Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2019

Another year is in the books for San Francisco WhiskyFest, a typically packed event with hundreds of whiskeys to explore… plus, for those confused on where they are, libations from The Mocktail Project. My dance card was full of whiskies from around the world, with highlights to be found in just about every region. My…

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Review: Wines of L’Ecole No. 41, 2019 Releases

Washinton’s L’Ecole No. 41 is one of the founding wineries of Washington’s Walla Walla Valley, and its 2019 releases — one white, two reds — are upon us. Let’s give them a spin. 2017 L’Ecole No. 41 Semillon Columbia Valley – Nutty and and honeyed, this is a classic expression of (non-botrytized) semillon, restrained and slightly…

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Review: Lagavulin 11 Years Old Offerman Edition 2019

Somewhere along the way, Lagavulin dethroned everyone else to become the go-to distillery for fans of peated Scotch. You can blame Nick Offerman for a lot of that. Offerman began stumping for the brand in 2014 and his love affair with Lagavulin presumably goes back well beyond that. And now, at long last, Ron Swanson…

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Review: Bumbu Rum XO

Bumbu got its start as a spiced rum, with cane sugar sourced from throughout Latin America and distilled in Barbados before being spiced up to pair with your bottle of cola. Now Bumbu is back with a second expression: Bumbu XO, an 18 year old (unspiced) expression. Some production details: Bumbu Rum Company is pleased…

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Review: Campari Cask Tales

Campari needs to be a standby of every bar — commercial or home. The classic, bright red aperitif is intensely bitter yet delightfully fragrant and flavorful, making possible all manner of intriguing cocktail combinations. And now there is a new version of Campari: Campari Cask Tales, a version finished in bourbon barrels. How about some…

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Review: Penelope Bourbon Batch #2 and Barrel Strength (2019)

It was only in June that we introduced you to Penelope, a new bourbon brand that takes three whiskeys — a rye-mash bourbon, a wheat-mash bourbon, and a “corn bourbon” made from just corn and malted barley — all from MGP, then blends this trio together to make a unique four-grain whiskey. Batch #1 went…

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Review: Shackleton Blended Malt (2019)

Longtime readers (and Dalmore fans) may recall the original Shackleton whiskies, a pair of releases which hit in 2011/2012, designed personally by Richard Paterson to mimic the whisky that Ernest Shackleton took with him on his famed trip to the South Pole. These whiskies are both quite enjoyable — and expensive. (You can still track…

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Review: Wines of Gundlach Bundschu, 2019 Releases

You’ll find Gundlach Bundschu tucked away in the south of Sonoma County. The impossible-to-say-right winery’s fall 2019 releases are upon us. Tasting notes on four wines follow. 2018 Gundlach Bundschu Gewurztraminer Estate Sonoma Coast – An apt expression of gewurztraminer, this wine is loaded with aromatics and perfume, with hints of jasmine infecting its potpourri…

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