Review: 10 Barrel Brewing Smash and Clean Line Mango

Looking for something lighter? Try these libations from Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel — a fruit-heavy beer and a hard seltzer. 10 Barrel Brewing Smash – A slightly sour wheat ale, this passionfruit-infused beer hits up front with a big lemon note before it settles into a sweeter groove, with tropical elements in the mix. As…

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Review: Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond 14 Years Old Fall 2020 Edition

Old Fitzgerald’s second release of its Bottled-in-Bond series for 2020 is a 14 year old bottling, distilled in 2005. As always, this is a 100 proof expression made from a wheated mashbill. Let’s give it a taste and see how it commits itself. Spoiler: Very nicely. There’s an immediate softness here that will be familiar…

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Review: 2019 Campo Viejo The Red Blend

Campo Viejo is one of the best-known wineries of Rioja, and this year it’s launching a new concept, a wine blended from three grapes — Tempranillo, Garnacha and Bobal — suitably known as The Red Blend. Let’s see how it fares. Inky purple and completely opaque, this wine takes everything that’s beautiful about Rioja and…

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Review: Mount Gay Master Blender Selection – The Port Cask Expression

For everyone keeping track at home, we’re now on the third release of Mount Gay’s Master Blender Collection. They kicked things off in 2018 with an excessively unusual Islay whisky cask-finished rum but reverted to the more traditional in 2019 with a less adventurous, but rather tasty, all pot-still offering. The 2019 release was the…

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Review: Angostura Cocoa Bitters

Although Angostura makes a line of orange bitters, it’s best known for its iconic, eponymous aromatic bitters, a paper-wrapped bottle which no bar should be without. Now the Angostura bitters line expands to a whopping 3 expressions, with the launch of Angostura Cocoa Bitters. These bitters are made with Trinitario cocoa which is grown on…

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Review: Schloss Johannisberg 2016 Grunlack and 2018 Silberlack

Schloss Johannisberg, based in Germany’s Rheingau region, lays claim to being the first riesling winery in the world, established in 817, over 1200 years ago. Which is a long time ago. The wines reviewed here are 100% single-vineyard riesling from Johannisberg’s estate vineyards. Let’s give them a whirl! 2016 Schloss Johannisberg Grunlack Riesling Spatlese – A…

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Review: Grande Absente Absinthe Originale

If you think of Absente as the entry-level product from France’s Distilleries et Domaines de Provence, you can consider Grande Absente its top-shelf offering. The primary difference? Grande Absente is bottled at a considerably higher 69% abv than the 55% abv Absente — though, it’s important to note, it still contains artificial colors to give…

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Review: Wines of Knotty Vines, 2020 Releases

Knotty Vines is an entry-level label launched by our friends at Sonoma-based Rodney Strong. With four standard bottlings described as “irreverent and fruit-driven,” these affordable bottlings are targeted at Millennial drinkers who might be taking their first steps into exploring the world of wine. We got the full inaugural quartet, all blends from all over…

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