Review: Devils Backbone Pear Lager

Devils Backbone Brewing Company has just released its Pear Lager in six-pack bottles. A lovely addition to the fruity beer shelf, this summer lager is one of their rotating seasonal lagers and is available from May through August. It’s a super refreshing golden lager with natural pear flavor that is remarkably understated in its use…

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Review: Chalk Hill 2017 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and 2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Two new white wines from Chalk Hill, legendary for its Sonoma chardonnay. Thoughts follow. 2017 Chalk Hill Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – Lots to love here. Notes of fresh biscuits and buttered popcorn mingle with hints of pineapple, green apple, and some apricot, giving this wine considerable complexity. The round body folds in hints of coconut…

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Review: Whip Saw Rye Whiskey

The folks at Napa-based Splinter Group Spirits have released a new rye to add to their growing collection. Splinter is masterminded by two wine industry veterans, Steve Matthiasson (of Matthiasson Wines) and Bob Cabral (formerly of Williams Selyem, one of my go-to pinot noir producers). For this rye, the duo takes a collection of sourced…

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Review: 2016 Megan Anne Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

From Mark Ryan McNeilly, the proprietor of Mark Ryan wines, comes this, the third vintage of the Megan Anne-labelled pinot, a wine that is named for McNeilly’s wife and made in collaboration with winemaker Isabelle Meunier. For an Oregon-sourced wine, this is a quite dense pinot noir, loaded with boysenberries, black cherries, tobacco leaf, and spice.…

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Review: Charbay Vodka Lineup (2018)

While we’ve reviewed countless whiskeys, tequilas, and even pomegranate wines from Ukiah’s Charbay, we’ve only formally reviewed a single bottle of their vodka — which might actually be what the distillery is best known for. It’s time to correct things, by taking a deeper dive into five Charbay vodka expressions, from straight vodka to their…

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Review: Wines of Patricia Ortiz – Tapiz, Zolo, and Wapisa, 2018 Releases

Patricia Ortiz is the impresario behind three Argentina wineries: Tapiz, Zolo, and Wapisa. These wineries are primarily located in the Mendoza region, the exception being the new Wapisa, which is located just 25 miles from the Atlantic Ocean on the Rio Negro in central Patagonia. Ortiz’s crew sent us six wines from across these three…

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Review: Highland Park The Dark 17 Years Old and Full Volume 1999 18 Years Old

As Orkney-based Highland Park continues to reshuffle its lineup, two new whiskies, both limited releases for 2018, have arrived on the scene. Let’s take a look at both in turn. Highland Park The Dark 17 Years Old – This limited release bottling is a rarity, Highland Park aged for 17 years in first fill sherry…

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Review: Don Chelada Michelada Mix and Cups

Don Chelada is all in on micheladas, that classic combination of Mexican beer and spicy chiles that is Mexico’s answer to the bloody mary. Don Chelada offers two ways of making a michelada at home. First, rim a glass with spices, pour in your beer and add a couple of ounces of Don Chelada’s liquid…

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