Review: NV Ficklin Vineyards Old Vine Tinta Port California

Madera County’s Ficklin Vineyards is not just America’s oldest Port winery (established in 1946), it also seems to be the most highly awarded Port winery in the country, too, amassing a large collection of medals and stellar ratings. The company sent its most recent bottling of Old Vine Tinta Port, one of its most affordable…

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Review: Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Elderflower Gin, and Barrel Finished Gin (2021)

We first reviewed Bluecoat Gin in 2008, two years after it was first released, when American distilled gins were far less common. Today we return to the brand to see how it stands up thirteen years later and also to try two newer gin expressions produced by the Philadelphia based distillery. The distillers of Bluecoat…

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Review: Gary Farrell 2019 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Russian River Selection

We’re back with another round with well-regarded Russian River winery Gary Farrell and its 2019 vintage releases of chardonnay and pinot noir. Let’s dive in. 2019 Gary Farrell Chardonnay Russian River Selection – This chardonnay is always a beautiful bottling and the 2019 vintage is no exception. Bright with fresh apple and a touch of gooseberry,…

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Review: Little Book Blended Whiskey Chapter 5: “The Invitation” (2021)

The titular invitation here is less unique than you’d think. It’s basically an invitation to, well, drink this whiskey, again a unique blend of bourbon and rye. What’s in the mix? Four different whiskeys, including: 2-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 3-year-old 100% malted rye 5-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon 15-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Proportions are unstated, as…

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Review: Wines of Alta Colina, 2021 Releases

Alta Colina can be found in California’s Paso Robles region, and recently the winery sent us four of its new releases, overseen by new winemaker Molly Longborg, for review. All were tasted, unusually, from small sample bottles, not commercial bottles, though I don’t think that should overly influence this coverage. 2020 Alta Colina Grenache Blanc…

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Review: King of Kentucky Straight Bourbon 14 Years Old (2021)

Brown-Forman’s King of Kentucky brand is back with its fourth release. and like the 2020 and 2018 releases, it’s a 14 year old single barrel bottling made from a 79% corn, 11% rye, and 10% barley mash. Proof varies among the 33 barrels and 2700 bottles, from roughly 125 to 135. All of this is…

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Review: Aguamiel Tequila Blanco

Aguamiel is the sap of the agave plant. It’s the stuff they actually make pulque out of, not tequila, but let’s put that aside, since it’s still a pretty good name for a spirit. Aguamiel the tequila is made from a mix of Highlands and Lowlands agaves — 100% Weber, of course — from plants…

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Review: Firestone & Robertson TX Bourbon – Bottled-in-Bond and Cognac Finished

Fort Worth’s Firestone & Robertson — aka F&R — is much better known by the branding for its most visible product: the TX Whiskey line. While we previously reviewed TX Blended Whiskey, the brand now has at least nine different expressions of whiskey on the market, most of them bourbon. Today we’re looking at two…

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