Review: 2013 Rotari Brut and Rose

The Trento DOC is part of Italy’s Alto Adige, and it is home to Rotari, a well-distributed sparkling wine made using traditional methods. Generally gentle in style, these are wines that drink well on their own, with food, or in cocktails like Mimosas. As for these specific bottlings, here’s a look at two new, vintage-dated…

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Review: Bache-Gabrielsen American Oak Cognac

Bache-Gabrielsen’s Hors d’Age Cognac is a favorite around Drinkhacker HQ, and so it was with great anticipation that I met its latest release: A VS Cognac that is further finished in new American oak (officially Tennessee oak) barrels for six months. (The initial aging period in French oak isn’t noted on the label, but it is…

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Review: Virtue Cider Lapinette Cidre Brut

Virtue Cider’s Lapinette is a “Norman-style cidre brut fermented with French yeast and patiently aged for months in French oak.” This Michigan-born cider is lightly sparkling but bone dry, which can be a bit surprising and even challenging at first but which eventually wins you over. On the tongue it offers an earthiness at first,…

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Review: Seattle Distilling Idle Hour Whiskey

Home-grown Washington barley finds its way into Seattle Distilling’s Idle Hour single malt whiskey, which adds local wildflower honey into the fermentation to sweeten things up a bit (Seattle Distilling calls this “its Irish character”). The distillate is aged in re-charred, used French oak cabernet sauvignon wine casks, though no age statement is offered. This…

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Review: Wild Sit Russ and Wild Docta’ Alcoholic Sodas

Two new alco-pops (that is, alco-soda-pops) from the Wild company, which produces Wild Ginger and Wild Root. Let’s explore. Wild Sit Russ Alcoholic Citrus Soda – Sit Russ (bad name or the worst name?) An alcoholic version of Sprite, though the color is closer to Mountain Dew. The flavor of this one is surprisingly clean,…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Brandy Cask Finish

The 11th installment in Woodford Reserve’s annual Master’s Collection release is here. For 2016, standard, “fully mature” Woodford is finished in American brandy casks for nearly two years. Which brandy isn’t stated (but since Woodford’s parent company Brown-Forman owns Korbel, I have a strong hunch where the casks came from). Woodford notes, “Brandy, a spirit…

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Review: 3 Mezcals from Craft Distillers – Alipus Ensamble, Mezcalero #16, and Mezcalero Special #2

Craft Distillers has doubled down on mezcal, and it imports both the Alipus and Mezcalero lines of mezcal. Alipus is generally available, but the Mezcalero line is a series of limited production releases, numbered in sequence. 1 through 14 are now sold out; you can still get 15 and 16, the latter of which is reviewed…

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Tasting Riesling Two Ways: 2014 Blue Fish vs. 2015 Relax

Riesling gets a bad rap, because many drinkers associate it only with sticky-sweet wines that are suitable only for the dessert course or the cheese plate. Remember: Riesling comes in all shapes and sizes, from tooth-strippingly sweet to nearly bone dry. The two German rieslings we review below are both closer to the center of…

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