Review: Hopworks Urban Brewery Juicy Bear, Giggle Nuggets, and Ace of Clubs

Trying Cascade Brewing’s excellent sour in January left me thirsty for more Portland beers. This month we have line-up of IPAs from the hop savants at Hopworks Urban Brewery. Let’s see if these three can stand out in a crowded field. Hopworks Urban Brewery Juicy Bear IPA is the lightest in color of the three,…

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Review: Tahoe Blue Vodka

“Keep Tahoe Blue” is a common bumper sticker refrain around these parts, as the lake, nestled between California and Nevada, is renowned for its pristine blue water. Tahoe Blue Vodka is a blend of three vodka distillates — 50% from sugarcane, 25% from grapes, and 25% from corn. It’s “made with Tahoe water,” per the…

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Review: 2019 Cameron Hughes Lot 752 Gavi DOCG

This indie bottling of Gavi, made from the Cortese grape, has a number of threads to pull at: fresh linen dusted with lavender, lemon curd, and fresh underbrush, all in a swirl. When drinking solo, it doesn’t come together perfectly, a bit too tart and a bit too perfumed on the finish — with some…

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Review: Black Tot 50th Anniversary Rum

The relaunch of the Black Tot brand — a masterpiece in its own right — has begat a follow-up, Black Tot 50th Anniversary, a higher-proof rum designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Black Tot Day. As with the recent Black Tot release, it’s designed to pay homage to the original Black Tot recipe, though…

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Review: Harpoon From Nova Scotia with Love, The Bock Hog, and Mike’s Pastry Barrel-Aged Cannoli Stout

All three of these new Harpoon releases have something in common: They’re all aged in whiskey barrels. Let’s hit it. Harpoon From Nova Scotia with Love – Brewed in collaboration with Nova Scotia’s Big Spruce Brewing “to celebrate the history of the province’s annual gifting of Boston’s official Christmas tree – provided each year as…

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Review: Wheel Horse Bourbon

Wheel Horse Bourbon — from Latitude Beverage Co., in partnership with Owensboro Distilling Company (formerly O.Z. Tyler) — is the follow up to Wheel Horse Rye, which arrived in mid-2020. Now a bourbon follows up: made from a mash of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley and aged for a minimum of two…

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Review: 2015 Villa Gemma Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

Villa Gemma is one of the most iconic parts of the Masciarelli empire, a high-end wine made from 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo grapes “rigorously hand-picked in boxes from the second half of October in the Cave vineyard, in San Martino sulla Marrucina.” Inky purple in color, this is a monstrous wine that challenges expectations and easily…

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Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Blue Peak

Blue Peak is the latest innovation from Colorado’s Stranahan’s, which has been dedicated to American single malt whiskey since the earliest days of the craft movement. This offering is a four year old toddler, spending its first four years in 53 gallon new oak barrels with a #3 char. From there, things get more interesting,…

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