Review: Portland Brewing MacTarnahan’s Northwest Amber Ale

Pyramid-adjunct Portland Brewing recently dropped this tartan-clad but fairly straightforward amber ale, hopped solely with Cascade. Burly with roasted malt notes, it’s toasty and bready but backed up well by the hops, which give it a straightforward, piney bitterness on the back end. The malts rear back up on the finish, though, making this beer…

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Review: Nosotros Tequila Reposado (2020)

Nosotros’ initial tequila — a blanco — was nice enough to make our Top 10 Tequilas of the Year feature. Alas, we only sampled the silver at the time. Now we get to take a second spin with Nosotros by reviewing its other 100% agave expression, a reposado. (An anejo expression remains unproduced.) Let’s dive…

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Review: 2016 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Louis Martini’s 2016 Napa cabernet — be sure to note the appellation if you’re shopping — offers iconic Napa character at a reasonable price. Big with notes of milk chocolate, currants, and well-integrated tannins, the wine pushes a bittersweet agenda that culminates in a finish of licorice, cloves, and toasty oak. A solid buy when…

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The Top 10 Wines for Summer 2020

Summertime, and the drinkin’s easy, or at least it should be. Following up on our Top 10 Wines for Winter, 2020 edition, we’re looking back at our recent reviews to pick out our 10 favorite bottlings for warm weather drinking. From cool whites to high-acid reds (think pinot) to summery sparklers, there’s a little something…

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Review: 2017 J Vineyards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

Last year’s release of this wine didn’t impress, and while J’s Russian River pinot retains some of that vintage’s heavily extracted, overtly fruity character, it’s dialed back enough here to approach a much more fulfilling drinkability. Cola notes are almost immediate, alongside a short grind of black pepper, with notes of tarragon, cloves, and dark…

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Review: Dictador Solera System Rum 12 Years Old

This bottling of Columbia-distilled Dictador is courtesy Flaviar’s new spirits club. Despite the significant age, this is actually one of Dictador’s youngest rums — if not its very youngest. Dictador 12 is made from “the fermentation of virgin sugar cane honey distilled partly in copper alembic and partly in steel continuous column, to achieve a…

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Review: Troegs Haze Charmer and Nugget Nectar

Here’s a duo from Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Troegs, a brand new year-round hazy IPA and the once-a-year Nugget Nectar, available in cans for the first time in more than five years. Troegs Haze Charmer – This is an unusual, dry-hopped hazy pale ale made with malted barley, oats, and unmalted wheat, punched up with Citra, Idaho…

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Review: Taconic Distillery Founder’s Straight Rye Whiskey

Our first round with New York-based Taconic Distillery (formerly known as Millbrook Distillery) revealed a surprisingly full-formed bourbon, finished in Cognac casks. Now Taconic is back with this straight rye, which is made from a mash of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. The back label indicates it’s at least 3 years old; Taconic says…

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