Review: Weihenstephaner/Sierra Nevada Braupakt

The world’s oldest brewery, Weihenstephan, recently collaborated with one of the oldest American craft brewers, Sierra Nevada, on the production of a limited edition Hefe Weissbier called Braupakt (Brewery Pact). According to the company, this beer uses Hallertauer Tradition hops as well as Amarillo and Chinook hops from the American West coast to create a…

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Review: The Glenrothes 2004

2004 marks the first vintage release from The Glenrothes since 2001, which continues the every-three-years tradition that dates back to at least 1992. The distillery puts it best, perhaps: “During the same year that Facebook launched, the long-running sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S came to a close and Martha Stewart turned in her apron for an orange jumpsuit, The Glenrothes…

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A Visit to Berkeley’s Broc Cellars

All Photography by Leila Seppa. Chris Brockway, originally a Philosophy major from Nebraska, has built a chic city winery, complete with spacious tasting room, in the industrial lands of West Berkeley. One side of Broc Cellars is filled with tanks, barrels, and wine being made with fruit sourced from twelve different California vineyards. The other…

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Tasting Chardonnay with Wente Vineyards, 2018

In honor of the recent National Chardonnay Day (May 24), our friends at Wente organized an interesting tasting: A horizontal lineup of five of its chardonnay wines, all from the 2016 vintage. It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Wente — which is the oldest continuously-operating winery in the state — to the California winemaking…

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Review: Hine Rare, Homage, Antique, and H by Hine (2018)

While we’ve previously looked at a couple of special bottlings from Cognac’s Hine — the Domaines Hine single-vintage 2005 and 2006 releases — we haven’t done a deep dive into its more readily available expressions. This includes three brandies in the “great classics” line, plus the forward-looking “H by Hine,” a VSOP brandy designed primarily to…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Big Level Wheated Bourbon

It’s been a few years since we last checked in with West Virginia’s Smooth Ambler, one of the best-known and longest-lived craft whiskey producers in the U.S. (And now owned by Pernod Ricard.) Smooth Ambler’s latest is a wholly new product called Big Level, a wheated bourbon made entirely on site (with no sourced whiskey…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest Washington DC 2018

As with each of DC’s past three WhiskyFests, everyone in the room looked like they could use a few drinks. Thankfully, there was no shortage of unique whiskey options, from Knob Creek Single Barrel samples that were pulled directly from the barrel(!) to a young Tennessee whiskey whose distillery still doesn’t have a name. I…

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Review: Bogart’s Irish Whiskey

John Wayne got a posthumous whiskey named after him, why not Bogie, too? Humphrey Bogart gets not just a whiskey, but a gin, vodka, and rum, so the man can totally dominate your bar. The whiskey, the only spirit we’re reviewing here, is Irish in origin — even though from what I can tell Bogart’s…

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