A Field Guide to the Agave Used For Mezcal

Mezcal is the precursor spirit to modern day tequila; it has been produced since the mid 16th century, and many distillers still use ancient techniques for much of it’s production. Unlike tequila, which can only be made from the Weber blue species of agave, mezcal is produced with multiple species that are either cultivated or…

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Review: Samuel Adams Rebel IPA (2017), Rebel Juiced IPA, Fresh As Helles, and Hopscape

It’s time for a quartet of brews from our friends in Boston, including two new releases (Fresh As Helles and Hopscape), plus a fully reformulated and rebranded Rebel IPA, along with a new spinoff of that line. According to Sam Adams, the new Rebel IPA marks the first time that the brewery has “completely reformulated…

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Review: Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Triple Grain American Oak 10 Years Old

Johnnie Walker is the latest distillery to get into the experimental whisky game, with master blender Jim Beveridge launching a new series called Blenders’ Batch. Said to number in the hundreds, these experiments have long been “a crucial part of their work, focusing on developing and understanding a vast variety of unconventional flavors that can…

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Review: 2015 Cosentino Cigar Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi

Cosentino’s Cigar bottling (not new, but recently given an updated label) is a mighty soft zin, pretty with lots of fresh blueberry and baking spices, but also heavy with floral notes, particularly violets. It’s a nice start, and it’s an easy drinker on these early days of spring, but the body is muddied by overly…

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Review: WhistlePig FarmStock Rye Whiskey Crop 001

Like many craft distilleries, WhistlePig has been selling other people’s whiskey while it gets its own operation up to snuff. In fact, WhistlePig isn’t just making its own spirit, it’s growing its own grain and even making its own barrels from trees grown on its own land. Even the water is from WhistlePig’s own well.…

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Review: Peach Street Distillers Tub Gin

Peach Street Distillers in Palisade, Colorado is well known for its whiskey, but it also makes a complement of gins, including this limited edition expression called Tub. The gin is hopped and includes “plum spirits,” but otherwise the company keeps the botanical bill and production information close to the vest on this one. The hops are…

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Review: Lock Stock & Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey 16 Years Old

R. J. Cooper and Son is the company behind St. Germain, Creme Yvette, and Lock Stock & Barrel whiskey, a 16 year old whiskey sourced from Alberta Distillery and crafted from a mashbill of 100% rye that is pot-distilled. This is actually the second release of Lock Stock & Barrel, following a 13 year old release…

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Review: 2015 Illumination Sauvignon Blanc

You’ll have to check the back label for the details, but Illumination is a white wine made at Quintessa, which is best known as a cult producer of red wine. Here, however, is a white from the property, blended from 39% Sauvignon Blanc Musqué (a particularly aromatic clone of Sauvignon Blanc), 48% Sauvignon Blanc, and 13% Semillon.…

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