Drinkhacker’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving! While you’re enjoying your turkey, stuffing, and pie, many a thanksgiver’s thoughts turn to booze. Specifically, what one might buy for a favored loved one come holiday time. I’ve collected all my favorite spirits from 2011 here for you, but this is just a small sampling of what’s worthy on the market right…

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Review: 2007 Stoller SV Estate Pinot Noir

Stoller Vineyards is an organic and eco-friendly winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills region of the Willamette Valley, specializing in Chardonnay and (of course) Pinot Noir. With this 2007 SV Estate Pinot Noir, Stoller pumps out a textbook Oregon Pinot, stuffed with dried herbs, licorice, and dark berries. It’s almost unripe, really, as if the grapes…

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Tasting Report: Bonhams Pre-Auction Event October 2011

Apologies for how long it’s taken me to get around to typing up my notes on the latest tasting from the auctioneers at Bonhams, but hey, these wines aren’t going anywhere. The most recent event featured a quintet of Champagnes, lots of old French Burgundy and Bordeaux, and finished up with some interesting New World…

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Review: Kansas Spirit Whiskey

You’re not in Kansas any more, Dorothy. Oh, wait, you are in Kansas, drinking Kansas whiskey. Fittingly called Kansas Clean Distilled Spirit Whiskey, this new brand from the newly-formed Fabulous American Beverages company (no, that’s the company’s name), is unconventional in just about every way. For starters, it’s from Kansas, not Kentucky, and it’s distilled…

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Review: Founders Brewing CBS (Canadian Breakfast Stout)

Nothing quite signifies the change of seasons so strikingly as the tendency for breweries to release thicker and heavier beers in the colder months. It therefore seems fitting that Michigan-based Founders chose this time to release its Canadian Breakfast Stout, or CBS as it is affectionately abbreviated on the bottle. Formerly a draft-only offering, this…

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Review: Firefly Mint Tea Vodka

“Messing with a classic” is always a danger, and Firefly‘s mint-flavored version of its classic Sweet Tea Vodka is indeed a bit of a distraction from what makes this vodka stand out. The tea character is certainly there, as is a healthy slug of mint. But while that tea remains authentic and smooth, the mint…

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Thanksgiving Cocktails from Skyy Spirits

This Thursday you can stuff your face the old-fashioned way, or you can go boozy. These five concoctions come from our friends at Skyy Spirits — I’m not sure if you want to try for all five this Thursday, but a couple of alcoholic twists on the Thanksgiving feast aren’t going to kill anyone… Cocktail…

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Tasting Report: Wines of Mendocino, November 2011

The weather’s been surprisingly delightful in Mendocino this fall, and a recent excursion to the coast brought not fog and drizzle but sunshine, warmth, and sea breezes. We took the opportunity to visit a number of wineries along the Mendo wine trail, finding some new Anderson Valley favorites in Phillips Hill’s lush Pinot Noirs, squirreled…

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