I first enjoyed this great tequila at river float party in Texas. They had a wide range of tequilas some extremely expensive. It was agreed by most that this reasonable priced tequila was as good or better than many of the higher priced offerings.  It defines smoothness and agave flavor. It has been distilled from carefully selected ten year old blue agave plants and aged in new oak barrels. I like to keep it in the freezer and sip it nice and cold.

       Elizabeth's Pick:  Alma Negra M blend 

Whiskey is usually my drink of choice, in any form, but the Aged Caribbean Rums from Baltimore's own Old Line Spirits have won me over. Old Line Spirits is located in the Highlandtown neighborhood of Baltimore city, where they produce a myriad of enjoyable libations, but their Aged Caribbean and Navy Strength Aged Caribbean rums take the cake. Being a whiskey drinker, most rum that I have run into in my life have been way too sweet for my palate, but I was pleasantly surprised with these picks. Both have been aged 7 years in used bourbon barrels and feature a lighter sweetness than most rum, while still managing to pack a punch of vanilla, oak, and butterscotch flavors. These deep rooted flavors are where t his rum separates itself from the pack for me. I absolutely love the fact that Old Line has taken a well produced rum and made it even more enticing with the natural flavors of sugar cane and oak bourbon barrels. I prefer to use the Aged Caribbean rum (84 proof) to craft my favorite rum and whiskey cocktails (yeah, it has THAT MUCH bourbon bite to it), but prefer the higher alcohol content of the Navy Strength (114 proof) when drinking rum neat or with an ice ball. Happy drinking and enjoy!

       Michael's Pick: Firesteed 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 

A very fruit driven wine that is juicy on the palate,  with cranberry, raspberry and cherry notes, that bring you to hints of spice with herbs notes and a touch of white pepper. The finish is rounded by a hint of vanilla and strawberry and a.nice crisp acidity that would make this wine a perfect food pair with a wide of array of choices, basically you can't go wrong pairing this wine with just about any dish.


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I have been a fan of Catena wines for a long while… even before they started receiving high points from the “experts”.  After meeting with the winemaker Nicolas Catena who brought us the wines under the Catena Zapatas Malbecs and sensing his pride when he talked about the wines he makes, I just had a feeling they were all going to be winners. His son Ernesto is the winemaker of the Alma Negra M blend so he has been well taught. Alma Negra M blend is something special - it went straight to the top of my list!

The color of this wine is so intense it almost stains the glass, and the fragrance jumps right out as you begin to pour.  It has a full-bodied texture, the taste is jammy and delicious, and it is so well-structured that layers of flavors continue to build with every new sip. It’s a powerful wine, yet it has such a silky mouthfeel to it, it’s hard to describe.  The tannins are so very soft and ripe, just at the peak of perfection - it is truly love at first sip!

I recently served this wine with a special dinner of veal Osso Buco, and it was just as perfect as I knew it would be. After all that work, I wasn’t taking any chances! I also enjoy Alma Negra M with roasted lamb, but you know, I’d recommend it for just about any high quality red meat – the heartier, the better! This is one of those wines that you always wish you could have just one more glassful after the bottle’s empty.  The next time I see anyone from the Catena family, I’m going to tell him he should package an 800 ml bottle, just for me!

       Alex's Pick: Old Line Spirits' Aged Caribbean Rums 

                  Mikes Pick: Reservoir Hollands Ghost

       Michael's Pick: Gran Centenario Anejo Tequila 

It is certainly true that time waits for no one. So, why not slow it down with this 100% Monastrell from Jumilla, Spain? A bright, full nose of ripe red fruit and violet carry on to the palate, and cranberry, bramble and new wood finishes. I like to call this wine a "winter warmer." A nice wine to curl up in front of a fireplace with friends, or a significant other. Or enjoy with any food that is bold. Like pizza, cheeseburgers, or a nice rib-eye! It is a wine that warms the soul, and seemingly slows down time.        


A hauntingly delicious single barrel bourbon, finished in Ardent Breweries stout barrels. This is a collaboration of local distillers and breweries in Richmond, Virginia. This bourbon boasts with a full-bodied creaminess with hints of oak and caramel. The finish is velvety, with hints of chocolate. Which makes this a bourbon worthy of a quiet evening with the cats or sharing with friends!    

                                             

       Rachel's Pick: Time Waits for No One

Staff Picks