Review: Fort Point Manzanita Smoked Altbier

San Francisco’s Fort Point Beer Company presents this collaboration with Germany’s Freigeist. Manzanita is a heavily smoked ale made from malt that’s been smoked with both beechwood and manzanita (a common evergreen shrub) branches. The overpowering smokiness on the nose is reminiscent of apple wood smoke, crispy bacon, and mesquite. The palate is quite sweet, heavy…

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Review: Double Nickel Brewing Pilsner and Vienna Lager

Pennsauken New Jersey’s Double Nickel Brewing has been open since October of 2015, adding to a very vibrant brewing community in Southern New Jersey. Here are two of their flagship beers. Double Nickel Brewing Pilsner – Brewed with Noble hops, this excellent pilsner has a very clean crisp flavor and the straw color you would…

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Review: Martin Miller’s Gin and Westbourne Strength Gin

Very little about Martin Miller’s Gin is done in an orthodox fashion. First is the where. The company slogan — “Distilled in England, blended in Iceland” — should cue you in to the beginnings of that. Distilled (in a single, ancient pot still) in London, it is shipped via boat to Iceland, where it is proofed…

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Book Review: Whisky Japan

If you missed the meteoric rise of Japanese whisky over the last 15 years, I hate to tell you this, but it’s too late to catch up. The very best of Japanese whiskies are simply no longer available, replaced by lower-end shadows of their former selves. If you can find a top shelf Japanese bottling,…

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Review: The Quiet Man Traditional and Single Malt 8 Years Old Irish Whiskey

  Ciaran Mulgrew’s new whiskey brand hails from Northern Ireland (think Bushmills), and is named “The Quiet Man” in honor of Mulgrew’s father, a former bartender. He writes: Now that I am making my own whiskey, I am naming it after my father. As a bartender he saw a lot of things and heard a…

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Recipe: Bourbon and Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Pecan Pie with Bourbon Crust and Malted Whipped Cream

This incredible pecan pie recipe comes from Homebrewchef.com, which adapted it from a recipe in Beer Advocate magazine. I made this with Jim Beam Double Oak Twice Barreled Bourbon. For the Russian Imperial Stout, I used So Happens It’s Tuesday from The Bruery (A / $20 per 750ml bottle), which is aged in bourbon barrels. I was surprised…

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Review: Pinnacle Vodka

Pinnacle’s Cinnabon-flavored vodka didn’t exactly wow us, but the company does considerably better with its unflavored expression. Distilled five times from French wheat, this is a vodka produced in a modern style, with a lightly herbal nose that hints at toasted marshmallows and white sugar. The palate is moderately sweet but not overblown, approachable with a…

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Review: Flight of the Earl’s Blended Irish Whiskey

Damn I love a whiskey with a grammatical error in its name. The Flight of the Earls was an event in Irish history, when the Earl of Tyrone and the Earl of Tyrconnell were exiled from Ireland to mainland Europe, an event which ushered in centuries of migrations out of Ireland. Flight of the Earl’s…

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