Review: Blackheart Spiced Rum

Spiced rum continues to grow as a category as every distiller on earth realizes that Captain Morgan has been sucking down cash for years with no competition. This latest brand, Blackheart, comes from Heaven Hill, home of Evan Williams bourbon and Christian Brothers brandy. (Also, it is not to be confused with Black Heart Rum,…

Read More about Review: Blackheart Spiced Rum

Review: Deschutes Brewery Hop Henge Experimental IPA (2010)

Part of Deschutes’ Bond Street series, Hop Henge IPA is in limited release through April, a strong beer (8.75 percent alcohol) with even stronger hop content. “Several pounds” of hops go into each barrel of this beer, with crystal, pale, and carastan malts dropped into the mix. The result is intense and challenging: Very bitter…

Read More about Review: Deschutes Brewery Hop Henge Experimental IPA (2010)

Review: Highland Park 1968 Limited Edition

It’s not every day I get to sample a four-figures-a-bottle whiskey. This week I got to try two side by side. Highland Park brought out its newest bottling — the vintage-dated 1968 Limited Edition (bottled in 2008, it’s a 40-year-old whisky) — which is on the cusp of being released into the wilds. At $4,000…

Read More about Review: Highland Park 1968 Limited Edition

Review: Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Immediate bummer: Upon pouring a bit of Solerno into your glass, Solerno turns out not to be bright red like the bottle’s appearance — and blood orange juice — would indicate (the glass is tinted, ya see) but rather nearly clear, like Cointreau, just with a slight yellow tinge. Solerno is indeed just a spin…

Read More about Review: Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Review: 2006 Erath Pinot Noir Prince Hill and Leland

Erath produces a surfeit of wines in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, primarily pinot noirs. We were fortunate enough to try two of the winery’s single-vineyard pinot bottlings (of which there are at least a dozen in total), both from 2006. 2006 Erath Prince Hill Pinot Noir Willamette Valley is a silky wine, rich with earth and…

Read More about Review: 2006 Erath Pinot Noir Prince Hill and Leland

Tasting Tempranillo with Ramon Bilbao, 2010 Releases

Tempranillo has always been a tricky grape for me, lacking a distinct archetypal style like you get with, say, pinot noir, cabernet, or even (to a lesser extent) zinfandel. Recently I attended a tasting from Spanish winery Ramon Bilbao, which focuses on tempranillo and a few Spanish whites to whet your palate with. Winemaker Rodolfo…

Read More about Tasting Tempranillo with Ramon Bilbao, 2010 Releases

Review: Rochioli 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and 2007 Pinot Noir

Rochioli Vineyards is known for limited releases of high-end pinot, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay. While the next vintage is now coming on the market, we were lucky to get samples of its 2008 sauvignon blanc and 2007 pinot noir bottlings for review. Here’s how they stack up! 2008 Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley is…

Read More about Review: Rochioli 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and 2007 Pinot Noir

Review: Knappogue Castle 1994 Master Distiller’s Private Selection

We were lucky enough to land one of just 1,100 bottles of Knappogue Castle’s 1994 Master Distiller’s Private Selection Irish whiskey, a single malt Irish — hand numbered and signed by the son of the distillery’s founder, Mark Andrews III. Aged 14 years, it’s hard to imagine this whiskey spent that much time in cask.…

Read More about Review: Knappogue Castle 1994 Master Distiller’s Private Selection