Review: 2005 Robert Hall Winery Rhone de Robles

I came to this Rhone-style blend with no real expectations. I don’t even know where the bottle came from. Color me surprised. Just sitting in the glass, three feet away, it fills the air around you with heavenly berry scents, cherry, raspberry, a precious hint of spice, and lush fruit. Blended from 44% Grenache, 40%…

Review: 2005 Robert Hall Winery Rhone de Robles
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Review: Russell’s Reserve Rye (2007)

There’s a dearth of good, affordable rye whiskey on the market. While I swear by Old Overholt, I welcome competition in the form of Russell’s Reserve (from the same folks that make Wild Turkey), a rye that, at $25, isn’t as cheap as Overholt but isn’t in the stratosphere like some high-end bottlings. Russell’s is…

Review: Russell’s Reserve Rye (2007)
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Review: Newcastle Brown Ale

One look at old standby Newcastle and you feel like you’re in for a treat. A nice medium brown but not too dark, frothy head, looks like it can’t miss, right? My latest encounter with Newcastle (reportedly the #2 imported beer in the U.S.) was hardly the experience I was hoping for. In lieu of…

Review: Newcastle Brown Ale
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Review: 2001 Travaglini Gattinara

Hey, Chianti isn’t the only Italian wine out there, folks. Give Travaglini’s Gattinara a try. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll enjoy talking about the bottle, I promise. This wine is from Gattinara in Italy’s Piedmont region and is 100% Nebbiolo, the critical grape in Barolo wines. As with Barolo, Gattinara can be big…

Review: 2001 Travaglini Gattinara
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Review: Chivas Regal 25 Years Old

Chivas Regal is one of the old reliable names of blended scotches. You probably cringe when you see, oh, Cutty Sark on the bar at a private event, right? But Chivas, yeah, that’s a name you can can behind for a shot or two. This month, Chivas Brothers rolls out an ultra-high-end 25-year-old blend, inspired…

Review: Chivas Regal 25 Years Old
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Recipe: The Ghetto Mai Tai

OK, let’s say you want to make something vaguely tropical, but you don’t have any tropical juices, coconut cream, or little umbrellas. Here’s a quick and dirty way to get a little tropical flavor into a glass with stuff you have on the shelf. The Ghetto Mai Tai 1 oz. white rum 1 oz. dark…

Recipe: The Ghetto Mai Tai
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Review: Kilo Kai Spiced Rum

When it comes to spiced rum, most people (including myself) pretty much know one brand: Good old Captain Morgan. Nothing wrong with that. The Cap’n takes boring old Bacardi and infuses it with a vague taste of the tropics and the nostalgia of, er, spice traders, pirates, and saucy wenches. The problem is that Captain…

Review: Kilo Kai Spiced Rum
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Bar Review: Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco

Last night I finally had the opportunity to visit Bourbon & Branch, courtesy of a party thrown by my friends at tech company Zannel, to see what all the fuss was about. Bourbon & Branch, or B&B, is fashioned after a speakeasy. You have to have a password, which changes daily, and a reservation, in…

Bar Review: Bourbon & Branch, San Francisco
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