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Half-Year in Review: Best of 2013 thus far

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Hello again readers. It's hard to believe it is already halfway through 2013. There have already been some fantastic experiences and product reviews thus far this year and here are the best of them.

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Flavored 'Shine Series: Midnight Moon Strawberry and Ole Smoky Cherry - Definitely had fun reviewing these two as both of these products surprised me with their balanced sweetness and bold fruit flavors. Protip: Be careful with eating the fruit in both of these products though, because they are much stronger than you might expect or imagine.

Macallan Fine Oak 15 Single Malt Scotch - Although this product was used to launch a new series and didn't fare well in the original article, my intention was not to make it seem as though it is inferior or bad by any means. This is still a Macallan spirit, and it is still delicious.

Blaque Rain Vodka Tasting Event at Cigar Time - Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being able to attend a tasting event for a new Houston-based vodka product, Blaque Rain. Jeri Hardin and her team had their unflavored, blueberry/pomegranate, and iced cake flavors on-hand for everyone to try and all of them were very tasty. I enjoyed meeting the crew and had a blast enjoying cigars with everyone else that attended. If you are out in the Missouri City area, I urge you to check out Cigar Time. Also, look for Blaque Rain in stores later this year.

Jack Daniel's Unaged Distiller's Run Tennessee Rye - The first new grain bill whiskey product out of the famed Lynchburg distillery in quite some time, this unaged spirit delighted me with its smooth drinkability that was offset by its boisterous flavor profile. There aren't a ton of bottles of that run left, but if you find one, buy it for your collection.

Waterloo Texas Gin - A relatively new entrant in the growing list of spirits brands here in Texas, Waterloo impressed me with its smoothness despite a higher alcohol content than some brands. Of course the botanical infusion method the company chose for this gin also was notable as well as it lended a distinct redolence to the final product that in my view separates it from the pack.

And my favorite experience/review of the year thus far goes to......

Yellow Rose Rye Whiskey - At this point, I probably don't need to explain how much I love this company and their products. This is still my favorite rye whiskey and I'm quite sure it will remain as such for a long time. If you find it, pick it up for yourself. You'll be glad you did.

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