Tasting Olson Ogden’s 2012 Lineup with Proprieter John Ogden

After seeing the praises heaped upon Olson Ogden’s most recent vintages, I finally pestered proprietor John Ogden into getting a look at them firsthand. In fact, he invited us over for dinner and a tasting, where we walked through all six of the winery’s current releases, all 2009 releases save for the lone white wine.…

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Review: Plantation 3 Stars White Rum

Plantation is known for its double-aged, high-end rums from all over the Caribbean. So it comes as a surprise to find the company producing its first ever white rum. Called three stars because the blend is mixed from rums from Barbados, Trinidad, and Jamaica. And rest assured, this isn’t straight off the still. Unaged rum…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2012 Edition

There are a few things you can count on in the whiskey world, and one of them is the annual release of Buffalo Trace’s always-anticipated Antique Collection, a compilation of five very old and very rare American whiskeys that pretty much sell out immediately once they land on store shelves. (I’ve seen bars where these…

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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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