Review: 2017 Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay Central Coast

Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley on California’s Central Coast. Here we have Chamisal’s unoaked expression of Chardonnay, from the 2017 vintage. Mango notes pop immediately on the tongue on this wine, which showcases a much more tropical side of chardonnay than we’re used to. Creamy without being buttery, it features…

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Review: Templeton Rye Maple Cask Finish

The rye fanatics at Templeton have released the first whiskey in their “Barrel Finish Series,” which will focus on unusual wood treatments applied to its long-running rye. While Templeton recently began distilling its own juice, this is still sourced from MGP. Unlike the usual bottling of Templeton, which carries a 4 year old label, this…

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Book Review: Cocktail Italiano

Annette Joseph clearly loves Italy, but her book Cocktail Italiano isn’t just about drinking your way across the country. In fact, to be honest, cocktails occupy comparably few of the pages here. Most of the book — dense with full-color photography and divided into 12 chapters, each for one city or region along the Italian…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon (2019)

West Virginia’s Smooth Ambler made a big name for itself nearly ten years ago when it introduced the Old Scout line of MGP-sourced bourbon and rye whiskey. We reviewed one of the Old Scout Single Barrel releases a few years ago, but the true flagship, at least for a little while, was the standard Old…

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Review: New Riff Kentucky Wild Gin Bourbon Barreled

We’ve already introduced you to New Riff’s Kentucky Wild Gin, the only spirit in the young Kentucky distillery’s portfolio that isn’t a whiskey. At the time of that review, we mentioned that New Riff’s gin wasn’t just a quick moneymaker for the company to sell while its rye and bourbon aged. But we probably didn’t…

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Review: Taffer’s Mixologist Hard Seltzers – Cucumber Jalapeño, Pineapple Coconut, and Strawberry Basil

Jon Taffer, the Gordan Ramsay of the bartending world, recently lent his name to a line of hard seltzers. Each flavor is “inspired by the popular flavors in modern mixology,” according to the website, and has only 100 calories, zero grams of added sugar, and three grams of carbs, so there’s clearly an effort to…

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Review: Knob Creek Bourbon 12 Years Old (2019)

When the bourbon shortage hit Kentucky in 2015, one of the casualties was the nine year age statement for Knob Creek. Four years and plenty of increased production later, Beam has not only given the age statement back to the standard Small Batch, but it has also recently added another, even older age-stated bourbon to…

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Review: 2015 Louis M. Martini Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Lot No. 1 is Louis Martini’s top end bottling, with grapes sourced from a variety of parcels in Napa Valley. At a whopping 15.7% alcohol, it can easily be mistaken for fortified wine, so if an unctuous, ink-black experience isn’t what you’re after, give this one a pass. The wine is bursting with fruit —…

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