Review: 2009 Pina Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons

We’re longtime fans of Pina Napa Valley, which makes exclusively Cabernet from a variety of single-vineyard parcels throughout the Valley. The 2009 bottlings are hitting the market now, all showing much riper, more velvety character than when I sampled them from barrel in 2010. Here’s what your investment (not insignificant) will get you. 2009 Pina…

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Review: The Arran Malt 10 Years Old and 14 Years Old (2012)

Sometimes notated as “Isle of Arran,” the Arran Malt is based, yes, on its own island, wedged between the peninsula of Campbeltown to the west, the Highlands to the north, and the Lowlands to the east. Established in 1995, Arran is the only active distillery on this island, though it’s nearly the size of Islay.…

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Tasting Archery Summit’s 2010 Pinots, 2011 Rose

One of the big guns of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Archery Summit makes numerous, prized Pinot Noirs. We sat down — online — with winemaker Anna Matzinger and vineyard manager Leigh Bartholomew to get a walkthrough on three of the winery’s latest releases. 2010 Archery Summit Vireton Rose of Pinot Noir – Formerly made for employees…

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Review: Bully Boy Distillers Vodka, White Rum, and White Whiskey

Boston’s first craft distiller, Bully Boy Distillers, was founded in 2010 by two brothers, Will and Dave Willis. Massachusetts natives, this deadly duo got into distilling thanks to the inspiration of their grandfather, who built an informal speakeasy on his farm, serving locally-produced hooch to friends and family. “Bully,” incidentally, is not meant to evoke…

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Review: Knob Creek Rye (2012)

Part of the Jim Beam family, the overproof Knob Creek has always been a go-to Bourbon when you wanted something a bit beefier, when the week has finally caught up with you — and yet which still exuded quality. And now you can get the kick in the form of a rye, with Knob Creek…

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Review: Elijah Craig Single Barrel Bourbon 20 Years Old

Recently named American Whiskey of the Year by Whisky Advocate, this rarity from Heaven Hill’s Elijah Craig brand has some big expectations to live up to. Distilled and barreled in 1991, it’s been lingering for 20 years before being bottled for your drinking pleasure. As John Hansell notes in the blog post linked above, Heaven…

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Review: Lost Spirits Distillery Seascape Peated American Whiskey

It isn’t every day we get to write about a product before anyone else on the planet. Recently I was one of the first people to ever taste Lost Spirits’ inaugural whiskey release, poured from a bottle so fresh the label hadn’t even been printed for it. With only 170 or 180 bottles produced, Seascape…

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Review: George Dickel Tennessee Whiskies – Cascade Hollow, No. 8, and No. 12

Like Jack Daniel’s, George Dickel is not Bourbon. That’s not because, like Jack, it’s made in Tennessee instead of Kentucky; you can still make Bourbon down there (or anywhere in the U.S. now). Rather, like Jack again, it is filtered through charcoal before it goes into the barrel, a no-no in the Bourbon world. [Update:…

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