Recipe: Ballard Bridge

There are whole library shelves out there full of cocktail books, which means it’s almost impossible for every craft cocktail bar, even the best of them, to have every obscure amaro or vermouth or bitter, let alone tincture, shrub, or syrup, to make every conceivable cocktail. As a result, the craft cocktail boom has seen…

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Reivew: 2017 Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles

This budget bottling from Paso Robles-based Maddalena is a bruiser of a wine, a monster that is overwhelming with notes of smashed, overripe currants and blackberry jam, sweetened to within an inch of its life with notes of brown sugar and milk chocolate. Utterly overwhelming at times, Maddalena’s cabernet comes across almost like a dessert…

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Review: 2015 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port

Recently we reviewed Dow’s LBV Port from 2015, now it’s Taylor Fladgate’s turn. This is Fladgate’s 50th year producing Late Bottled Vintage Port, so — well, that’s something to celebrate, right? This expression is bright and fruity in keeping with the usual style of LBV Port wines. Big cherry, strawberry, and raspberry notes hit first,…

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Review: Axe and the Oak Colorado Mountain Bourbon and Rye

Axe and the Oak Distillery in Colorado Springs, Colorado began as the passion project of five friends with a love of good whiskey. It’s unclear how many of the original crew are still involved in the whiskey-making today, but for the better part of the last decade the distillery has been turning out bourbon, rye,…

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Review: 2020 Holiday Cocktail Kits from Cocktail Courier

With the imminent demise of the pandemic on the horizon, gathering together in favorite establishments will hopefully return to a state of safe and normal sometime in 2021. Until then, there are plenty of options: pre-made cocktails to go from small businesses or chain stores, attempting to make them independently, or a delivery service bringing…

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Review: Ninkasi Steady Orbit Grounded IPA

  Ninkasi’s latest, Steady Orbit, is a low-abv session IPA meant to invoke a “feeling of escape, exploration, and a sense of accomplishment” — without much booze in the mix. Flavored with Mosaic, Amarillo, Citra, and Galaxy hops, it drinks more boldly than expected, with a big punch of lemon peel and orange peel, bitter…

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Review: Lyon Rum – White, Dark, and Sailors Reserve

Lyon Rum is the flagship brand of Windon Distilling, a craft distillery located in the Chesapeake Bay vacation town of Saint Michaels, Maryland. While the distillery dabbles in the occasional whiskey or liqueur, the bread and butter of their portfolio is America’s original favored spirit, rum, and they’ve been distilling it in small batches on…

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Review: 2018 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir Carneros

This pinot noir from the Carneros region is a step up from Mondavi’s more typical Napa Valley bottling, but only barely. The straightforward wine features a bright note of raspberry and some spice, with a more classic cherry note building toward the finish. A touch of clove and cinnamon inform the finish, which is gently…

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