Book Review: Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2024

Unless you, gentle reader, are wearing workman’s overalls or carrying a bag or purse, fitting Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book anywhere on your person is a mildly amusing notion. Now in its 47th year of publication, this guide is incredibly comprehensive, checking in at over 300 pages. It is dense and immense with information on…

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Review: Jacob’s Pardon American Whiskey #3 18 Years Old

Taub Family Selections introduced their Jacob’s Pardon line back in 2021 with a unique focus on the somewhat obscure category of light whiskey. As a refresher, the first Small Batch release was a blend of MGP-sourced light whiskey and Tennessee whiskey sourced from George Dickel. A line of single barrels drawn from those same 15-year-old…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 35

Barrell Bourbon is back with yet another batch in its long-running bourbon series. For those keeping score at home, we’re up to 35 now. To describe this one as another mix of bourbons sourced from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee probably simplifies things too much. The Barrell folks do a great job of explaining on their…

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Review: 2022 Kris Pinot Grigio

This tidy, economically sensible, and widely available pinot grigio calls its home base the Alto Adige region of northern Italy, which shares a border with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria. Its 2022 vintage is crisp and lively, with citrus notes of lime and tangerine leading the charge. As it warms in the glass, the balance stays…

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Review: Rabbit Hole Founder’s Collection Dareringer Cask Strength Bourbon

Hot on the heels of their 10th anniversary release, Tenniel, Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole Distillery is out with yet another limited edition, the fourth in their Founder’s Collection line. Like their very first Founder’s release, Boxergrail, this latest offering is a rare, cask strength formulation of another whiskey from the core lineup. The details, per Rabbit…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Symphonic Chronic Double Dank IPA

With its latest release, Deschutes says you can forget about your session brews and go big. Symphonic Chronic is a hybrid of west coast and hazy IPA styles, produced as a double IPA with a mountain of hops: Citra, Chinook, CTZ, Mosaic, Simcoe, and Idaho 7. Moderately sweet with a pleasant mix of florals, applesauce,…

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Review: Playboy Spirits Rare Hare Lucky Bastard Canadian Whisky 30 Years Old

Playboy Spirits’ Rare Hare brand continues its Orphan Barrel-esque growth with this latest release: Lucky Bastard, a 30 year old Canadian whisky finished in Pineau Des Charentes barrels. (Pineau is a mix of grape must and Cognac, often aged for decades.) As is often the case with old Canadian whisky, Lucky Bastard is a rumbling,…

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Review: Beattie’s Potato and Sweet Potato Vodkas

The designation “farm-to-table” will always receive a Bourdainian side-eye from me. It’s one of those oft-used, food-adjacent phrases like “craft,” “handmade,” and “gourmet” that are intended to evoke a specific feeling while not necessarily meaning much of anything at all. And so, here we have Beattie’s Distillers, whose slogan prominently displayed on the front label…

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