Wine and Whiskey Tasting in California’s Paso Robles, 2018

Paso Robles, in the northern part of San Luis Obispo County, has a storied past: a history of habitation by the Salinan Indians that we can trace back thousands of years, a change of hands to Mexican ownership (before and after the Mexican-American War ,when the U.S. annexed California) and an eventual purchase from a…

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Review: J.H. Cutter Whisky

Hotaling & Co. (formerly Anchor Distilling) has launched a new whiskey, inspired by a San Francisco brand so old they called it whisky, a tweak that Hotaling keeps intact for this release. Some details on what’s in the juice: In the mid- to late-1800s when A.P. Hotaling’s liquor warehouse was the talk of San Francisco,…

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Cocktail Recipes for National Rum Day, 2018

August 16, 2018 is National Rum Day. Celebrate this versatile spirit with us by making these cocktails — some sweet and unique, some traditional. Also try our Nutty Chocolate Rum Truffles; they’re the perfect pairing for any of these cocktails. Havana Café 2 parts Havana Club Añejo Clásico Rum 1/4 part demerara sugar 3/4 part…

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Review: Port Askaig 8 Years Old and Bourbon Cask 14 Years Old

As we established when Port Askaig 110 Proof first made it to the U.S. last year, there is no Port Askaig. Rather, Port Askaig is a brand name for single malt whiskies sourced from all over Islay. Each release may hail from a different distillery, but different distilleries’ whiskies are not batched together. Port Askaig…

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Review: 2017 J Vineyards Pinot Gris California

Boldly biscuity on the nose, this initially floral pinot gris from J Vineyards offers notes of citrus and spice, but features a rather gummy body with caramel sauce at its core. Much less dry than last year’s vintage, it’s a fair enough summer sipper but lacks the delicacy that would elevate it beyond picnic wine…

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Review: Empower Cosmopolitan Martini

Don’t let the monster-sized bottle fool you; this isn’t vodka. Empower Cocktails is actually a new brand of ready-to-drink cocktails launched by Tiffany Hall, a former Pernod Ricard executive, who launched this new line to “celebrate and honor women, while also catering to their distinct tastes.” Empower’s first product is this, the Cosmopolitan Martini. It’s made with…

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Review: 2017 Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

Saint Clair’s 2017 sauvignon blanc drinks with an elevated profile. Yes, it brings the iconic pineapple and mango note to the table, but there’s enough lime-peel-laden acidity to give the fruit and inherent sweetness a lift. Relatively restrained in alcohol, it’s an easy drinker without a ton of complexity, though some fresh and grassy herbal…

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Review: Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye

Following on the baffling Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye comes another limited release whiskey: Basil Hayden’s Two by Two Rye. What’s Two by Two? This bottle blends two Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskies and two Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskies, creating a combination that is uncommon, but which isn’t unheard of. (Wild Turkey arguably gave the bourbon-rye combo its…

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