Review: 2016 Lucienne Pinot Noirs

Hahn Family Wines produces a separate label of high-end, single vineyard pinot noirs, all produced from estate fruit grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands. (They also grow chardonnay here, but we did not receive this wine for review.) Here’s a look at the 2016 vintage of Lucienne. 2016 Lucienne Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Smith…

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Review: New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon

When we reviewed New Riff Distillery’s sourced bourbon, O.K.I., back in February, we mentioned that it wouldn’t be released beyond fall 2018 to make way for the distillery’s own products. Well, the wait is over, at least for New Riff’s house-distilled bourbon. Before we dive into our sample, here’s what the folks at New Riff…

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Review: Weihenstephaner Korbinian, 2018 Festbier, and Sierra Nevada 2018 Oktoberfest Collaboration

As Octoberfest heats up, we look at three seasonally-appropriate beers from the world’s oldest brewery, Weihenstephaner, including one collaboration with California’s Sierra Nevada. Oompah! Weihenstephaner Korbinian – A monstrous doppelbock with intense notes of chocolate, figs, and burnt caramel, grab a pint of this and put a pretzel in hand and you’re ready for Octoberfest…

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Review: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2018 Edition

For its 18th edition of Birthday Bourbon, Old Forester is boosting the proof to 101 — the highest in the series to date. Here’s some basic information from the folks at OldFo: Old Forester is celebrating its time-honored tradition of releasing Birthday Bourbon to commemorate Founder George Garvin Brown’s birthday on September 2. This year…

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Review: 2015 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

89% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, and 1% other reds, this Napa cab — a second label from Jamieson Ranch Vineyards — offers a silky, approachable body that plays like a greatest hits of cabernet’s most noteworthy flavors — and here that’s a good thing. Luscious currant, blackberry, and plum all mingle with hints of cocoa…

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Review: Old Bardstown Bourbon and Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon

You may have noticed in recent years the new look of Old Bardstown bourbon. Well, the juice inside is entirely different, too. Once a sourced whiskey bottled by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, it is now the company’s entry-level bourbon offering off of Willett’s own still, complete with labels that are reproductions of those in the family’s…

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Exploring Nero d’Avola with Allesio Planeta, 2018

In 2015, Allesio Planeta visited San Francisco to showcase the wines of Sicily’s Etna region. Recently he returned to Oakland’s A16 to talk about Sicilian wine from another angle: How the Nero d’Avola grape has grown in popularity, and how it expresses itself differently in Sicily’s various microclimates and terroirs. In the 1980s, 90% of…

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Review: Tiki Lovers Rum – White, Dark, and Pineapple

Any guesses who the new line of rums, called Tiki Lovers Rum, is geared towards? Designed with tropical cocktails in mind, these are all blends of various Caribbean rums, with pot still rum a common denominator in all three. We tasted the whole lot. Thoughts follow. Tiki Lovers White Rum – A blended rum that includes…

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