Review: 2019 Nicolas-Jay Pinot Noir L’Ensemble Willamette Valley

Here’s a curious wine born from a  partnership between music entrepreneur Jay Boberg and Burgundian winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo, which has been producing Oregon pinot noir in the Willamette Valley since 2014. “Meaning “together” or “whole” in French, this cuvée brings together fruit from Jay and Jean-Nicolas’ favorite vineyards and the best resulting barrels from each.”…

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Review: Redwood Empire Cask Strength Pipe Dream, Emerald Giant, and Lost Monarch

Recently, Sonoma-based Graton Distillery debuted cask strength versions of its forest-inspired core lineup: Lost Monarch, Pipe Dream, and Emerald Giant. For details on each of the trees that inspired those names, you can flip back to our reviews from 2019. Specifics on the whiskeys themselves are covered in our reviews below, but all are presumably…

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Review: Santa Fe Spirits Colkegan Unsmoked Single Malt Whiskey

The original Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey is best known for the New Mexico-based distiller’s use of mesquite to dry the barley, which imparts a bold, distinctively American smokiness to the final product. Today we are trying something quite different from Colkegan, an unsmoked American single malt. As with the earlier release, this whiskey was also…

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Review: More Whiskeys of Starlight Distillery: Carl T. Huber’s Bonded, Rickhouse Select Single Barrel, and Old Rickhouse Double Oaked

Indiana’s Starlight Distillery continues to produce a rainbow of whiskey offerings from double-oaked expressions to special cask finishes and a dizzying number of single barrel picks in between. Availability, other than private selections for clubs and liquor stores, remains a bit of a mystery as their offerings appear hard to find outside of Total Wine…

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Review: C.L. Butaud 2020 Cease & Desist and 2019 Tempranillo

The black-on-black label of Texas-based C.L. Butaud is as hard to miss as is it is to read. I channeled my inner Johnny Cash to taste this pair of recent releases. 2020 C.L. Butaud Cease & Desist Red Blend Texas High Plains – A tempranillo-heavy blend with cinsault, grenache, and counoise added (if I’m reading…

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Review: New Riff Maltster T50 Crystal Malt Bourbon and Aroostock Malted Rye

New Riff has been on a malt kick of late, beginning with their Maltster Bourbons and Malted Rye in 2021 and followed by a sherry-finished version of the same malted rye in the spring of 2022. The distillery is continuing its exploration of malted grains with two recent limited-edition offerings: Maltster T50 Crystal Malt Bourbon…

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Review: Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops (2022)

Brooklyn Brewery is back again with another bottling — well, a canning, this year — of its iconic bourbon barrel-aged Black Ops, which for the fourth year running is a collaboration with Four Roses bourbon. The 2022 Black Ops Imperial Stout spent 9 months finishing in Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon barrels — in other…

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Review: Mortlach Midnight Malt 30 Years Old

Mortlach‘s famous 2.81-times distilled whiskey takes one of its oldest and most exotic forms in the bottling of the new Midnight Malt, a 30 year old whisky finished in Bordeaux wine, Calvados, and Guatemalan rum seasoned casks, then blended and married in custom quarter-sized casks before bottling. The annual release will see just 350 bottles…

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