Review: Compass Box Phenomenology

Phenomenology, one of the latest limited releases from merchant whisky bottler Compass Box, is a celebration of the idea that taste is subjective. Compass Box is well-known for sharing the details of their sourced whiskies in minute (and sometimes legally risky) detail, but for this special blend the goal was to keep things confidential in…

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Review: Avery Brewing Tequilacerbus

The craft brewing movement emerged, in part, out of a desire for more creativity, but the recent trend in barrel aging has sometimes been anything but. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good bourbon barrel-aged dark beer, but the category is getting more saturated by the day. Thankfully, breweries like Colorado’s Avery Brewing are…

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Review: Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye 9 Years Old

Jim Beam’s latest superpremium offering should come as no surprise. The original Knob Creek Rye was a hit back in 2012, so it’s natural that the company would release a cask strength offering, as it’s often done with its other whiskey releases. Says Beam, “Aged for 9 years and stored in Warehouse A, the oldest standing rackhouse…

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Book Review: High-Proof PDX

Karen Locke’s High-Proof PDX is perhaps the most niche-oriented book about the drinking world that I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve read books on absinthe and amari. High-Proof PDX is billed as “a spirited guide to Portland’s craft distilling scene,” and that’s just what it is. This slim tome is a guidebook of sorts, describing in detail…

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Review: Damrak Gin

Damrak is an old brand that tends to fly under the radar. I see it all the time, yet I’ve never really experienced it. Part of the Lucas Bols stable, Damrak bills itself as an “authentic” Amsterdam-based gin brand. With 17 (largely unlisted) botanicals and a juniper-restrained profile, it’s hardly a recreation of Tanqueray. But…

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Review: Chateau Montelena 2017 Riesling and 2015 Zinfandel

Chateau Montelena is best known for its chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon production, but the winery produces other goodies too. Both this riesling and zinfandel were delightful little surprises. Thoughts follow. 2017 Chateau Montelena Riesling Potter Valley – Soft and slightly creamy, this riesling drinks a bit closer to chardonnay than to the classically aromatic style,…

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Review: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival Oloroso Sherry Cask Finished

The third installment in Wild Turkey’s Master’s Keep series is here, and it’s a real rarity: A bourbon finished in sherry casks. Master’s Keep Revival is a blend of 12 to 15 year old straight bourbon that spends its final days finishing in Oloroso sherry casks. This isn’t Wild Turkey’s first foray into sherry, though. In…

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Review: Allagash Astrid

Bottled in 375ml cork-stoppered wine bottles, Allagash’s Astrid is a farmhouse saison with a kick. Brewed with pilsner, raw wheat, and biscuit malt, it ferments in stainless for a year with saison yeast and Brettanomyces and is then aged in Aquavit barrels for eight months. Decidedly sour but not overbearing, the beer has a big,…

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