Review: 2018 Hamel Isthmus Red Wine Sonoma Valley

2018’s Hamel Isthmus is a much more approachable wine than the 2016 bottling. Composed of a much different blend of 64% cabernet sauvignon, 18% merlot, 14% cabernet franc, and 4% petit verdot, the wine is quite dry and weighty, notes of graphite and tanned leather yielding tentatively to a punch of currants and blackberry bramble,…

Review: Mijenta Tequila Reposado

Mijenta‘s second expression is here, taking its base Highlands agave and aging it for up to six months in a blend of American white oak, French oak, and French acacia wood casks. The finished product is soft and approachable, offering a solid balance between the freshness of agave and the sweetness driven by the barrel.…

A Visit to Porter Creek Vineyards

In the sleepy, woodsy west side of Sonoma’s Russian River Valley you’ll find Porter Creek Vineyards, a small winery that specializes in the classic varietals of this region — pinot noir and chardonnay. You’ll find plenty of other goodies on offer at the property’s tiny tasting room, which is available by appointment. (We were able…

Review: Glenmorangie 18 Years Old and Signet (2022)

Today we’re taking a look at two standard bottlings of Glenmorangie, both standing at the top of its permanent collection. Rob took a fresh look at Signet last summer, while Drew checked out Extremely Rare, Glenmorangie’s 18 year old release, in 2020. Note that Extremely Rare is currently available with a limited edition label designed…

Review: NV Le Chemin du Roi Champagne – Brut and Brut Rose

Le Chemin du Roi translates to “the king’s path,” but a better name for the brand might have been Cinquante Cents, on account of the brand being owned by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. (He also has a new Cognac brand, which we’ll be reviewing shortly.) “Roi” is available in three versions, all nonvintage. Today we…

Review: Aridus 2020 Sauvignon Blanc and 2019 Malbec

They make wine in every state in the U.S. — and a lot of the stuff that comes from unexpected places is pretty good. Case in point: At least one of these wines from Aridus, which got its start in 2012 in Arizona (though some grapes come from New Mexico next door). Let’s check out…

Review: Brother’s Bond Bourbon

Brother’s Bond is the creation of Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley. They aren’t brothers, per se, but they are both actors who appeared on The Vampire Diaries. The brand — expressly designed to target Millennials — is MGP stock, a non-age-statement whiskey made with a four-grain mashbill of 65% corn, 22% rye, and the remainder wheat…

Review: Firestone Walker Propagator Series Vic Secret

Here’s a steady selection from Firestone Walker‘s Propagator Series, an R&D location known for producing semi-experimental beers. There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering about this beer — available only through Firestone’s Crafted Through Hops IPA mixed pack — but if you’re hankering for a (nearly) classic west coast style IPA, you’ve come to the right place. Well-hopped with…