Review: 2020 Scheid Sauvignon Blanc Estate Monterey

This Monterey-born sauvignon blanc has a doughy consistency that’s unusual for the varietal, offering notes of lemon cookies and almond paste. The crisp grassiness of a typical California sauvignon blanc is absent here, replaced with a rather gooey character that culminates in notes of honeydew and cantaloupe, and which feels more than a little manipulated.…

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Review: Balnellan Single Malt Cognac Cask Finish

Balnellan is another in a long line of private label bottlings for big-box American chain store Total Wine, this time supplied by independent bottler Angus Dundee. There have been a few offerings in the Balnellan line, but this expression of single malt whisky is aged in ex-bourbon casks before transferred to Cognac barrels for finishing,…

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Review: Schofferhofer Pomegranate Hefeweizen and Passion Fruit Hefeweizen

Schofferhofer Grapefruit was a pioneer in fruit-beer radler-style blends (the original was 50% hefeweizen and 50% grapefruit soda), and now the German brand is back with two line extensions, one made with pomegranate soda and the other with passion fruit. (Both maintain the 50-50 ratio of beer to soda.) Let’s try them both. Both are…

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Review: Three Spirit Alcohol-Free Beverages

Three Spirit is founded on multiple grand ambitions to be plant-based, socially conscious, and innovative in bringing alcohol-free products to the social drinking mix. It has made its mark in the UK where it started, and is now looking to gain fans in the U.S. Innovation is at the heart of their modus operandi, creating…

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Review: Sam Houston Bourbon 15 Years Old

Sam Houston was an adventurous, self-made patriot and eventually a governor of Texas known for his brutal honesty. The bourbon bearing his name and produced by Three Springs Bottling Company hails from Bardstown, Kentucky. What’s the connection? Nothing, apparently, just that this bourbon is “offered in tribute to the life of Sam Houston.” A bourbon…

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Review: WM Cadenhead Dailuaine 19 Years Old 1996

Previously on “Everybody Hates Drinkhacker”: we reviewed an 11-year old Dailuaine from independent bottler WM Cadenhead. It was pleasant and serviceable enough to rate as a “B” on our grading scale, a respectable enough showing. However, reader Kevin took umbrage with my verdict and after a very pleasant exchange, offered to send me a sample…

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Review: Freeland Spirits Dry Gin and Geneva Gin

Open since 2017, Portland, Oregon’s all-women operation Freeland Spirits has come out with two new additions to its product line. Joining their standard gin and bourbon, Freeland Spirits is now making a Navy Proof Dry Gin and a product called Geneva, a genever-style gin. Let’s give them a try. Freeland Spirits Dry Gin – This…

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Review: Hiyo Sparking Social Tonic, Complete Lineup

The sober-curious drink market continues to expand, featuring nootropics as the agent of mood-enhancement to forego the detrimental affect of alcohol, with the added claim of increased health benefits.  (FYI – The FDA are warning against the proliferation of unsubstantiated claims surrounding nootropics. So to each their own.) Nootropics are a general category of drugs…

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