Review: Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee (2018)

We’ve covered several of Firestone Walker’s Proprietor’s Vintage Series in recent years, and while all have their followings, Stickee Monkee is a perennial fan favorite. It’s the first in what Firestone Walker considers a new category of “Central Coast Quad,”  brewed with Belgian candi sugar and aged for more than a year in a selection…

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Review: Cascade Chipotle Pepper Flavored Vodka

Having recently reviewed two salted vodkas, how appropriate that next in line was a pepper vodka, albeit of the smoked jalapeño kind, known as chipotle. It’s a sweet and spicy flavor commonly used in Mexican, Tex-Mex, and Southwest cooking. This vodka, though, comes from the Pacific Northwest, Oregon to be precise. Starting with water from…

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Highlights from the 2019 Garagiste Solvang Wine Festival

In 2011, Stewart McLennan and Doug Minnick co-founded the Garagiste Wine Festival to showcase the best undiscovered small-production winemakers in California. If you’re curious, Garagiste is a term from the 1990s used in Bordeaux to reference a new style of wine crafted by new producers largely in St. Emilion and Pomerol. The wines were made…

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Barrel Picking with Bourbon Pursuit at Joseph Magnus

In recent years, there’s been a surge in “barrel picking” – personally choosing a barrel of whiskey from an individual distillery. Most of these private barrels come from the big operations in Kentucky with Jim Beam and Four Roses being some of the most common suppliers. There are, however, a handful of smaller scale distilleries…

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Review: Wines of Early Mountain, 2019 Releases

Yes, Virginia. Wine from Virginia, Virginia. Early Mountain — which recently won big in Virginia’s Governer’s Cup Wine Competition — can be found on the Monticello Wine Trail in Madison County (not that Madison County), where it produces a wide range of wines from grapes both international and obscure. We tried three of them, mostly…

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Recipes for National Absinthe Day 2019

National Absinthe Day is, whoa, today! March 5. While absinthe may not be the It Spirit it was a few years ago, it’s finding plenty of action as a cocktail ingredient. Here are a number of absinthe-centric recipes to check out. Some are on the new side, while others are closer to classics. Sour Cherry…

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Review: Rabbit Hole Distillery PX Finished Bourbon and Rye Finished Gin (2019)

We first reviewed Rabbit Hole Distillery (then known as Rabbit Hole Distilling) back in 2017 before their distillery in Louisville had even opened. At that time, we sampled their inaugural bourbon and rye offerings but missed two other spirits that followed not long after: a bourbon finished in Pedro Ximenez sherry barrels and a London…

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Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Brewers Batch Virginia-Highland Whisky (Batch 2)

Last year, we reviewed Virginia Distillery Co.’s first release of Brewers Batch, a limited edition release that showcases finishing casks sourced from local breweries. That inaugural batch featured a cask from Virginia’s Three Notch’d Brewing that had been used to finish a scotch ale, and while enjoyable, I felt like there was almost too much…

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