Review: 2014 Vivanco Rioja Crianza

While modestly earthy on the nose, with notes of licorice candy, blackberry, and baking spice, the palate of this Crianza (aged 16 months in French and American oak), is somewhat sweeter, bold with red fruit and hints of vanilla. Light tannins on the back end add some gravitas to an otherwise simple wine (which otherwise…

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Review: Glenfiddich Fire & Cane

This new expression from Glenfiddich — entry #4 in its Experiment Collection (see also here, here, and here) — is one of the most fun the distillery has released to date. While it’s a NAS whisky that doesn’t really feel like a “serious” dive into Speyside’s single malt heritage, it does offer some distinct — and…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Late 2018 Releases

It wouldn’t be January without our attempt to clean up a mess of late 2018 releases that we didn’t have time to review last year… so here goes, a full quintet from Oregon’s Deschutes! Deschutes Brewery The Abyss Aged Stout 2018 Edition – We missed last year’s Abyss bottling, so it’s fun to play catch-up with…

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Review: Knappogue Castle 12 Years Old Chateau Pichon Baron Finish

The Irish whiskey mavens at Knappogue Castle have embarked on a new project, the Cask Finish Series, which will see the company’s classic offerings finished in wine casks. For its first release in this series, Knappogue takes its 12 year old, pot-distilled, single malt bottling (those years being spent in ex-bourbon barrels), and finishes it in…

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Review: 2017 Lucky Rock Pinot Noir County Cuvee

Lucky Rock Wine Co. is the brainchild of two brothers, “raised by gold-mining parents, who grew up traveling via bus from mining claim to mining claim.” Now they’re making wine, with one bottling under their belt to date. Lucky Rock’s Pinot Noir County Cuvee is a blend from three different parts of California, breaking down…

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Review: Black Saddle Bourbon 12 Years Old

Frank-Lin Distillers is best known as the California-based producer behind such products as Canadian Crown whiskey and the Potter’s line of spirits (all of ’em, actually), but it actually produces some higher-end products too, including Wathen’s bourbon and Black Saddle, an under-the-radar bottling that boasts a 12 year old age statement. The bottle doesn’t give…

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Review: 2015 Pombal do Vesuvio Douro and 2016 Vale do Bomfim Douro

Portugal’s dry red wines remain undersung, but they’re growing in popularity and distribution in the U.S. Symington’s Quinta do Vesuvio and Dow are best known as Port producers, but both offer a few dry table wines as well. Today we look at a pair currently on the market. 2015 Pombal do Vesuvio Douro – A blend of…

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Review: Jefferson’s Reserve Twin Oak Bourbon and Ocean Bourbon Voyage 14 Cask Strength

It’s been awhile since we spent much time with Jefferson’s, but today we’ve got a double shot of new releases from the boutique operation. Let’s dig in. Jefferson’s Reserve Twin Oak Bourbon Custom Barrel – “Twin Oak” sounds mysterious, but the reality is this is a bit simpler whiskey than the name suggests. The result…

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