Review: Maker’s Mark BRT-01 and BRT-02 2022 Limited Release

Maker’s Mark’s oddly-named annual Wood Finishing Series releases continue with 2022’s BRT-01 and BRT-02, a pair of whiskeys designed to showcase the distinct differences generated by aging at the top of the rickhouse vs. the comparably cool bottom of the rickhouse. While Maker’s Mark (and many other distilleries) rotate barrels from top to bottom over…

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Introducing Tubes, a New Single-Serve Wine System

Purchasing and opening a bottle of wine is a big commitment. With 5 or 6 glasses in a bottle that can easily cost hundreds of dollars, it’s easy to understand why the wine world is so intimidating to people. Bet wrong and you’re out a small fortune — and possibly wasting a whole lot of…

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Review: 2019 Zenato Alanera Rosso Veronese

This wine from the Valpolicella region of Verona, Italy benefits from the “appassimento” production method in which the grapes are dried before being pressed. In this case, 50% of the grapes harvested were partially dried for 45-60 days. The result is less water and more intense grape character in the tank. The grapes used are…

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A Guided Tour of Shochu from Honkaku Spirits

Christopher Pellegrini is my go-to expert on shochu. He’s lived in Japan for 20 years, has written a book about the spirit, and recently started a company, Honkaku Spirits, to export the stuff to the U.S. As Pellegrini noted during a recent, lively Zoom tasting from Japan, where we tasted 8 of his company’s products,…

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Review: Hallmark Christmas Wines, 2022 Releases

It is the most wonderful time of the year for some, and the least wonderful for others: Hallmark Christmas movie season. This Countdown to Christmas in the Hallmark Cinematic Universe (HCU) features many new faces due to major defections to other networks. However, Hallmark still wears the crown, delivering gentle films featuring weird holiday miracles…

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Review: 2020 La Posta Tinto Red Blend

  A few weeks ago, we reviewed a Pizzella Malbec from Laura Catena’s La Posta line, which showcases the versatility of growers and winemakers around Argentina and provides infrastructure for production and distribution on a large scale. This time, we’re pouring the line’s Uco Valley red blend, a composition of 60% Malbec, 25% Bonarda, and…

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Review: Booker’s Bourbon “Kentucky Tea Batch” 2022-03

After “Ronnie’s Batch” and “The Lumberyard Batch” dropped earlier this year, Booker’s Bourbon is back with 2022’s third expression: Kentucky Tea. As with all contemporary Booker’s releases, this one is named for a person, place, or concept near and dear to the Noe family, eighth generation descendants of Jim Beam and Master Distillers at his…

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Review: King Estate 2021 Sauvignon Blanc and 2021 Pinot Noir

Two recent offerings from Oregon radio pioneers-turned-wine-impresarios, the King Family. 2021 King Estate Sauvignon Blanc – Bright notes of melon and lemon are dominant throughout. Light lime and a touch of spice show up on the palate, along with some very light minerality. The acidity on the finish dominates the discussion and mutes the more…

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