Book Review: The Beer Geek Handbook

Patrick Dawson’s Beer Geek Handbook is a kooky, breezy look at the often nutty world of beer – with the self-described “beer geek” squarely in mind. Extensively illustrated by Greg Kletsel, it covers the basics of beer, while tiptoeing into the rarified air of the Great American Beer Festival, beer trading, whether collaborative brews are…

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Review: Laphroaig 25 Years Old and 30 Years Old (2016)

Old Laphroaig is one of life’s great pleasures, but I haven’t encountered any truly wonderful old stock from the Islay classic since 2009. Good news, folks: Laphroaig is reintroducing both the 25 year old expression and launching its 30 year old single malt stateside, to boot. Best news: We got ’em both and we’re here…

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Review: Pyramid Ditto Session IPA

Seattle-based Pyramid’s newest brew is Ditto, a session IPA “dry-hopped with two Pacific Northwest hop varieties, Amarillo and Calypso, and includes three kettle hops, Nugget, Delta and Chinook.” It also includes a blend of pale, caramel, and wheat malts in the mash. The brew is light on its feet, offering fresh bread notes studded with…

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Review: Westland Garryana Native Oak Series 2016 Edition 1|1

Who or what is Garryana? It’s short for Quercus garryana, a species of oak native to the Pacific Northwest, where Westland Distillery is based. While American oak barrels are traditionally formed form Quercus alba, a species of oak common to the midwest, Westland, as you might have guessed, aged part of this limited edition release of its…

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Review: Starr Hill Last Leaf and Basketcase

These seasonals are part of Starr Hill’s 2016 Fall Tour Pack along with Whiter Shade of Pale Ale and Northern Lights. Let’s sample the new brews. Starr Hill Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale – A brown ale brewed with real maple syrup. Definitely the best of both worlds here, a light brown sugary sweetness giving…

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Review: Charbay Double Aged Rum (2016)

This new and highly, highly expensive rum from Napa’s Charbay was distilled in 2005 from Hawaiian and Jamaican first-press sugar cane juice (not molasses), fermented with Champagne yeast, and distilled on Charbay’s pot-style Cognac still. It was aged in stainless steel for five years then put into French oak Chardonnay barrels for three more years.…

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Review: Wines of Lazy Creek Vineyards, 2016 Releases

Lazy Creek Vineyards, part of the Ferrari-Carano family of wines, is an Anderson Valley winery focused on pinot noir. Winemaker Christy Ackerman makes all of its wines as well as all of Ferrari’s pinots, and she invited a number of wine writers to sit in on an online tasting to sample the winery’s wares and…

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Review: Mount Gay XO Cask Strength Rum

As a celebration of 50 years of Barbados independence comes Mount Gay XO Cask Strength, its most luxe bottling to date. This is a limited edition, overproof expression of its existing Mount Gay XO bottling, which is itself a blend of rums 8 to 15 years old. This expression is a deep and brooding rum…

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