Review: Ferrand 10 Generations Cognac

The latest Cognac from Ferrand (“Pierre” has officially been dropped from the brand’s name) is a “legacy of 10 generations,” even though it comes across with an age profile of significantly fewer generations. Maybe half a generation? Anyway… What’s new here in this Grande Champagne Cognac is that it is aged in French oak casks,…

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Review: Atlas Brew Works Ponzi West Coast IPA

Here’s another one from Washington D.C.’s Atlas Brew Works: Ponzi West Coast IPA. Named after the inventor of the eponymous pyramid scheme, this beer is hopped with “criminal disregard,” which apparently means it has Cascade, Chinook, Centential, Mandarina, and Ahtamun hops on top of Munich malt. According to the website, “if it seems too good…

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Review: Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Stout, IPA, and Prosecco

Non-alcoholic beer and wine have not exactly found rousing fanaticism in the market, probably because they generally taste like pale imitations of the real thing. Alcohol-free wine may as well be juice. NA beer is typically a thin, watery lager that has to be ice cold to be even marginally palatable. Denver-based Gruvi has been…

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Review: Five & 20 Spirits Rye Whiskey Finished in Port Casks

Our recent visit with the spirits of Five & 20 only scratched the surface, with a deep dive into its straight rye whiskey. Now we’re back with a look at a second release from the New York operation, Rye Whiskey Finished in Port Casks. It’s the same mash as the standard rye — 80% New…

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Review: 2018 Far Niente Chardonnay Napa Valley

One expects a slap in the face with a butter-slathered oak stave here, and while Far Niente’s 2018 estate chardonnay has its share of vanilla-soaked lusciousness, it manages to keep itself in the median, with a delightful note of tropical fruit and a spray of white flowers. Notes of fresh baking spices and some toasted…

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Review: Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey (2020)

Next to Jameson, Bushmills has been half of the twin icons of Irish whiskey. While various expressions of Bushmills have come and go, the standard-level Bushmills — aka Bushmills Original — has been with us literally for hundreds of years. We last reviewed the iconic Bushmills way back in 2008, and we figured the time…

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Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction American Single Malt Whisky (Dr. George G. Moore Batch)

We reviewed Virginia Distillery Co.’s first entirely house-distilled single malt whisky, Prelude: Courage & Conviction, last fall. That release was a one-off, meant to be a preview of this bottle, Courage & Conviction, the distillery’s official flagship brand, the first batch of which has been dedicated to the distillery’s late founder, Dr. George G. Moore.…

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Review: 2016 Hamel Isthmus Red Wine Sonoma Valley

A burly, ruddy wine, Isthmus (89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc, 1% merlot) is a powerhouse of extracted fruit — almost pruny — with overwhelming blackcurrant notes, plus notes of tar, tea leaf, and cola. Unctuous on the body but thick with chewy tannins that make for a heavily earthy finish, the wine is a…

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