Review: Woodinville Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey

The number of craft whiskey distilleries in America continues to rise, but only a fraction of them can bottle their own distillate as a “straight whiskey,” meaning it’s at least two years old. Even fewer can claim to be bottling at 5-plus years, which is comparable in age to the core products from industry big…

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Review: 2015 Le Volte Dell’Ornellaia Toscana IGT

This second label from Bolgheri’s Ornellaia invariably fights well above its weight class. A blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a classic Super Tuscan… without the price tag. Sultry notes of blackberry sprinkled with black pepper lead the way on a seductive nose. On the palate the surprisingly lithe wine delves in with a…

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Review: Stroma Liqueur

It’s been a few years since the rush of Scotch whiskey liqueurs — Dewar’s Highlander Honey, Compass Box Orangerie — took aim at Drambuie’s dominance of this niche market. But it turns out the trend isn’t quite finished, as Old Pulteney is now sending its own liqueur, Stroma, to the market. Old Pulteney is only…

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Review: 2012 Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay Napa Valley

Like your chardonnay bold? Newton’s Unfiltered Chardonnay ought to fit the bill. This golden-hued wine is bursting with fresh stone fruit, sultanas, quince, and kumquat — all painted across a backdrop of golden syrup and vanilla ice cream. There’s a vegetal tone to the finish — nothing overwhelming and perhaps merely a signal of this…

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Review: Speyburn 15 Years Old

Speyburn’s 10 year old single malt is a reliable and incredibly affordable Speyside whisky, to the point where its reputation rests largely on this fact. But if you haven’t been paying close attention, you might have missed Speyburn’s quiet move upmarket, with bottlings like Speyburn Clan Cask making for some of the spirit world’s finest…

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Review: Dos 2016 Albarinos from Altos de Torona and Morgadio

Holiday dining often finds drinkers reaching for red wine, even with lighter meats like chicken and turkey. But white can work, if you find a bottle that has a bold enough profile to stand up to the main dish. Why not albarino, a big crowd-pleaser that many will mistake for pinot grigio. Here’s a pair…

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Review: Chase Vodka, Smoked Vodka, Orange Marmalade Vodka, and Elderflower Liqueur

Chase is a vodka, gin, and liqueur producer that focuses on “field to bottle” production from its farm in Herefordshire, England. Somehow this has resulted in about a bazillion products, and though the primary crops here are potatoes and apples, Chase’s products range from raspberry liqueurs to marmalade vodka — four of which we are looking…

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Bar Review: White Cap, San Francisco

In San Francisco’s Outer Parkside district, one often gets the feeling that one has reached the literal end of the line. This is a beach community, but the water is so cold and the wind so brisk that spending much time on the beach is reserved only for die-hard surfers and masochists. (It’s so cold…

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