Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 30

Barrell Bourbon Batch 30 has arrived, marking yet another milestone for the bourbon blending behemoth. At this point, we could fill a whole bar with only Barrell Bourbon batch releases (maybe we already have), and we honestly wouldn’t complain about the selection, despite almost all of these releases being some mix of bourbons from Kentucky,…

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Review: Wines of Veramonte, Ritual, and Primus, 2021 Releases

Chile’s Veramonte has numerous sub-labels, including Ritual and Primus, all of which we have reviewed extensively in the past. Today we look at a bottling from each of these brands, all of which are made with 100% organic ingredients. Let’s dive in. 2019 Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon – Organic or not, this is cheap cab, underdeveloped…

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The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit – December 16-21, 2021

Last week, my old Kentucky home endured one of the worst storms in the commonwealth’s long history. Town after town has been decimated, some destroyed entirely. The road to recovery will be long and difficult. On a more positive note, over the last few days I have witnessed the absolute best from the people who…

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Book Review: On California: From Napa to Nebbiolo… Wine Tales from the Golden State

The late Steven Spurrier amassed a legacy of wine writing to which only a select few rival. Perhaps one of his most enduring contributions to wine writing is not the writing itself, but the establishment of his Académie du Vin Library, a publishing house whose operation is twofold: to carefully curate new titles highlighting the…

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Review: Southern Grace Distilleries Conviction Double Oak 1929 and Conviction Naranja

In 2018, we took you behind bars at Southern Grace Distilleries’ “Whiskey Prison” when we checked out their Conviction Small Batch Bourbon. It was a surprisingly well-built whiskey to be so young, never mind the fact that it was fermented in 50-gallon drums and distilled one gallon at a time on a pot still constructed…

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Review: Kentucky Owl The Wiseman Bourbon

Kentucky Owl began life in 2014 as a small batch, boutique whiskey brand whose ultra-limited bourbon releases quickly attained near Pappy-like levels of adoration, complete with ridiculous secondary valuations on top of already generous SRPs. In 2017, the brand broke into the broader market with a series of small batch, well-aged rye releases (see Batch…

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Review: The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve (2021) and Vosges Chocolates

Dalmore’s Cigar Malt Reserve is a whisky that has never fully resonated with me since its relaunch in 2011, its extreme use of sherry putting me off a bit. The recipe appears to have changed somewhat since our last full review 10 years ago, with Dalmore now describing it thusly: The spirit is initially matured…

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Review: Sierra Nevada Celebration Fresh Hop IPA (2021)

Christmastime is when the red cans of Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA start showing up on shelves, a beer the company has brewed yearly since it was established 40 years ago. Launched to celebrate not just the holidays but the arrival of fresh hops, the classic IPA is made with a mix of Cascade, Centennial, and…

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