Tasting the Wines of Jose Maria da Fonseca, 2019 Releases

Jose Maria da Fonseca is one of those rarities we don’t see enough of in the U.S.: A Portuguese wine producer that makes red table wines (in addition to some sweet stuff). Established in 1834, J.M. da Fonseca now has vineyard holdings all across the country, and recently its head winemaker, Domingos Soares Franco, came…

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Review: Avery Brewing Uncle Jacob’s Bourbon Barrel Stout (2018)

Uncle Jacob’s Stout is the name given to Avery Brewing’s bourbon barrel-aged stout, released yearly as part of their Annual Barrel Series. It gets its name from Kentucky distiller Jacob Spears, a distant relative of the brewery’s founders who, according to some, was the first to label his whiskey “Bourbon.” In his honor, Avery created…

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Review: Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat Gin

A playful spin on “Old Tom” gin, Barr Hill’s Tom Cat takes its standard Barr Hill Gin and ages it in bourbon barrels for six months. For those unfamiliar, the Barr Hill brand is part of Caledonia Spirits, based in Hardwick, Vermont. Like Barr Hill’s other spirits, a touch of local honey is used in…

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Review: Stone Enjoy By 07.04.19 Unfiltered IPA

Stone Brewing is back with another unfiltered IPA with a patriotic expiration date: The Fourth of July, 2019. It’s a big double IPA, typical of Stone’s Enjoy By series, made with a dozen types of hops that push it to 90 IBUs. While this expression often showcases a strong tropical fruit bent, this year the…

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Review: Barrell Dovetail

Barrell Craft Spirits, best known for its periodic cask strength releases of bourbon, whiskey, and rye, have added to its portfolio in the last year or so with offerings outside of these traditional batch releases. Dovetail, the first whiskey to actually get a name from Barrell, is one of its most unique projects to date.…

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Review: NV Volage Cremant de Loire Rose Brut Sauvage

This Loire rose is made from 100% old vines Cabernet Franc using “methode traditionelle,” hand-harvested and bottled with just 3 g/L of dosage. It’s a classically doughy wine that will be familiar to any Cremant fan, chewy on the tongue, with a relatively restrained white fruit profile, flecked with cinnamon, brown butter, and a lightly…

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Review: Dingle Vodka, Gin, and Irish Whiskey Batch 3

In case you missed it, distilling is huge in Ireland now, thanks to the unexpectedly heavy demand for Irish whiskey that has been building over the last decade. Part of this new vanguard is the Dingle Distillery, which opened in 2012 in in Kerry, Ireland. Dingle doesn’t just make whiskey, it also makes vodka and…

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Review: 2015 Primus The Blend Apalta

Primus is an ever-changing blend, and for the 2015 vintage it consists of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 24% Carménère, 8% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. We last encountered it — in a much different blend — way back in 2012. Hailing from the Colchagua Valley’s Apalta region, this is a cult wine that’s…

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