Review: Flora Springs Ghost Winery 2013 Red Wine and 2014 Malbec

Each year, Flora Springs celebrates its supposedly haunted old stone winery with fall-released wines released under the sub-moniker of “Ghost Winery.” We received two samples of current releases from the label, just in time for Halloween. 2013 Flora Springs Ghost Winery Red Wine Napa Valley – A blend of 52% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 17%…

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Review: Greenbar Bar Keep Bitters

Greenbar Distillery doesn’t just make vodka, whiskey, and a very cool liqueur, it also makes bitters, all of which are organic and bottled at¬†48% abv. Each was made in conjunction with a different bartender (or two), part of a series of bitters-designing competitions the company has sponsored for several years. Here’s a look at five…

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Review: Courvoisier VS, VSOP, and XO Cognac

  Courvoisier is revamping the packaging of its VS, VSOP, and XO expressions, with the VSOP getting the biggest switch, moving from its old, iconic, and unwieldy bottle design (called the Josephine) to a more stylish, modern look (see above). Changes to the VS and XO aren’t as extreme. We took the opportunity to review…

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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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