Review: Firestone Walker Double DBA

California’s Firestone Walker Brewery was born, like so many craft breweries, in a garage. That was way, way back in 1996. The brewery didn’t even begin recording their batches until they moved to Paso Robles in 2001. 22 years and a whole lot of success later, the brewery is marking its 10,000th batch with a…

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“Fire, Water & Grain: The Story of Empire Rye” — How a New York Spirit Got Its Own Documentary

Whiskey is (usually) a slow business. New categories develop only sporadically as distillers explore corners of the market while introducing consumers to new flavor profiles. While emerging categories like American Single Malts and Indiana Rye are creeping into our drinking vocabularies, one relatively new category is getting its moment in the sun with a new…

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Review: 2018 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage Selection Napa Valley

While Krug also makes a $35 Napa Valley Cabernet, Charles Krug’s luxe Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, also hailing from Napa Valley, is denoted by the crimson banner that runs across the top left corner of the label. A dense, fully opaque wine, this is about as classic an expression of Napa cab as you can get.…

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Review: 2021 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir George Menini Estate

The George Menini Estate can be found on the edge of the Russian River Valley, and Paul Hobbs has taken up shop here to turn out high-end chardonnays and pinot noirs. Today we look at the inaugural pinot release from the vineyard, harvested in 2021. Anyone looking for elegant, approachable, and versatile pinot noir won’t…

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Review: Cognac Park VS Carte Blanche

Cognac Park isn’t a household name in the U.S., but its Carte Blanche release makes a strong case that maybe it should be. While it’s just a VS release, composed of 50% Fins bois and 50% Petite Champagne eaux de vie, it drinks a lot like a more refined, rounded Cognac — at least a…

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Review: Version Francaise Single Malt Whiskies – Armorik 2014, Ninkasi 2017, and Artesia 2018

Our friends at La Maison & Velier recently dropped a new line of small-production, single vintage, single cask Armagnacs, all being sold under its new Version Francaise line. At the time, we mentioned that French whisky was also coming out under the Version Francaise label, and that is precisely where we’re headed today. While some…

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Review: Laphroaig Cairdeas White Port & Madeira Casks 2023

Laphroaig’s latest annual edition, dubbed Càirdeas, is described by the distillery as bringing together “the best of much loved Càirdeas releases over recent years.” For 2023, the distillery went in two different directions: 3/4 of the whisky is matured in second-fill Madeira casks (which were the focus with the 2016 Cairdeas release), while 1/4 is…

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Review: 3 Ribera del Duero Wines from Familia Fernandez Rivera, 2023 Releases

The Familia Fernández Rivera can be found in Spain’s Ribera del Duero, where the weather is hot and the tempranillo grapes grow ripe, developing an unmistakable intensity of flavor. The family harvested its first vintage in 1975. Today it farms 200 hectares of tempranillo, all sustainably, bottling the resulting wines under four different brands. Today…

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