Tasting Report: RateBeer Best Festival 2017

2017’s RateBeer Best Festival, benefiting Ales for Autism, recently arrived in Santa Rosa, California for the second year. Brewers from across the globe brought their brews here to compete in both beer and food competitions. Attendees were able to sample them all. This year’s festival was double the size from the previous year, with the general…

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Drinking the Bottom Shelf Vol. 1: American Whiskey – Jim Beam, Evan Williams, Old Thompson

Good whiskey can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are bargain bottles that are enjoyable and offer considerably higher quality:value ratios than more expensive options. Today we pore through the “bottom shelf” bottles in order to find whiskeys that are enjoyable yet affordable while attempting to steer drinkers clear of the ones…

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Review: Two New Chocolate Ales from The Bruery: Share This O. C. and Chocolate Rain

This month The Bruery released two ales, first through their Bruery Preservation Society and then to the public. Both are imperial stouts with heavy cacao nib flavors. We couldn’t resist opening a couple of bottles. First up is The Bruery Share This O.C., the third in the brewery’s “Share This” series of brews, meaning one…

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How to Make a Perfect Old Fashioned Cocktail

So, you’ve mastered mixing the manhattan, and now you want to try your hand at another 19th-century classic cocktail? Another simple and delicious mixed drink with oodles of history behind it is the Old Fashioned, and for a drinker who has mixing manhattans down pat, an old fashioned is an excellent new recipe to try.…

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Review: 2012 Dolin The Blue Note Malibu Coast

Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards, located in the SoCal Malibu Coast AVA, has released its inaugural bottling of The Blue Note — a blend of 44% merlot, 36% cabernet sauvignon, and 20% cabernet franc. I’m intrigued already. It’s heavy, heavy on the violet notes, particularly on the nose. The body however is initially quite tannic and tight…

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Review: Heritage Distilling Rye and Bourbon Whiskeys and Crisp Gin (2017)

Heritage Distilling makes a veritable ton of spirits in its Gig Harbor, Washington home, and by that I mean it actually makes them. This isn’t sourced or finished whiskey and gin, it’s the real deal, bringing in grains from the Pacific Northwest and Canada, mashed and fermented on site, and distilled in a copper column still.…

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Review: Cocktail & Sons Fassionola Syrup (2017)

Cocktail & Sons’ seasonal Fassionola — a red tiki syrup that includes pineapple, mango, passion fruit, hibiscus flowers, strawberries, and lime zest — is back in time for the summer, and the company has tweaked the recipe in time for the inauguration of its partnership with Ruth’s Chris steakhouse, where the syrup will be featured on the…

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Review: Glenfiddich Project XX

Glenfiddich’s Project XX (pronounced “twenty”) is a unique experiment that defies easy categorization. I’m going to let the distillery explain before I go any further: Project XX is the result of one of the most ambitious malt experiments of Glenfiddich’s 130 year history. The expression is the collaboration between the 20 Glenfiddich Brand Ambassadors from…

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