Review: 2019 Barone Montalto Ammasso Rosso Sicilia DOC

Ammasso is a curious blend of Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, all grown in Sicily in the vineyards of Vinicoltori Contalto. As hearty as any pure-Nero Sicilian wine you’ve probably encountered, this brooding bruiser takes its time to come into focus, letting dark fruit notes of overripe plum, currants, and dark chocolate…

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Review: The Balvenie Madeira Cask 15 Years Old and Pedro Ximenez Cask 18 Years Old

Earlier this year, we had the chance to review Balvenie’s new French Oak 16 Years Old aged in Pineaus des Charentes casks. That bottle is actually part of a trifecta of new cask-finished releases launched in the spring of 2022. Two others, a 15-year-old expression finished in Madeira wine casks and an 18-year-old expression finished…

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Book Review: A Passion for Whisky

The tiny Scottish island of Islay counts around 3,000 people as full-time residents but welcomes tens of thousands of tourists annually and counts hundreds of thousands, if not more, fans around the globe swearing regional allegiance. That may prove to be an unsubstantiated hot take in the end, but right now Islay seems to be…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye

It seems Jack Daniel’s is capitalizing on momentum after successful releases of their Bonded and Triple Mash whiskeys in 2022, both of which carried bottled-in-bond designations. While on a recent trip to their Lynchburg, Tennessee distillery, company reps told me both releases received better-than-expected responses from consumers and critics alike. Now, the Brown-Forman owned whiskey…

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Review: Ex Libris The Apprenticeship Canadian Whisky 1982

Our friends at La Maison & Velier have recently launched a new line of whiskies bottled under the Ex Libris banner. The concept is that Ex Libris will showcase whiskies from all of the world, each to be named after a key literary work from its country of origin. First out of the gate is a…

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Book Review: How to Drink Australian

It is a fun time in the realm of beverage literature. We’ve witnessed a significant shift away from rigid recipe books and academic volumes towards approachable, enlightening works penned by authors deeply devoted to sharing their compelling narratives. Over the past two decades, an abundant collection of relaxed storytelling and entertainment has emerged, covering nearly…

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The Essential Guide to Oktoberfest Beers

Perhaps the greatest informal dad holiday of the entire year, Oktoberfest stands as the king of the brewing calendar. Numerous beers styles are common at these events, with the ironically named Märzen the prevailing style and guiding light for offerings from breweries around the globe for this cereal celebration. Festbier and its variants have become…

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Review: 2019 Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese Sicilia DOC

Made from 100% Nerello Mascalese, this wine from our friends at Planeta presents with a bright, garnet color and a fruit-forward, spice-laced nose. Initially quite earthy on the palate, it takes some time to settle into its groove, letting notes of anise and blackberry slowly emerge, tempered by fruitier notes of spiced red raspberry but…

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