Review: Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat Ale

‘Tis the season for pumpkin-flavored everything, especially beer. I’ve never found a pumpkin ale I really loved — until now. Shock Top’s Pumpkin Wheat Ale is brisk and flavorful — in all the right ways. Shock Top is one of Anheuser Busch’s craft beer brands and it makes exclusively wheat-based beers. This limited-edition brew is…

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Review: Wines of Signaterra, 2011 Releases

Recently we went another round with Benziger, courtesy of its second label, Signaterra, an organic and sustainably-farmed line of wines. Thoughts on each of the bottlings follow. 2010 Signaterra Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Shone Farm Vineyard – Lots of vegetation on the nose, but the body is cleaner — lemons, tropical notes, some herbs.…

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Tasting the Red Wines of Languedoc, 2011 Releases

The Languedoc region of France often gets little respect, but it’s actually the largest wine region in the world, by both area and volume of production. Located on the southern, Mediterranean coast of the country, it shares a lot in common with its neighbor to the north: The Rhone Valley. These three wines are all…

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Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Cognac Finished Bourbon 10 Years Old (2011)

One of the most hotly anticipated new whiskeys to come out each year is the annual bottling of Parker’s Heritage Collection. Each year, Parker Beam puts together something dangerous and delicious, a blend of rare whiskeys, odd finishes, or just plain good Bourbon. For this release, the fifth Heritage bottling, Beam turned to an unusual…

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Review: Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey (2011)

Clontarf Classic Blend has been rebranded and upgraded to Clontarf 1014, named now in honor of one of Ireland’s most famous battles (the Battle of Clontarf, as it were) — and released just in time for a 1,000-year anniversary. As for the whiskey, nothing seems to have changed since the old version. My notes —…

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Review: Berrys’ Own Panama Rum 10 Years Old

Berry Bros., a UK wine and spirits merchant, is branching out into rum production, bringing in a variety of rums from all over the Caribbean and Latin America. We received one of the seven bottlings the company is importing, a 10 year old rum from Panama. On first blush, it’s very hot — all heady…

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Review: Montanya Colorado Platino and Oro Rum

As previously mentioned, one of my top discoveries at this year’s Ministry of Rum event was a pair of rums not from the Caribbean or South America but rather from Colorado. Yeah, that Colorado. In the U.S. These “High Mountain Rums” from Montanya (Montaña is Spanish for “mountain”) are distilled from sugar cane (not molasses)…

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Review: Tequila Gran Dovejo, Complete Lineup

This new highland tequila is a single-estate spirit, double-distilled in copper alembic stills. It is, of course, from 100% blue agave… the pinas of which are “fermented with the use of champagne yeast while the harmonious sounds of music play in the background as this is found to optimize the sugar conversion.” Hmmm. We tasted…

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