Review: Chalk Hill 2017 Sonoma Chardonnay and 2016 Estate Chardonnay

Chalk Hill and chardonnay go so iconically hand in hand that many drinkers probably don’t realize the Sonoma-based operation makes other types of wine. And yes, it does, but… er, here’s a review of two current release chardonnays all the same. 2017 Chalk Hill Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – A straightforward but sweeter version of chardonnay,…

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Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Heavy Char Rye Whiskey 8 Years Old (2019)

For the 13th edition of Heaven Hill’s resoundingly popular Parker’s Heritage Collection Limited Edition bottling, the distillery is releasing a rye — surprisingly the first appearance of rye in the entire series. What’s distinguished here is that the rye spends its eight years of aging time in level 5 charred barrels — a very heavy…

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Review: Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale (2019) and Bel Air Sour

Uber-hot Brooklyn Brewery has two new offerings on the table, including a summer seasonal and a year-round sour. Thoughts on both follow. Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale (2019) – A “sunny pale ale” per the label, Brooklyn’s seasonal Summer Ale is as simple, light, and approachable as the name suggests. Lots of lemon lights the path,…

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Review: Single Cask Nation Clynelish 9, Ledaig 13, Ledaig 15, Glenburgie 20, Clynelish 23, and Cameronbridge 26

Our fourth round of independent bottlings from new Scotch whisky producer Single Cask Nation starts now, with a sextet of releases just now hitting the market. (A pair of releases that were part of this outturn, from Imperial and Port Dundas, were unfortunately not available for review.) Single Cask Nation Clynelish 9 Years Old –…

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Review: Stirrings Simple Margarita Mix and Margarita Rimmer

Stirrings was one of the first companies to make a splash in the burgeoning premade mixer business, and the brand now dominates shelf space on the mixer aisle. While Stirrings has 13 mixers at present along with a host of other syrups, rimmers, and other nonalcoholic products, today we look at the flagship: Stirrings Simple…

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Review: Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon

Willett continues to be one of the hottest names in Kentucky bourbon and rye. The distillery, starting in 2008, built a cult following with its Family Estate line of sourced whiskeys, the origins of which still remain rumors (at least some barrels probably came from their Bardstown neighbor, Heaven Hill). In addition to Family Estate,…

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Review: NV Blue Nun 24K Gold Edition

Blue Nun has a sparkling wine? With gold flakes in it? Your wishes have been granted, America: If you want to roll like a baller without having to shell out for Armand de Brignac, good old Blue Nun can get the job done for a little more than a ten-spot. What’s in this gold-encrusted bottle?…

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A Visit to Islay’s The Botanist Gin Distillery

If you want to get ahead in the distilling business, it seems a good idea is to start as a tour guide. At the Bruichladdich distillery on Islay, the Scottish island renowned for peaty malts like Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg, two of the top men both began their careers as tour guides. Adam Hannett, the…

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