Review: Sparkle Donkey Tequila – Silver and Reposado

It’s one of the most fanciful product names we’ve encountered in a while, but once of the most apt, too: Sparkle Donkey Tequila features an armor-clad donkey on its label. “El Burro Esparkalo.” Brought to us by the makers of Bakon Vodka, Sparkle Donkey is a 100% agave tequila with a legit heritage — extra-long…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 10.29.2012

‘Tis the season for giving: Napa Valley based Rosenblum Cellars has released a new line of wines in partnership with author Joel Stein with a portion of the proceeds going to local Meals on Wheels charities. Stark Raving Wines will arrive in four varieties (red, white, Cabernet and Malbec), and will have a kick-off promotional…

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Review: George Dickel Rye

Everyone is getting in on the rye game, and the latest to join the party is George Dickel, which has crafted this whiskey from 95% rye and 5% malted barley, then aged it for five-plus years. Sourced from Indiana (where plenty of rye is being produced for just about everyone), it’s still made to Tennessee…

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Review: Charbay R5 Clear and Aged Hop-Flavored Whiskey

Whiskey is (basically) made from beer, so why not make it from really good beer? For its long-awaited R5 whiskey, California’s Charbay (best known for its high-end flavored vodkas) took Bear Republic’s beloved Racer 5 IPA and put it through a still. This is not an inexpensive task: 10 gallons of beer distill down to…

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Tasting Wines with Francesca Planeta, 2012 Releases

Planeta is one of the major winemakers of Sicily, a family affair that features six boutique wineries scattered around the island, its 30+ wines representing nearly every part of the area. Francesca Planeta, the matriarch of the family, recently dropped in on San Francisco and treated us to lunch and discussion of Planeta’s production. (Only…

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Review: 2010 Breggo Pinot Noir Anderson Valley Savoy Vineyard

Breggo is a blue chip winery in Mendocino, based in Boonville and the proprietor of the Savoy Vineyard, located in the heart of this region’s Anderson Valley. While Breggo makes a wide range of wines, Anderson Valley is Pinot country, and this 2010 bottling is the flagship. The 2010 Savoy Vineyard bottling features a shocking…

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Review: Casa Sauza XA Extra Anejo Edicion Limitada

Sauza may be best known for making inexpensive yet perfectly drinkable 100% agave tequila, but now it’s raising the bar with an extra anejo called Casa Sauza XA. This fancy-pants bottling is indeed extra-old, 100% aged three years in a combination of new and used American oak barrels. The bottle is something like I’ve never…

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The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 10.26.2012

Once again it is time for the Drinkhacker Shopping List, a weekly compendium of the reviews we’ve featured for the last few weeks. Along with the regular reviews, we’ve also had several extensive tasting reports not included on the list: Wines of Italy’s Morellino di Scansano DOCG Wines of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, SF Roadshow 2012…

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