Review: Whiskeys of Reservoir Distillery – Bourbon, Rye, Wheat Whiskey, and Gray Ghost

When deciding how to formulate their mashbills, Reservoir Distillery took one of the more unique approaches among craft whiskey-makers. They decided to not use a mashbill. Well, at least not a complicated one. Defying tradition, they concentrated on 100% grain expressions in their line up, all bottled at 100 proof. Their bourbon, for example, is 100%…

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Review: 2016 Sonoma-Cutrer Rose of Pinot Noir Russian River Valley

This rose of pinot noir is Sonoma-Cutrer’s latest limited edition Winemaker’s Release — crafted from fruit in Block C of Owsley Ranch, which was cultivated to become Sonoma-Cutrer’s first rosé. Designed to loosely mimic a Provence rose, it’s a floral wine, loaded with strawberry but with a hint of orange to add some nuance. Brisk and…

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Review: Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced Rum

The latest product from Destilería Serrallés, the Puerto Rican producers of Don Q Rum, is a natural line extension: spiced rum. The catch? Don Q Oak Barrel Spiced Rum is an aged, spiced rum. The spirit is made from “a blend of Puerto Rican rums that have been aged for a minimum of three years and up…

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Review: Wines of Columbia Winery, 2017 Releases

  We last met with Columbia Winery in 2014  Since then, the winery has dramatically revamped its labels, so you might not recognize these bottlings are from the same company. As always, Columbia focuses on affordable yet authentic wine from Washington’s Columbia Valley. Let’s taste four new releases. 2014 Columbia Winery Chardonnay Columbia Valley –…

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Review: Tequila Codigo 1530 Complete Lineup

Tequila Codigo, launched in late 2016, has plenty of industry power behind it, but it also finds support in the form of country icon George Strait, who is an investor and brand ambassador. Made in the region of Los Bajos, these are all 100% blue agave tequilas. Curiously, all of the aged expressions spend time not in…

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A Brief History of Orange Flavored Liqueurs

Orange liqueur is a staple of any bar, used for dozens of different mixed drinks, from simple classics like the margarita, to obscure Prohibition-era drinks like the XYZ. But there are several different styles of orange liqueur, and it can be hard for the average consumer to tell just what it is they need. We’re…

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Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Port Finished Virginia Highland Malt Whisky (2017)

Virginia Distillery — which takes authentic single malt from Scotland, blends it with malt whiskey distilled in house, and finishes it all in unique barrels in Virginia — is back with another release, and like its inaugural release, this one finished in Port wine barrels. (Again, note that this expression differs from that first release and…

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Bar Review: Mezcalito, San Francisco

You needn’t think too hard to figure out what the spiritual focus of San Francisco’s Mezcalito, a bar and restaurant which opened seven months ago. It’s right there in the name. At a recent tasting, bar manager Adam Mangold walked us through a good chunk of the extensive cocktail list here, almost all of which…

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