Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch A120 (January 2020)

By now you know the drill: This is Elijah Craig’s latest release in the erratically-scheduled Barrel Proof bourbon series. The A120 batch number means it’s the first release of the year (A), and it came out in January (1) of 2020 (20). Contrast with A119. As always, it’s a 12 year old expression bottled at…

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Review: East Brother Gold IPA

One of the few beers in Richmond, California-based East Brother‘s stable that we haven’t reviewed, this Gold IPA is an American style IPA with an undisclosed hop bill. The quite dark gold-colored brew kicks off with an attack of nutty malt, slightly sweet with almond paste and honey notes rather than aggressively bitter as you…

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Review: 4 Wines from the Loire Valley, 2020 Releases

France’s Loire Valley, just 100 miles or so southwest of Paris, has long been a kind of working man’s alternative to the fancier wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. But here in the third largest winegrowing region in the country, you’ll find some of France’s most approachable wines, including the universally loved Sancerre (made from sauvignon…

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Review: Grand Brulot Liqueur

Grand Brulot is not your everyday coffee liqueur — far from it. In fact, it’s only 49% coffee liqueur. Crafted from 51% VSOP Cognac and 49% liqueur de cafe, this blend from the Tardy Cognac house is really a coffee-flavored brandy, not the other way around. The spirit, as the name suggests, is a tribute…

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Recipe: Aviation Cocktail

You’ve loaded up on violet liqueur, now what do you do with it? The #1 (and for many drinkers, the only) use for creme yvette or creme de violette is in the Aviation, a delightful little drink and not just because of its color. The key is to keep the violet liqueur dialed back —…

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Review: High West American Prairie Bourbon Flaviar Barrel Select (2019)

American Prairie is one of High West’s more affordable bottlings, a blend of sourced bourbons at least two years old.┬áThe current composition includes spirits 2 to 13 years old, including whiskeys with these mashbills/sources: 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley from MGP; 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley from an undisclosed source; other…

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Review: Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth Mezcal Cask Finish 8 Years Old

I’m already on record as being not a fan of the use of “Smooth” in a product’s official name (or, for that matter, as a descriptor of any spirit), but I will say that Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth Rum Cask Finish Blended Scotch was at least a credible product. Buoyed by that product’s success, now Dewar’s…

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Review: 2017 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Krug’s 2017 cab is surprisingly lean and already hitting maturity. The wine (a blend of 87% cabernet sauvignon, 5% merlot, 5% petit verdot, and 3% petite sirah) is dry and very herbal, with a slight oxidized note and lots of green pepper/green onion sitting heavy atop the otherwise straightforward core of currants. Quite tannic as…

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