Review: 2018 Hook or Crook Field Blend and Zinfandel

Hook or Crook is a “quiet little winery” in California’s Lodi region, where it produces a range of wines typical to the area — think zinfandel plus the usual Cali suspects — all at extremely reasonable prices. We received a pair of recent bottlings for review. 2018 Hook or Crook Cellars Field Blend Red Wine…

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Review: East Brother Double IPA

East Brother’s latest is a big fat double IPA, clocking in at 8% alcohol and loaded with Simcoe and Azaaca hops. It’s hugely creamy but surprisingly a little bit sour, a mango-laced body countered by notes of grapefruit peel, piney hops, and a touch of white wine vinegar. Some baking spice  gives the finish a…

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Review: Bird of Courage Roasted Turkey Flavored Whiskey

Tamworth Distilling, New Hampshire’s strangest distillery and the outfit responsible for such oddities as Deerslayer Venison Flavored Whiskey, turns in another unusual non-vegan whiskey release, House of Tamworth Bird of Courage. Per the company, “The roasted turkey flavored whiskey is limited-edition and birthed from a barrel of 5-year-old Bottled in Bond bourbon steeped with a…

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Review: 2021 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau and Nouveau Rose

It’s been years since I’ve tasted a Beaujolais Nouveau, a wine famous for being the first wine released of every vintage year, bottled weeks after the harvest and released on the third Thursday of each November. (Tradition states that these wines should be consumed before the end of the year.) Years ago, the folks that…

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Review: Nutrl Vodka Seltzers, Complete Lineup

Nutrl is a new line of ready-to-drink vodka seltzers flavored with real fruit juice, launched by Anheuser-Busch. There’s nothing particularly unique about the product line, but Nutrl is hoping to win over fans by offering these “unpretentious and uncomplicated,” refreshing, sessionable, low-calorie (100 calories per can), low-alcohol drinks, made with just vodka, seltzer, and real…

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Review: Sunday’s Finest Gold Fashioned Craft Cocktail (2021)

Has the ready-to-drink cocktail market jumped the shark? While ultra-cheap offerings are increasingly commonplace, a Chicago outfit called Sunday’s Finest is marketing a ready-to-drink Old Fashioned — called the Gold Fashioned — that is premium in every way, “the world’s first luxury ready-to-drink cocktail.” How premium? A 750ml bottle is $150. That’s how premium. It’s…

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Review: 2016 Frescobaldi Tenuta Perano Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG

This 2016 bottling of Tenuta Perano Chianti Classico Riserva, made by the Frescobaldi family, has austerity to spare. This bold bottling feels like it’s still a bit out of reach for ideal consumption, a bit tough and balsamic today, its cherry-fueled core choked by notes of blackberry brambles, dark chocolate, and a slightly weedy character…

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Review: Dewar’s Japanese Smooth Mizunara Cask Finish 8 Years Old

Dewar’s “Smooth” blended Scotch whisky #4 is here, an obvious addition to the lineup which is finished in Japanese Mizunara oak casks. The whisky carries an 8 year old age statement, but the finishing time is not disclosed. Let’s give it a try. Well, I’ve had a lot of Japanese whisky and I’m hard-pressed to…

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