Review: Catoctin Creek Rabble Rouser Rye and 1757 Virginia Brandy XO

Catoctin Creek Distilling in tiny Purcellville, Virginia has a spirits portfolio dominated by rye whiskey. Why rye? Because they wanted to stay true to the earliest whiskey-making traditions of Virginia. While their whiskey offerings are exclusively rye, the core line-up includes several different proof options – 80 proof, 92 proof, and cask strength (which we’ll…

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Review: Founders Brewing KBS Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout (2019)

Another date on the calendar which darker beer aficionados dare not miss: the annual release of Founders KBS Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout. The Grand Rapids-based Founders performs a plethora of experiments with styles and flavors throughout the year, but this is the one for which the brewery is arguably best known. Via the press release,…

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Review: Bulleit Rye 12 Years Old

Bulleit has already gained a solid reputation for its (sourced but) inexpensive and high-quality rye, and as the company did with its bourbon, it’s now pushing rye up-market. Bulleit Rye (aka Bulleit 95 Rye) is an age-statemented version of the original rye (which launched in 2011) crafted using the same 95% rye/5% barley mashbill but…

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Review: Ballast Point Passing Haze Hazy IPA and Brut IPA

  Two new IPAs from San Diego’s Ballast Point: A daytime-friendly hazy IPA and an on-trend brut IPA. Let’s dig in. Ballast Point Passing Haze Hazy IPA – Sessionable or no, this is a weird hazy. Golden-green in color, it’s amply hazy in appearance but doesn’t get there on the palate. An immediate note closer…

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Review: Old Ezra Barrel Strength Straight Bourbon 7 Years Old

In 2017, Luxco repackaged its Old Ezra Straight Bourbon 7 Years Old as part of its bid to keep moving higher on the shelf and an expansion. Drew found the 101 proof offering “quite good and pleasantly straightforward,” giving the expression a solid B+ rating. But now that 2017 expression is going away, as Luxco…

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Review: Wines of Flora Springs, 2016 Vintage

Looks like we aren’t getting an early spring, so here are three big reds from Flora Springs to help get you through the remaining cold snaps in the coming weeks. 2016 Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – 84% cabernet sauvignon, 11% merlot, 3% malbec, 1% petit verdot. Fresh red berries lead the charge on…

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Review: Powers Three Swallow Irish Whiskey

Top-shelf Irish whiskey producer Powers has released its latest expression of single pot still whiskey, with a unique name: Three Swallow. What’s it mean? Spoiler: More than just birds. Allow Powers to explain: A modern representation of what the original Powers Whiskey tasted like back in the days of its original John’s Lane distillery, this latest…

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Review: Chalk Hill 2016 Estate Chardonnay and 2017 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Chalk Hill Estate Winery wears its identity on its sleeve: It’s the cornerstone winery of the Chalk Hill AVA, one of the smallest distinct winegrowing regions in northern California. From its perch in northern Sonoma, Chalk Hill produces a variety of wines, but it’s best known for its whites. Here we review a pair of new…

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