Review: Wines of Joseph Jewell, 2017 Releases

Joseph Jewell — the middle names of Micah Wirth and Adrian Manspeaker, respectively — produce a range of pinot noir, zinfandel, and chardonnay wines, sourcing from all around Sonoma and, interestingly, Humboldt County (which is far better known for another cash crop than grapevines). Today we look at a sextet of red releases from the…

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Review: Nikka Pure Malt Black

Japanese whisky producer Nikka has an impressive range of offerings highlighting different styles of whisky from single malts, to various blends, and two different grain whiskies. For their blended malts, Nikka offers the Taketsuru Pure Malt and an additional line of Pure Malts labeled by color (corresponding to their particular blend) and packaged in a…

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Review: Old Ripy and Bond & Lillard Kentucky Straight Bourbons

Hey, said Campari, Diageo and Buffalo Trace shouldn’t have all the fun with the “orphan barrel” mystique! We’ve got history too that we can exploit and turn into rare, collectable whiskey! Enter the Whiskey Barons collection, a series of spirits that are now hitting the market, both loaded up to the hilt with backstory. Here’s…

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Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey and Diamond Peak (Late 2016 Bottlings)

We’ve reviewed several of Stranahan’s single malt whiskey bottlings in the past, and today we look at a fresh batch of both the yellow-labeled original and the company’s higher-end Diamond Peak release. Both are 100% malted barley whiskeys, made and aged in Colorado. Unfortunately prices batch information is not available for these, which were tasted…

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Lager? Ale? Beer? What’s the Difference?

To begin with, it’s all beer. Budweiser, Guinness, Paulaner, Sapporo, Sam Adams, Pilsner Urquell, Chimay, and all their varieties are beer. Which is kind of funny since I remember saying, long ago, that I wanted something better than beer, I wanted an ale. But all ales are beer. I simply didn’t know better. The basic…

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Review: Lost Spirits Distillery Abomination “The Sayers of the Law”

One can count on few things in life, but one of those things is the fact that Lost Spirits Distillery — now operating out of Los Angeles — is going to come up with something new to mess with your mind. What did Bryan Davis do to create this “abomination?” Instead of distilling his own…

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Review: Mamont Siberian Vodka

If the woolly mammoth tusk-shaped bottle didn’t tip you off, Mamont is a Russian vodka — specifically a Siberian vodka, made at Itkul Distillery, the region’s oldest distillery. The vodka is produced from a mash of white winter wheat, distilled six times, and filtered through birch charcoal. The results are fine, if short of anything earth-shattering.…

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Review: 2013 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

Rutherford’s Sequoia Grove is known for its rather restrained cabernets, and this 2013 vintage is no exception, offering a dusty approach with ample tannin and some lumberyard notes. Eventually currant and blackberry notes manage to push their way through, but it’s a fight through a considerable amount of earth and tanned leather before we get…

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