Review: Germain-Robin Pear de Pear Liqueur

The pear gets minimal respect in the booze biz. Heck, even apples have high-end brandies dedicated to them — in multiple countries, no less. In comparison, pear brandies are normally unaged quickie spirits. Finding a pear spirit that’s spent time in oak is almost unheard of. Craft Distillers’ Joe Corley cares not for any of…

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Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society November 2012 Outturn

Another five-whisky month from the SMWS. Thoughts follow on each spirit in the outturn — easily the best month in recent memory for the SMWS. SMWS Cask 16.32 – 10 year old Glenturret from the Highlands – Lightly smoky Highlands whisky finished in (refill) Port pipes? I never would have thought of the combination, but…

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Review: 2009/2010 Zinfandels of Ravenswood

It’s been three years since we’ve sat down with Ravenswood and its surprisingly exhaustive lineup of Zinfandels. Best known for its sub-$10 Vintners Blend, the winery produces a wide range of Zins, including seven single-vineyard designates. We got our hands on two of the “Old Vine” wines from 2010 and four of the single vineyard…

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The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 11.16.2012

Welcome to the weekend and welcome to the Drinkhacker Shopping List, a weekly compendium of the reviews we’ve featured over the last few weeks. Note: The Drinkhacker shopping list will be going on hiatus for a few weeks so that we may design and bring your our annual holiday guide and some year-end selections. Related…

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Review: Tequila Regional Blanco

Tequila Regional (“Ray-he-o-nahl”) is the product of a sort of agave collective of farmers in Mexico; 36 farms from 7 counties are represented. This is a rare 100% agave tequila that’s sourced from both highlands and lowlands agave, then blended into the final bottling. Blanco, reposado, and anejo bottlings are on the market. We sampled…

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Review: 2008 Ladera Vineyards Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

This 2008 Cab from Ladera is surprisingly restrained, particularly odd given its pedigree from Howell Mountain, where rugged, punchy, and flavor-filled wines are habitually made. I’ve greatly enjoyed this bottling in both its 2007 and 2005 vintages, but for 2008, Ladera’s Howell Mountain Cab feels dialed back, almost like it’s pulling its punches a bit.…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 11.15.2012

A very engaging study issued by Wine Industry Insight reports that fewer folks are enjoying fancy wines or putting stock into wine reviews the way they used to. Still relevant? You decide. [Wine Industry Insight] John Hansell and Whisky Advocate have posted their top releases of 2012. While we won’t spoil all the fun for your…

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Review: Journeyman Ravenswood Rye Whiskey

Journeyman Distillery operates in Three Oaks, Michigan, where it makes a wide range of white spirits and this rye, its only “brown” liquor at present (though numerous more are on the way). Formerly made at the Koval Distillery, Journeyman is now making it at home. The mashbill is an unusual blend of Minnesota rye and…

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