Review: 2009 Mossback Cabernet Sauvignon Chalk Hill

It’s rare to find such an affordable Cab from a reputable area. Mossback (a slang term for a farmer) makes a variety of wines, including this Cabernet sourced entirely from the Chalk Hill AVA, in and around Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. The blend is 77% Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon and 23% Chalk Hill Merlot. The…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Greenbrier Gin

  We recently raved about Smooth Ambler’s Yearling whiskey. Now we’ve got another, far different, spirit from the same company up for consideration. In a world increasingly dominated by flowery, lighter-styled gins, the small batch Greenbrier Gin is a whole different animal. It’s a juniper bomb without being overpowering, far more herbal than floral, which…

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Review: 2010 Cryptic Red Wine California

An all-over-Cali blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel (the varietals are scrambled on the label — get it?), this new budget vino from the Purple Wine Co. empire is an easy drinker with the jammy, overripe character that should be all-too familiar to the on-sale wine drinker. Heavy maraschino cherry, plum jam, and…

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Review: Camus Ile de Re Cognacs

Most (myself included) think of Cognac hailing from a small region in France just north of Bordeaux. But did you know that you can make Cognac (legally) on an island off the coast of France? To be fair, Ile de Re isn’t far offshore — it’s connected to the mainland via a bridge — but…

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Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Rye Whiskey

Buffalo Trace’s Col. E.H. Taylor, Jr. brand continues rolling along with this fifth expression, a bottled-in-bond rye. The mashbill is interesting and unusual: Only rye and malted barley, no corn. The proportion of each isn’t disclosed, but it’s definitely heavy on the rye. At 100 proof (like all bottled-in-bond whiskey is), it’s surprisingly hot. I…

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Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society September 2012 Outturn

Another outturn from SMWS, this one including my first grain whisky sample from SMWS, covering September 2012. SMWS Cask 2.81 – 15 year old Glenlivet from Speyside – Blazing Glenlivet that’s turned out from first-fill sherry butts. (It’s unclear how long the whisky spends in the sherry casks, but based on the deep Bourbon-brown color,…

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Hennessy Releases Limited Edition Artists’ Bottling

Why is there primary color squiggling all over your Hennessy? Because the company hired street artist “Futura” to graffiti up their label for a limited edition run of the Henny. You can check out both the bottle and the artist below. Just 200,000 bottles are being produced. Ahem. Inside it’s still the same Hennessy, VS-class…

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Review: Kahlua Iced Coffee Grab & Go Cocktails

You can pour your Kahlua into coffee, or you can get it in one-stop format, thanks to Kahlua’s new “grab & go” canned cocktails. (I’m not sure where you’re supposed to be “going” with one of these in hand, but that’s another story.) Each of these pre-mixed cocktails are fairly self-explanatory, and each includes 100%…

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