Review: East Brother Festbier and Belgian Tripel

As cold weather approaches, we take a fresh look at two new winter-friendly seasonals from our pals in Richmond, California, East Brother. East Brother Festbier – This decidedly German style brew takes a Marzen lager and pumps it up with Oktoberfestive notes, giving it a nice layer of spice atop its sweet malt base. Chewy…

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Review: Highland Park Cask Strength Release No. 1

Highland Park recently inaugurated a new line of “batch releases” intended to expand its core range, the promise being that “each batch shares the same underlying character in the whisky but with different flavours coming to the fore based on the cask makeup.” This is actually pretty big news: Cask Strength Release No. 1 is…

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Holiday Gift Idea: Man Crates

There’s a good chance that there’s a man on your shopping list this year, and if that’s the case, well consider the one thing that every man loves: crates. Man Crates are full of male-themed goodness, and they come in an honest to god crate that you have to open with an (included) crowbar. The…

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Review: 2018 Alma Rosa Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, El Jabali Vineyard

Alma Rosa can be found on the southern end of the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County, where it’s producing wines from vines planted by pioneering winemaker Richard Sanford. Today we look at two single estate wines from this operation. 2018 Alma Rosa Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills El Jabali Vineyard – It’s a one-way…

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How Much Do Bitters Matter in a Cocktail?

A couple of dashes of bitters swimming in a glass full of booze. How much of a difference can it make if you choose aromatic vs. creole, chocolate vs. orange, cucumber vs. rhubarb? Well, to help get to the bottom of the mystery of how much of a role bitters play in a cocktail, The…

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2019 Vinho Verde Review: Bico Amarelo and Quinta do Ameal Loureiro

These two Vinho Verde wines from Portugal’s Quinta do Ameal are newly available in the U.S. Both are built around the Loureiro grape, a grape indigenous to this reason which is said to make wines that have aromas resembling laurel flowers. Traditionally blended, it also appears in this duo as a 100% varietal wine. 2019…

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Review: Lagavulin 12 Years Old Limited Edition 2020

Diageo has been dropping 12 year old cask strength versions of Lagavulin for as long as I can remember, and nothing much has changed this year — it’s still aged in refill bourbon barrels — except that 2020’s release is available in the U.S., unlike the 2019 edition. Don’t come looking for a lot of…

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Review: Ron Barcelo Imperial Onyx and Gran Anejo Dark Series Rum

We’ve covered the rums of Ron Barcelo in the past, but we’ve missed a couple of its darker-themed expressions, including Barcelo Imperial Onyx and Barcelo Gran Anejo Dark Series. What makes these rums so dark and onyxy? Heavily-charred bourbon casks are used to age both of these rums. Additional details can be found in the…

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