Review: Wines of Bannister, 2019 Releases

Bannister Wines is a small production label focused on chardonnay, pinot noir, and zinfandel from specific vineyard plots in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Founded by Marty Bannister, a wine industry veteran, she began her own label in 1988 and handed it off to her son Brook in 2010. Today we look at a range of…

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Review: Tequila Don Julio Reposado Double Cask – Lagavulin Barrel

Don Julio’s first experimental Double Cask release — which saw reposado tequila finished for 30 days in Buchanan’s Scotch whisky barrels — wasn’t a one-off. Now the brand is back with a second Double Barrel release, this one finished in Lagavulin whisky casks. With Lagavulin the Ron Swanson-approved It Whisky of the moment, I expect…

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Review: NV Vipra Rosso Dolce Sweet Red

Stop me when I’ve gone too far. Here’s a wine that’s: Lightly fizzy. Sweet. Low alcohol. Designed to be served chilled. And red. Vipra’s Dolce Sweet Red was designed for millennials who have a sweet tooth and an aversion to alcohol: At 7% abv, this is pretty much soda for grown-ups. (It’s also being used…

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Review: Bower Hill Bourbon Barrel Strength, Single Barrel, and Barrel Reserve

Bower Hill is one of many small, non-distilling producers that have been showing up on the whiskey shelves with greater frequency lately. But unlike most NDPs, this isn’t the typical MGP juice. Their four different bourbons are all sourced from an unnamed Kentucky distillery. Each release is made from a mashbill of 70% corn, 25%…

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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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