Review: 2016 Bee’s Box Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Yet another sub-label from Francis Coppola (this one’s actually a sub-label of a Virginia Dare, itself a sub-label of Coppola), here comes Bee’s Box, a wine intended to honor our flying friends. We checked out two bottles from the inaugural vintage, both with California appellations. Thoughts follow. 2016 Bee’s Box Chardonnay California – Includes 5%…

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Review: Hirsch High Rye Straight Bourbon Whiskey 8 Years Old

Anchor Distilling’s Hirsch brand is getting a line extension with the launch of Hirsch High Rye 8 Years Old. The whiskey is a blend made from two MGP mash bills – “one with 21% rye and another with 36% rye, resulting in a high rye content that adds spiced character while balancing the sweet notes of…

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Book Review: Beach Cocktails

Fruity, slushy beach drinks don’t get the kind of respect that craft cocktails get, and for good reason: It’s hard to be serious about a drink whose ingredients are measured in cubs, not ounces. Condensed milk, coconut rum, strawberries, Midori… those ingredients aren’t typically what you consider top shelf, either. That said, a beach cocktail has…

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Whisky Festivals

Having been to and worked at quite a few whisky festivals now, I’ve seen the length and breadth of the behaviour spectrum — from upmarket jaunts to paramedics arriving on scene. A whisky festival is a scene of merriment (it’s not apple juice), but there’s a line that can get crossed when people are trying…

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Review: Wines of William Hill, 2017 Releases

Three new wines from William Hill, all part of the winery’s Coastal Collection, which is its entry-level lineup. All three hail from the North Coast appellation, which covers a vast area that spans the bulk of northern California. 2016 William Hill Sauvignon Blanc North Coast – Big ammonia notes lead the way with this highly…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Cherry Wood Smoked Barley

For its 2017 limited edition Master’s Collection bourbon (the 12th in the series), Woodford Reserve has gone a little bit off the script. The concept this year: “Rather than using natural malted barley, which is used in Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Master Distiller Chris Morris modified the grain recipe by selecting malt that had been smoked…

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Review: Magic Hat TFG IPA

No bottles for Magic Hat’s latest IPA: It’s available only in cans or on draft. This is a fairly straightforward recipe, using Pale, Victory, Cara, and Carapils Malt, plus oats, and it’s spiked with Magnum, Nugget, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Cascade Hops. The results are a killer little IPA. It’s not overwhelming with pine or oil-heavy citrus — nor is…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyFest San Francisco 2017

San Francisco’s WhiskyFest seemed as popular as ever this year, kicked off with the stampede to the Pappy Van Winkle booth that always marks the start of the show. As always, there was plenty to enjoy at this year’s event — both new expressions and classic old friends ready for tasting. Here’s a full rundown…

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