Review: 1911 Established Hard Cider – Shandy, Tropical and Blueberry

1911 Established is the spirits project of Beak & Skiff, a five-generation family-owned and operated apple orchard in upstate New York. It was founded by George Skiff (originally an onion farmer) and has since become a destination with a full service tavern and music festivals hosted on premises. The distillery has become prolific, experimenting and…

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Review: Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Bourbons 5 Years Old and 6 Years Old

Kentucky’s Willett Distillery continues to periodically release cask strength, single barrel bourbons under its Family Estate label, with some releases now approaching 8 years of age or older. Last year, we reviewed the earliest of these, an impressive 4-year-old bottling available only at the distillery (and not for very long). Today, we’re checking in on…

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2 Texas Wines Reviewed: Aire y Sol and Bent Oak Winery, 2021 Releases

How far has Texas come as a wine producer? Let’s find out with these two recently released bottlings. 2018 Aire y Sol Viognier Texas – Not immediately recognizable as viognier; I probably would have suggested a funkier, greener sauvignon blanc had I tasted this blind. Fairly astringent with ammonia notes, the wine is pungent with…

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Review: M&H Elements Red Wine Cask, Elements Peated, and 3 Single Cask Whiskies

We’ve covered the whiskies (and gin) of Israel’s Milk & Honey (aka M&H) several times. Now we’re back with a look at five new expressions, including a pair from the Elements Series which we hadn’t previously seen and two single cask, barrel-proof releases. Let’s dive in. M&H Single Cask STR – Aged in bourbon barrels…

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Review: Berry Bros & Rudd Glen Keith 24 Years Old 1993

Berry Brothers & Rudd is another venerable independent bottler which curates a wide variety of spirits beyond single malts (wine, gin, Cognac, etc). This timely review takes us back to a 2018 release and Speyside’s Glen Keith distillery. A bit of historical background via Berry Bros. website: Glen Keith (a.k.a. Glenkeith), was established on the…

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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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