Review: Chateau Montelena 2014 Zinfandel and 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Calistoga

Some of the first big reds of the season are here — here’s a look at two new wines dropping from Napa icon Chateau Montelena, including the winery’s flagship estate cabernet release. 2014 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel Calistoga – A dry expression of zinfandel, with notes of cassis and black cherry, with a peppery nuance to…

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Review: The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 Years Old (2017), Peated Triple Cask 14 Years Old, and Peat Week 14 Years Old 2002

The Balvenie is getting peaty. In a rare move for a Speyside distillery, The Balvenie is introducing not one but two peated expressions, both of which use locally sourced peat from the Highlands. The Peated Triple Cask 14 Years Old is headed only to duty free, while the new Peat Week 14 Years Old is…

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Review: 2015 Vale do Bomfim Douro DOC

This is a dry red wine produced by Symington’s Dow’s operation, best known for its Port wine production. The grapes (30% Tinta Barroca, 25% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 15% Tinta Roriz, and 5% Tinto Cão) are grown in the same Douro Valley and is made from the same grapes as Port, only it is vinified to…

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Review: Seersucker Southern Style Gin

Seersucker is a new gin from Azar Distilling in San Antonio, and it uses the seersucker pattern as its touchstone because it is “synonymous with the warm and inviting nature of Southern hospitality.” There’s no detail on the distillation process aside from that it is pot distilled. Botanicals run to six/seven, including some unusual ingredients: citrus…

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Review: Woodchuck Gumption Citrus Freak Hard Cider

Gumption Citrus Freak is a spin-off of Woodchuck’s standard, circus-themed Gumption cider, which here blends apples with grapefruit and Cascade hops to create a unique and surprisingly refreshing combination. The grapefruit is an impressive pairing with the crisp apple notes — this is a semi-sweet cider, a real crowd pleaser when it comes to sweetness —…

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Review: Parker’s Heritage Collection Single Barrel Bourbon 11 Years Old (2017)

For the latest installment in the always engaging Parker’s Heritage Collection (which now spans 11 releases), Heaven Hill is making a return to the basics. For 2017, the special release whiskey is an 11 year old single barrel bourbon, aged in the late Parker Beam’s favorite rickhouse location in Deatsville, Kentucky. The bourbon is non-chill…

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Recipe: Brown Butter Old Fashioned

Want to experience one of the best Old Fashioneds you’ve ever had? Check out this recipe from DTB (Down the Bayou) in New Orleans. Brown Butter Old Fashioned courtesy DTB cocktail director Lu Brow 2 oz brown butter washed bourbon (see below) ¼ oz brown sugar syrup 4 drops Angostura Bitters Luxardo cherry swath of…

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Review: Virgil Kaine Robber Baron Rye Whiskey

Virgil Kaine, based in North Charleston, SC, is known for its ginger-infused bourbon — and now it’s stretching its brand to reach into straight spirits. First up is Virgil Kaine Robber Baron, a rye. It’s actually a blend of two whiskeys: 4% is bourbon and 96% is rye. Digging deeper, the bourbon is from a mash…

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