Review: T.W. Samuels Straight Bourbon Bottled in Bond

While Kentucky’s Heaven Hill Distillery produces its fair share of coveted top shelf bourbons, it puts out even more quality bottom shelf bottlings, many of which carry the desirable bottled-in-bond label. Not surprisingly, three of Drinkacker’s Top 10 Bourbons Under $20 are Heaven Hill juice, including the Heaven Hill “White Label,” a six-year-old bottled-in-bond that took…

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Review: Lagavulin 12 Years Old Limited Edition 2018

A 12 year old Lagavulin has been part of the Diageo Special Releases for as long as I can remember (for 16 years now), and as is the norm, this release is bottled from refill American oak (bourbon) hogsheads. As always, the powerful smoke and sea spray of Lagavulin kicks off the aromatic experience, but this…

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Review: Talisker 8 Years Old Limited Edition 2018

In its Special Releases for 2018, Diageo tends to toss out a few young whiskies — at cask strength, mind you — as callbacks to earlier days — in this case, when Talisker put out a number of 8 year old releases in the 1980s. This one, distilled in 2009, is aged in first-fill ex-bourbon…

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Bar Review: Flores, Corte Madera, California

Flores is a popular Mexican restaurant and bar in San Francisco, and the owners have just opened a new outpost in Marin County’s Corte Madera, just north of the bay. Marin, while it’s wedged between San Francisco and the NorCal wine country, isn’t known for being a hotbed of great bars and restaurants, mainly serving…

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Review: Pittyvaich 18 Years Old Limited Edition 2018

For our fifth entry into the 2018 Diageo Special Releases, we look at a 28 year old spirit from Pittyvaich, a relatively short-lived distillery that operated from 1974 to 1993 and was demolished in 2002. This whisky was distilled in 1989 and was aged in refill American oak hogsheads. For a nearly 30-year-old single malt,…

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Review: Barefoot Spritzers

Barefoot doesn’t just make crazy cheap nonvintage wine. It also makes these “wine-based spritzers,” which are tiny single-serve cans of wine, seltzer, and flavorings, all canned at 5.5% abv. We’re hardly in the spritzer season, but consider bookmarking this for when the weather turns warm and a poolside gathering is in the cards. Barefoot Spritzer Crisp White –…

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A Visit to House Spirits in Portland, Oregon

Very few people are doing American single malt whisky with solid success, but one of the outliers has long been House Spirits, an early mover in this space and the brand behind Westward Single Malt, which we reviewed in one of its earliest incarnations in 2013. Today, House Spirits is known as the brand that…

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Review: Beronia 2015 Rioja Crianza and 2013 Rioja Reserva

Beronia focuses on affordable Rioja. We last reviewed these wines in 2016. 2015 Beronia Rioja Crianza – For 2015, Beronia’s Rioja Crianza blend is 91% tempranillo, 8% garnacha, and 1% mazuelo, a fairly classic blend for this style. Boldly fruit-forward with notes of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry, it’s a tutti-frutti wine that folds in hints of…

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