Review: 2021 Kerrville Hills Trebbiano Pepper Jack Vineyards

This Texas High Plains wine is made from trebbiano grapes, which is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world — but which is primarily associated with Italy. Let’s see what the middle of Texas can do with the increasingly global varietal. What initially starts out as a pleasant, almost innocuous wine soon…

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Sonic Enhancement and Masters of Whiskey: An Interview with Blackened’s Rob Dietrich

Rob Dietrich is a busy guy. As Master Distiller & Blender of Blackened — the whiskey brand co-founded by rock supergroup Metallica — he’s involved in almost every aspect of the company’s sourcing, blending, marketing, and even distribution. And while Blackened sources their distillate from other sources, its “Black Noise” aging process adds an additional…

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Review: 2018 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone

Maison Guigal makes a wide range of wines in the Rhone Valley. This Cotes du Rhone bottling is one of its most affordable and widely available. Let’s try the latest vintage, 2018. The wine is quite intense — and more so than I was expecting. Classic syrah-forward notes of turned earth and roast meats meld…

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Review: Laphroaig Cairdeas Warehouse 1 Edition 2022

For 2022, Laphroaig’s special-edition Cairdeas release eschews fancy finishes and sticks with the tried and true. This release has been exclusively matured in ex-bourbon casks (from Maker’s Mark) and aged in Laphroaig’s Warehouse 1, a historic and iconic building that has stood on Laphroaig’s property for close to 200 years. And that’s the gist. This…

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Review: Austin Cocktails Mojito, Ruby Red, and Margarita (2022)

If you can guess where Austin Cocktails is based, we’ll buy you a drink next time you’re in town. You can probably also guess how the brand works: Canned cocktails, slightly fizzy, sweetened with agave and made using real spirits; two servings to an 8 oz. can. All three cocktails in the brand’s lineup are…

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Review: Teeling Single Pot Still Chinkapin Oak Irish Whiskey

A couple years ago, Dublin’s Teeling put out a single pot still bottling made from a 50/50 blend of malted and unmalted barley, which was triple distilled and matured in a combination of American virgin oak, bourbon, and sherry casks. Now Teeling is back with a twist on the formula, aging the whiskey in full…

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Review: Stambecco Maraschino Cherry Amaro

Monte Stambecco is an Italian Alpine distillery named for the Italian word for the ibex goat which roams the mountain terrain nearby. The ibex appears on the label, where he is surely on the prowl for the one product made here, a bittersweet amaro distilled in copper pot stills and infused with Marasca cherries, sweet…

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Review: Grander Panama Rum Trophy Release 20B08 (2022)

Apologies on the long wait for this review of Grander’s latest Trophy Release, which began in 2020 and has been intended as a twice-yearly edition. Release 20B08 — they’re now indicated with release information on the front label — hit in early 2022, and it’s a batch of 6 barrels from Panama — three 8…

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