Review: Wines of Clos du Val, 2020 Releases

Here are four new releases from Napa-based Clos du Val, representing their more summery bottlings, made with fruit from the winery’s Carneros-based estate vineyards or its properties in Yountville to the north. 2019 Clos du Val Estate Pinot Noir Rose Carneros – A rather doughy expression, this rose offers fairly muted strawberry notes, with an…

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Reviews: Eda Rhyne Amaro Flora and Appalachian Fernet

Eda Rhyne Distilling Company in Asheville has a portfolio that currently consists only of different Italian-style liqueurs (at least one whiskey is in the works). The focus on herbal spirits is a bit strange given that they are located in the heart of moonshining country in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. Such spirits, however,…

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Review: Dragon Diamond Glass

The Diamond Glass is Dragon Glassware‘s best-seller, a striking tumbler that is designed to, well, tumble. You’ve probably seen glasses like this before: It doesn’t sit upright, but rather rests at an angle — on one of the glass’s eight beveled edges. It makes for a dashing and original vessel, but it also makes me…

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Review: New Belgium The Purist Clean Lager

Lager doesn’t get any cleaner than this, and New Belgium telegraphs that by packing The Purist in a baby blue can shaped to mimic the tall, narrow design common to hard seltzers. At a mere 3.8% alcohol and 95 calories, this organic lager has one less calorie than a can of Miller Lite. But… how…

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Review: Hepple Gin

Originally launched in 2015, Hepple Gin is the result of a “pursuit of a gin to make the perfect dry martini,” culminating in a “complete rethinking” of how gin is made. The British gin is made using a three-step process that distills the spirit in three different ways. Step one is a fairly standard but…

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Review: Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits – Amaretti, Aperitif Rosso, and American Malt

Non-alcoholic beer and wine have been around for some time. Now non-alcoholic spirits are becoming a thing. Lyre’s makes nearly a dozen non-alcoholic knockoffs of just about everything on your back bar, from gin to whiskey to spiced rum. What’s this stuff made out of? Mainly water and sugar. A typical ingredient list looks like…

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Review: McConnell’s Irish Whisky

Conecuh Brands — best known for the Clyde May’s whiskey portfolio — is stretching its arms overseas to bring its first Irish whiskey to the U.S. Heralded as “one of the greatest global brands of all time,” McConnell’s Irish Whisky — spelled with no “e” as it was originally — was first established in Belfast,…

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Review: 2016 Ritual Pinot Noir and 2015 Neyen Espiritu de Apalta

These two red wines hail from Gonzalez Byass’s holdings in Chile. (Veramonte is its best known brand.) These grapes are grown in various vineyards located throughout the country, and you’ll note the relevant appellations in the respective writeups below. 2016 Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley – A slightly darker expression of pinot noir, at least…

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