to the story. If you are interested in how the tale actually unfolded, pick up George Tabor's Judgment of Pari

A Taste of Bourbon

Each September marks Bourbon Heritage Month. While there are other spirits with connections to America - think colonial rum and apple brandy - no spirit is as quintessentially American as bourbon. Bourbon is an amber colored whiskey that must be made from a mash consisting of a majority of corn, matured in charred American oak barrels and bottled at no less than 80 proof.

The Artisan Soda Workshop – Literary Monday

Long live soda! Or, maybe I should say long live elixirs, potions and concoctions. Long before Coca Cola and Pepsi ruled the "soda scene", there were local pharmacists, soda jerks and soda fountains that were slinging their wares. And, many people acted as their own alchemists at home brewing up concoctions. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, Andrew Lynn in the The Artisan Soda Workshop harkens back to these days. Ms. Lynn does a terrific job of providing a number of recipes that you can use or adapt to make your own "soda". I use "soda" loosely as a number of these recipes result in drinks that many would not consider "soda" on their own, yet alone with some well place boozey additions.

Booze For Charity

I was a spectator at the Macallan Ice Ball Plunge at this year's Tales of the Cocktail when I was struck with an epiphany. The booze industry is even more philanthropic than I thought. Almost every person in the industry that we know has donated time, booze, classes, swag and more. Even DOTW has gotten into the act, sponsoring the Martini Luge at the Silicon Valley Humane Society's Fur Ball and donating multiple classes as fundraising items.
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