Review: 2013 Lander-Jenkins Pinot Noir California

Budget pinot noir is never my (or anyone’s) go-to beverage, but this California bottling from Lander-Jenkins, part of the Rutherford Wine Company, actually does a respectable level of┬áservice to a $15 bottle of vino. Primary tasting notes include classically-pinot cherry and tea leaf, though there’s a bit of brown sugar sweetness, almost molasses-like at times,…

Read More about Review: 2013 Lander-Jenkins Pinot Noir California

Review: Lagavulin 12 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

Lagavulin 12 appears in the Diageo Special Releases nearly every year — but this year it has the luxury of appearing as part of Lagavulin’s 200th anniversary celebratory releases (see also its 8 year old and 25 year old). This year’s Lag 12, aged in refill American oak hogsheads, is particularly worthwhile, rounded and balanced…

Read More about Review: Lagavulin 12 Years Old Limited Edition 2016

Review: Breckenridge Brewery Chocolate Orange Stout and Christmas Ale

Colorado’s Breckenridge Brewery is out with two new seasonals, a nitro chocolate orange stout, and a classic Christmas ale. Let’s give both a try! Breckenridge Brewery Chocolate Orange Stout – You might expect a nitrogen-charged stout flavored with chocolate and orange zest to be heavy, even overwhelming — but Breckenridge’s nitro choc-orange stout is anything…

Read More about Review: Breckenridge Brewery Chocolate Orange Stout and Christmas Ale

Review: Cragganmore Limited Edition 2016

It’s not Christmas yet, but that most anticipated time of the year has arrived: The release of Diageo’s Special Releases, rarities from Scotland-based distilleries (some long-closed) being trickled to our shores. This year’s batch includes 10 whiskies, all of which we have on hand for review and will cover one of each day for the…

Read More about Review: Cragganmore Limited Edition 2016

Review: Tovolo Sphere Clear Ice System

Nothing makes a better statement in a cocktail than using a single piece of ice to chill it. Up the ante by making that a sphere instead of a cube. Up it again by ensuring the ice is crystal clear, not cloudy. The secret of clear ice was figured out a long time ago: Water…

Read More about Review: Tovolo Sphere Clear Ice System

Review: Crown Royal Vanilla

Crown Royal continues to experiment with flavored whiskies, its latest expression being a natural whisky fit: Vanilla. The product is described as “a blend of hand-selected Crown Royal whiskies infused with the rich flavor of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla.” If you like vanilla and you like Canadian whisky, well, you’ll love Crown Royal Vanilla, which is…

Read More about Review: Crown Royal Vanilla

Review: 2013 Saved Red Wine

A blend of “Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Zinfandel, and small amounts of other red varietals,” this is a California bottling from parts otherwise unknown.┬áThe wine is initially dialed back, but some air and time in glass reveals a denser-than-expected fruit core that showcases blackberries, blueberries, and currants. There’s a lacing of vanilla and a touch of…

Read More about Review: 2013 Saved Red Wine

Review: El Consuelo Tequila Reposado

El Consuelo is a new brand just launched this year. It is one of only a few USDA-certified organic tequilas, made with Highland agave and, curiously, is aged in Cognac barrels instead of the usual bourbon barrels. We received the reposado for review, which spends six months in wood before bottling. Heavy agave kicks off…

Read More about Review: El Consuelo Tequila Reposado