Review: Gold Bar Original Whiskey (2018)

One of the strangest spirits I’ve seen this year, Gold Bar whiskey’s oddities start with the packaging. It’s packaged inside a replica of a gold bar (complete with a base that makes the whole thing akimbo), a nod to founder Elliott Gillespie’s acknowledgement that he’d need a few real gold bars to get into the…

Read More about Review: Gold Bar Original Whiskey (2018)

Review: Bokksu Japanese Snack Box Subscription

Man cannot live on whiskey alone — even Japanese whisky. What one needs to go along with such delights are snacks, and no one does snacks better than Japan. Bokksu is a new subscription service bringing you innovative Japanese snack products — well beyond the usual Kit Kats and novelty candies you find in other…

Read More about Review: Bokksu Japanese Snack Box Subscription

Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2018

Another WhiskyFest is in the books, and although the lines for iconic bottles like Pappy van Winkle, Macallan No. 3 and No. 4, and Glenfiddich 30 Years Old (which those in the queue were surprised to find was not actually on hand when they got to the front of the line) were long, on the…

Read More about Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2018

Book Review: Beer Hacks

Approaching anything in 2018 with the word “hack” in it (present URL excepted) is grounds for a raised eyebrow and a healthy dose of skepticism. The term has been transformed into a catch-all susceptible to excessive usage, or blatant misuse. While Ben Robinson’s Beer Hacks comes close to toeing the line a few times, it does…

Read More about Book Review: Beer Hacks

Review: Hell’s Half Acre 1885 Vodka

Panther City Distillery, in Fort Worth, Texas, is the home of a single product, and it’s not what you’re expecting, which is whiskey. These guys are making vodka, called Hell’s Half Acre 1885, and it only gets stranger from there. Hell’s Half Acre 1885 is made not from corn, wheat, or potato, but rather from cassava…

Read More about Review: Hell’s Half Acre 1885 Vodka

Review: Top Note Mixers – Indian Tonic Water, Bitter Lemon, and Ginger Beer

If you hang around high-end cocktail bars, you’re probably familiar with Top Note, a brand of high-end mixers that launched in 2014. Launched by a Mary Pellettieri, a Goose Island brewing veteran, the fittingly-named brand is all natural and authentic — and generally quite restrained. While it was launched as only a tonic water, it…

Read More about Review: Top Note Mixers – Indian Tonic Water, Bitter Lemon, and Ginger Beer

Review: Chivas Regal Mizunara

If you’ve spent any time in travel retail (or Asia) lately, you might have encountered the Chivas Regal bottle in the turquoise packaging: Chivas Regal Mizunara, “the world’s first Scotch whisky to be partially finished in Japanese Mizunara oak casks.” Now this special edition is coming to general release in the U.S. There’s a lot…

Read More about Review: Chivas Regal Mizunara

Review: 2014 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga

Montelena‘s 2014 Estate Cabernet is a wine still being made in the bottle. Montelena Cabernet is classically designed to age for a few years before opening, and this 2014 bottling is no exception, being a bit standoffish at the present. An aggressive nose of tobacco leaf and leather dominates the up-front, then intense notes of…

Read More about Review: 2014 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga