Review: Wines of the Far Niente Family, 2022 Releases

The three wines below all have different names, but they’re all sister brands of Far Niente — whose fonts and design choices are consistent with the parent brand. At these prices, I certainly would call any of them “second labels.” Let’s see how they pan out in the luxe California wine space. 2019 EnRoute Pinot…

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Review: Takamine Koji Whiskey 8 Years Old

Japan’s Takamine Koji Whiskey is made using a special mold that helps convert barley into sugars for fermentation. The mold, koji, is Japan’s national mold and is utilized widely in such Japanese staples as soy sauce and miso. Their website explains how it is used to make whiskey: Takamine Koji Whiskey is made with the…

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Review: 4 Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignons, 2022 Releases

  Josh Cellars wines are widely available and consistently provide good quality for their price point. For wine drinkers that typically drink in the $10-$15 range and want to venture a little further without breaking the bank, these unapologetically big California Cabernets may be to your liking. 2019 Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon California – This…

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Review: Calirosa Tequila – Rosa Blanco and Anejo

The gimmick with Calirosa is right in the name: Instead of ex-bourbon barrels, this tequila is aged in California red wine barrels — even the blanco, for a short time — which gives the spirit a naturally pink, or rosa, hue. The operation uses a blend of highland and lowland agave and makes three expressions,…

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Book Review: Batch Cocktails

What’s the difference between a batch cocktail and a punch? Nothing really, except perhaps for scale. In Maggie Hoffman’s slim but well-tuned Batch Cocktails, each recipe will net you about 8 to 12 servings from a 2-quart pitcher. Perfect for a sizable dinner party, but if you want to host a rager, you’ll need to triple…

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Review: Old Forester The 117 Series – 1910 Extra Old

Round three of Old Forester’s 117 Series, which is cooked up by OldFo Master Taster Jackie Zykan, has arrived. The 1910 Extra Old bottling is a spin on Old Forester’s highly likable 1910 Old Fine Whisky release. It’s “Extra Old” because it spends an additional 18 months in the heavy-char barrel in which 1910 is…

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Review: Elysian Dank Dust

One of my favorite beers ever is Elysian Brewing’s Space Dust — and I’m clearly not alone on that opinion of the Seattle-based operation’s flagship beer. Well, here comes a Space Dust spinoff: Dank Dust. It uses the same hops — Chinook, Citra, and Amarillo — has the same abv, and the same IBU level.…

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Review: Tequila Partida Elegante

Elegante is arguably Partida’s most elevated offering, an extra anejo — and not a cristalino, mercifully — that spends 40 months in oak before bottling. While many extra anejos are ultra-sweet desserts in a glass, Elegante manages to keep agave clearly in its sights. The nose is peppery and green, buttressed by coconut and caramel,…

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