Review: Tequila Ocho Plata Puerta del Aire 2016

It’s hard to believe but we haven’t reviewed a release of Tequila Ocho since this 2010 release. But our inadequacy get in the way of progress. Tequila Ocho has steadily been putting out vintage-dated single-village tequilas since 2008, with what must be dozens of expressions hitting the market since. (They’re all limited editions, so if…

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Review: Guinness 200th Anniversary Export Stout

In 1817, the first barrels of Guinness beer — a porter at the time — made their way across the Atlantic and to the U.S., marking the beginning of 200 years of Guinness being sold in our country. As Guinness notes, “The anniversary this fall is a celebration of a 200-year love affair between a…

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How to Make Conditum Paradoxum, Ancient Roman Spiced Holiday Wine

December is the month of many holidays, but one winter celebration that’s been lost to time is the ancient Roman tradition of Saturnalia, a festival that lasted from December 17th to December 23rd. The Saturnalia was dedicated to the Roman God Saturn, and involved banquets, gift-giving, and a flipping of social norms such as slaves…

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Review: The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old (2017) and Classic Cut

Today let’s look at two whiskies from The Macallan — one a revisit to a classic bottling, the other a new release available only as a limited edition. Thoughts follow. The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old (2017) – Last encountered in 2009. This is still a sherry bomb, through and through, and it will…

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After California’s Fires, a Brewing Community Comes Together

Sonoma and surrounding counties survived the worst fires in California history in October of 2017. Immediately after, local brewers banded together to raise money for displaced fire victims. It was truly spectacular to see. Fieldwork Brewing, which had fires with a mile of its doors, was the first to hold a fundraiser. People from all…

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Review: 2016 Artezin Zinfandel Mendocino County

This Mendocino-born zin is a blend of 84% zinfandel, 14% petite sirah, and 2% carignan, making it one of the more heavily-blended zinfandels we’ve seen in quite a while. While the wine can’t escape the iconic dark purple color, it does succeed at loosening up some of the uber-sweet structure that Zin so typically exudes, cutting…

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Review: El Tesoro Tequila 80th Anniversary Edition

El Tesoro is a beautiful tequila from an ancient brand, and for its 80th anniversary it’s pulling out all the stops, offering this extreme extra anejo at the whopping age of 8 years old. As with all of its expressions, this is a 100% agave tequila sourced from the Jalisco Highlands. Aging is completed in…

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Review: 2015 Rocca di Montemassi Le Focaie Maremma Toscana DOC

Want all the power of great Chianti without the price tag? Check out this 100% sangiovese bottling from Rocca di Montemassi called Le Focaie (“flint” in Italian), which will barely set you back a ten-spot. A nose of pencil lead and dried cherries leads to an effusive body. It starts of sweet but with a…

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