Review: Wines of Big House, 2009 Releases

Big House operates out of Monterey County next to the Soledad State Correctional Facility. While rumor has long held that the prison produces the wine, that’s not the case — it’s just a gimmick, but a good one, for a really affordable and generally quite drinkable, venerable brand of wine. We tried the winery’s three…

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Review: He’Brew Rejewvenator Harvest to Harvest Ale

The good folks at Shmaltz Brewing Company have no shortage of good humor. Brewing under the “He’Brew” label, the company’s kosher beers play up Jewish stereotypes to a hilt, and they never apologize for it along the way. The company’s latest experiment is Rejewvenator, a “half doppelbock, half Belgian style dubbel” which is brewed with…

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Review: Bowmore 12 Years Old

One of the big names of Islay, Bowmore is a staple of bars around the world. Bowmore’s 12 year old bottling is its youngest single malt with an age statement, and it’s a solid entry point to Bowmore’s typical structure. Moderately gold/amber in color, Bowmore 12 offers a mild nose with a somewhat hot character.…

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Review: Four Roses Mariage Collection Bourbon 2009 Edition

Has it really been a year since Four Roses put out its first Mariage Collection bourbon? I was a huge fan of the 2008 edition, Four Roses again blends two batches of whiskey together to create a sophisticated blended bourbon. The two whiskeys this time out are a rye-heavy 10-year-old bourbon and an ancient 19-year-old…

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Review: Lhasa Beer

Drink your way to Tibetan freedom? Now that is philanthropy that’s hard to pass up, and Lhasa, the first beer ever to be exported from Tibet, donates 10 percent of profits to doing good deeds in its homeland. So you can drink up and feel good about it. Lhasa is a lighter style pilsner, just…

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Boston Gets Its Own Absolut

Following New Orleans and Los Angeles, Boston now gets its own signature flavored version of Absolut vodka. Frankly this one sounds like the best version yet. (What, you were expecting chowder flavor?) This month, the world’s most iconic vodka celebrates the pride and spirit of Boston with the debut of its newest city-inspired flavor –…

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Tasting Report: Family Winemakers of California 2009

Hey Drinkhacker fans! Sorry for the long absence, but rest assured we’ve not been sleeping on the job. We’ve been drinking — wine, and plenty of it. This week saw 2009’s Family Winemakers of California event, billed as the biggest wine event in the world and, as I noted last year, that’s not a boast.…

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Review: 2007 Van Duzer Estate Pinot Noir

This Willamette Valley pinot noir offers classic Burgundy character: Big black cherry core, earthy underscoring, and hints of herbs like lavender and violet. The body is moderate, with a bracing tartness that pairs well with food. Though very young, Van Duzer’s Estate Pinot makes for reasonably easy drinking today, though I suspect a couple of…

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