Review: Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Islay Barley 2012 Heavily Peated Islay Single Malt

For a recent Robert Burns night, our friends at Bruichladdich sent a selection of Port Charlotte releases, plus a number of delightful Scottish snacks, to celebrate the Bard of Ayrshire. New amongst the bottlings we received was this 2012 vintage release of Port Charlotte Islay Barley, a heavily peated single malt made 100% from barley…

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Review: Guinness Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels (2020) and Imperial Gingerbread Spiced Stout

Guinness is no stranger to taking its stout and aging it in bourbon barrels, and for this winter it has two special editions on tap. Let’s dig in. Guinness Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels (2020) – This is not the same release as 2018’s Guinness Stout Aged in Bulleit Bourbon Barrels, but it’s probably…

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Review: Off Hours Bourbon

Off Hours is a new bourbon launched just last year, and I’m not even sure where the company is located. It doesn’t entirely matter, I guess: The company’s eponymous product is a four-year old straight bourbon from MGP. Off Hours is authentically crafted for today’s modern bourbon drinker. It’s made for the moments in between.…

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Review: BarBox Ready-to-Drink Craft Cocktails, Complete Lineup

Cocktails in a box have become such a fast-growing category that you wonder how come it took so long to happen. Wine has been available in boxes for decades and has long done away with the myth that boxed wine has to equal cheap wine. Of course it can be cheap, but it can also…

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Review: Alfred Giraud French Malt Whisky – Heritage and Harmonie

The Giraud family has long been associated with Cognac, but fifth generation Alfred Giraud’s tastes seem to run more to barley than grapes. Late last year saw the launch of the man’s eponymous French Malt Whisky, which are both made from French barley, malted in France, and double distilled in the open flame-heated Charente copper…

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Review: 2018 Elouan Pinot Noir Oregon

Elouan is Joseph Wagner’s (of Copper Cane fame) outpost in Oregon, where pinot noir is the name of the game. This 2018 expression — reportedly drawn from a variety of vineyards up and down the coast of the state — fits the profile well enough, with notes of cherry and blackberry countered by a moderately…

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Review: Rome de Bellegarde XO Cognac

In 2018 the defunct Cognac brand Rome de Bellegarde made headlines when a shot of its brandy, produced in 1858, sold for more than $14,000, making it the most expensive shot of Cognac ever sold. Shortly thereafter, sensing an opportunity perhaps, the brand was revived by the latest generation of the Bellegarde family, and its…

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Review: Windsor 2017 Viognier and 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

A pair of wines from Windsor Vineyards, which is based in Sonoma County’s Santa Rosa, California. 2017 Windsor Viognier California – This immediately struck me as pretty off-target for viognier, with aromas running to coconut water, lemon peel, and melon — with none of the expected florals and peach/apricot notes evident. On the palate the…

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