Review: Wines of Artesa, 2012 Releases

Artesa operates an iconic winery in Carneros (photo at right), one which is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. Recently the winery released its slate of wines for 2012. Three of these, representing the primary varietals of the area, are reviewed below. 2011 Artesa Chardonnay Carneros – A bit over-oaked. Fruit plays…

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Review: Monkey Shoulder Batch 27 Triple Malt

Monkey Shoulder is a vatted whisky that — despite being a blend of three distillery’s malts — is so rare that shots on the west coast of the U.S. have typically sold for $20 a glass… when entire bottles sell for under $30. I encountered a bottle of Monkey Shoulder on a recent trip to…

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Review: London 40 Dry Gin

How classic is London 40 Dry Gin? There’s a picture of a dude wearing a top hat on the label, that’s how. Produced by Old St. Andrews (we’ve written about its oddball whisky in the past), this gin is four-times distilled and imbued with 12 botanicals that include, in part, juniper, angelica root, almonds, nutmeg,…

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The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 12.28.2012

It’s the big Friday before New Year’s Eve, which means we get one more change to plug our Holiday Gift Guide before it goes up on the shelf in the archive next to previous years. If you’re in a pinch figuring out what to bring to that big party and wish to make a good…

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Tasting the Wines of Ribera del Duero, 2012

When it comes to Spanish wines, Rioja gets all the attention. But Ribera del Duero, just to the south and west of Rioja, is known for somewhat more affordable wines that are also primarily, and often 100%, Tempranillo (also known as Tinto Fino in Spain). Otherwise, the two regions have a lot in common, though…

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Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society December 2012 Outturn

The SMWS has released its second outturn for December, including four bottlings of whisky — three single malts and a single grain whisky. Thoughts follow on what is an extremely varied batch of spirits. SMWS Cask 3.184 – 15 year old Bowmore from Islay – A well-balanced Bowmore, with sugar and spice in good balance…

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Review: Bepi Tosolini Saliza Amaretto

If amaretto isn’t the most under-appreciated liqueur in the world I don’t know what is. Creme de menthe, maybe? It isn’t every day that a new amaretto hits the market, but here comes Saliza, a traditional Italian amaretto made from alcohol-steeped almonds (not apricot pits, as many amarettos are), flavored with sugar and colored with…

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Review: Absolut Tune

Looking for something different for a sparkling wine this New Year’s than that bottle of Freixenet? Absolut Tune is not that wine. Immediately curious — it’s a blend of Absolut Vodka and Brancott Sauvignon Blanc wine from New Zealand, then fizzed up with carbonation — this is a bold experiment for both the vodka biz…

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