Review: Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale 2017 and Black Butte XXIX

Two highly-anticipated beers from Deschutes are now hitting the market: the Oregon brewery’s annual winter beer, Jubelale, and its large-format, barrel-aged Black Butte, celebrating the brewery’s 29th birthday. Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale 2017 – Deschutes jumps straight from summer to winter with the release of its latest Jubelale, and this year’s expression is a…

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Review: Lagavulin 12 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

This cask strength release of 12 year old Lagavulin is pretty much an annual affair — this is the 15th release of it in the Diageo Special Release series — as usual coming from refill American oak (bourbon) hogsheads. As with last year’s release (the 200th anniversary of the distillery), this is a more floral…

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Review: 2014 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Louis Martini’s latest Napa Valley cab — one of the more entry-level though perfectly palatable bottlings — has arrived. This year’s bottling is lush and seductive, loaded with fresh and dried berries, but not overtly sweet or jammy, with overtones of milk chocolate, nutmeg, and fresh cherries. The finish is supple and seductive, with hints…

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Review: Convalmore 32 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

Convalmore was in the heart of Speyside in Dufftown. It closed in 1985, just a year after this whisky was distilled. It spent 32 years in refill American oak hogsheads before bottling; this is only the fourth time Convalmore has appeared in the Diageo Special Release series. Very old bourbon-barrel aged Speyside spirit can be…

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Review: Eli Mason Mint Julep Syrup

Eli Mason is a Nashville-based producer of a variety of classic syrups, including grenadine, demerara syrup, and more. The company recently sent us its mint julep syrup — water, cane sugar, turbinado sugar, mint, and natural gomme syrup — to check out. This is an interesting syrup, for sure, but it’s also a bit unusual.…

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Review: Glen Elgin 18 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

This Glen Elgin release spent 18 years in sherry oak before bottling. It’s only the third time this Speyside distillery has been featured in the Special Release series. One of the more conventional (though perfectly well-made) bottlings in this lineup, this Glen Elgin is well sherried, to the point where the nose takes on a…

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Review: Coravin Screw Cap

One of the (decidedly minor) challenges of the Coravin wine preservation system is that it doesn’t work with screw-capped wines. Because the system involves a thin needle piercing the cork, allowing the cork to re-seal after it’s withdrawn, it just isn’t possible to use it on a metal screwcap. Now, says Coravin, the problem is…

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Review: Caol Ila Unpeated 18 Years Old Limited Edition 2017

This Caol Ila is a rare, unpeated version, aged in American oak hogsheads, that appears regularly in the Diageo Special Releases. This is the oldest unpeated Caol Ila released in the series to date. I’ll be straight up here: This is my favorite Caol Ila ever. The nose is rich with fruit, roasted grains, nuts,…

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