Review: Hidden Barn Bourbon Series 1

Jackie Zykan’s recent departure from Old Forester for a whiskey startup sent shockwaves through the bourbon world, and I swear you can still feel them. For those who missed it, Hidden Barn was founded by Zykan and Nate Winegar and Matt Dankner of Colorado’s 5280 Whiskey Society, and while they get their own Kentucky-based operations…

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Review: 2021 Ancient Peaks Sauvignon Blanc Paso Robles

The 2021 vintage finds us with a solid expression of sauvignon blanc from Paso Robles’s Ancient Peaks, notes of elderflower and lemon doing the heavy lifting, with hints of grapefruit and a touch of cantaloupe adding a little nuance. Slight floral notes emerge on the finish. Easy-drinking, perhaps to a fault, it’s a wine that…

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Champagne’s Challenge Is Consistency: An Interview with Maison Mumm Cellar Master Laurent Fresnet

For his first two years as Maison Mumm‘s Cellar Master, Laurent Fresnet connected with much of his audience from a distance. Fresnet assumed the role in January 2020. Just weeks later, worldwide lockdowns restricted travel and put a pause in his goal to meet face-to-face with consumers in the Champagne house’s international markets. That didn’t…

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Book Review: Bar Menu: 100+ Drinking Food Recipes for Cocktail Hours at Home

For his second book of 2022, Andre Darlington takes a detour from the pleasurable Booze & Vinyl series, taking the dominant focus off making cocktails for a few hundred pages, and examining the possibilities of how higher-end bar food can enhance a proper night in while mixing drinks. Obviously, a few cocktail recipes are included…

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Review: Bhakta 50 Armagnac “The Barrel Odyssey” (Barrels 21, 22, and 23)

Spirits mogul Raj Bhakta’s second act has pushed historic age statements into new territory, with most bottles of his Bhakta 50 Armagnac featuring at least some vintage spirit dating to 1868. The rest comes from various barrels dating between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries, with the youngest vintage produced in 1970. As such, no…

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Review: 2020 Dry Comal Creek Roussanne Texas High Plains

Clean and crisp, you could easily mistake this Texas-born wine for a lighter Rhone valley offering, the wine showing a balanced mix of baked apple, lemon curd, and crushed flowers. It’s those floral notes that endure the longest, with brisk acidity to keep things lively and refreshing — notes of honeysuckle clinging to roof of…

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Review: St. George Pear Brandy

Pear brandy isn’t exactly a universal crowd pleaser, but St. George’s expression does plenty with the finicky fruit. A heavily perfumed, linen-laden nose immediately evokes baked pears, with notes of lavender and some cinnamon present. The palate doesn’t stray far, that unflinchingly crisp note of pear balanced by more of that heavy floral quality —…

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Review: Michter’s Single Barrel Straight Rye 10 Years Old 2022

Looking forward to Michter’s 10 year old whiskey annual releases? This year you’re getting just one: the 2022 bottling of Michter’s 10 Year Old Rye. As always, this is a single barrel release of sourced Kentucky rye albeit one not bottled at cask strength. The good news is it’s a winning release for the producer,…

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