Review: Penelope Bourbon Barrel Strength (2020)

It’s our third go-round with Penelope, a unique “four grain” whiskey that blends three MGP whiskeys together: a rye-mash bourbon, a wheat-mash bourbon, and a “corn bourbon” made from just corn and barley. We’ve reviewed the standard bottling in two separate batches. Now we turn to Batch #2 of the Barrel Strength expression. (Though, note,…

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Review: 2018 Famile Perrin Reserve Cotes do Rhone Blanc AOC

This is a classic blend of grenache blanc, marsanne, roussanne, and viognier from the Rhone Valley. Slightly green on the nose, with a floral, potpourri note. The palate runs to honeysuckle and sees a touch of camphor, and as the wine warms in the glass it becomes quite perfumed on the finish. Exotic and lovely…

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Tasting Report: Brunello di Montalcino, 2020 Releases

Like Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino is made in Italy from sangiovese grapes. What’s the difference between the two wines, then? Location: Chianti hails from Tuscany, while Brunello is born in Montalcino, about 60 miles to the south. The weather and the soils are both different here, and the warmer climes around Montalcino give Brunello more…

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Review: Twisted Alchemy Cold-Pressed Juices

There’s no substitute for fresh-squeezed juices in a cocktail… or is there? Twisted Alchemy attempts to raise the bar on ready-to-mix juices, all cold-pressed, unpreserved/unpasteurized, and ready for use. The juices are sold (and must be kept) refrigerated. To keep them from spoiling, Twisted Alchemy exposes them to “high pressure simulating 60 kilometers below sea…

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Review: Islay Mist Blended Scotch 8 Years Old

Islay Mist is a fairly unique whisky: It’s a blended Scotch that, as the name implies, is fairly well peated. Created in the 1920s, it’s the only blended Scotch in the world that is permitted to use the word “Islay” in the name. The whisky is made at the Laphroaig Distillery, where it is blended…

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Review: NV Korbel Prosecco DOC

Korbel is best known for its affordable California sparkling wine, but now it’s spreading its wings — to the east. Per the company, “Korbel tasted its way through Italy’s Prosecco DOC region and brought home an Italian sparkler of its own.” That’s right, Korbel Prosecco, from Italy! To be honest, aside from the label, there’s…

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Review: McClintock Distilling Bootjack Rye and Matchstick Bourbon

We recently reviewed some of McClintock Distilling’s clear spirits offerings, but what about the whiskey!? Well, they’ve got it, but it’s in short supply. Bootjack Rye and Matchstick Bourbon have seen only two small releases since the distillery opened in 2016, and both of those sold out quickly before they could hit many liquor store…

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Review: 2017 Tablas Creek Esprit Blanc de Tablas

Tablas Creek is an icon of Paso Robles, and it’s best known for its Rhone-style blends. Surprisingly oaky, this white blend brings together a collection of grapes some of which are almost unheard of in the U.S. (roussanne, grenache blanc, picpoul blanc, picardan, and clairette blanche). The blend coalesces into a wine that is both…

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