Review: Intercept 2018 Chardonnay and 2017 Red Blend

Intercept is a new wine brand with a name that has a surprising level of meaning behind it: O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, a leading California producer of premium wine brands, announces the launch of a new wine brand, Intercept, in partnership with wine aficionado, television personality, retired football superstar, and one of the all-time leaders…

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Review: Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011

Islay’s Bruichladdich has long been tinkering with the terroir of barley, with whiskey releases made from only Scottish barley, Islay-grown barley, and even barley grown on a single farm. With its latest addition to this lineup, the distillery returns to Islay-grown grain, specifically “Oxbridge and Publican barley varietals grown on six Islay farms in a…

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Review: 2016 Garofoli Podium, Macrina, and PianCarda

Garofoli is considered to be one of the oldest family-owned wineries in Italy, dating back to 1871 when Antonio Garofoli began producing wine for the local pilgrims who came to the famous church of Loreto. Today, Garofoli, on the border of Italy’s Adriatic Sea in Marche, makes a wide range of wines. The two we…

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Review: Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon

Blaum Bros. Distilling, based in Galena, Illinois and founded by real-life brothers, has been producing craft spirits since 2013. In that short amount of time they’ve put together quite a portfolio, including vodka, gin, absinthe, and, of course, whiskey. We received the flagship product, Blaum Bros. Straight Bourbon to put to the test. We didn’t…

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Review: Svol Aquavit – Danish and Swedish

Aquavit seems to be having a minor resurgence in American cocktail culture as an alternative to gin, and U.S. drinkers are now getting access to two new expressions of this Scandinavian essential: Svol, available in both “Danish” and “Swedish” styles (though both are made in Brooklyn, NY). Some details: Launching in the U.S. this month,…

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A Visit to Virginia Distillery Co.

Virginia Distillery Co. opened its doors in 2015 in Nelson County, Virginia, just south of the college town of Charlottesville. The distillery was the dream of its late founder, the Irish businessman and whisky enthusiast Dr. George G. Moore. There wasn’t any family lore inspiring its founding and Dr. Moore didn’t intend to make traditional…

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A Visit to Monterey’s Holman Ranch Estate Wines

Thanks to the awesome hospitality of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, I recently had the pleasure of visiting Holman Ranch to taste with father and son winemakers Greg and Chris Vita. They produce two labels of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling for them: Holman Ranch and Jarman, both sourced from estate vineyards in…

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Review: Iichiko Saiten Shochu

Shochu continues to make slow inroads into the U.S. market, and to further those aims, Iichiko, the leading barley shochu brand in Japan and the one which American drinkers are most likely to be familiar, has released a new expression: Saiten. The unusual concept is that Saiten was designed specifically with the U.S. palate in…

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