Review: 2014 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

New wines from Landmark — not just the chardonnay we frequently see, but also the winery’s pinot noir. Thoughts on both expressions follow. 2014 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay Sonoma County – Robust on the nose, with an initial body that offers notes of melon and citrus. Notes of buttered popcorn emerge on what fades into…

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Review: Usquaebach “Old-Rare” Superior Blended Flagon

We last covered Usquaebach, a Highland producer of blended whiskies and blended malts, in late 2015. Missing from that lineup was the blender’s top-end bottling, “Old-Rare,” most easily recognized by the stoneware flagon in which it is bottled. (“Old-Rare” is in tiny print at the very top of the decanter; the rest of the writing…

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Review: The Glenlivet Single Cask Edition Pullman Train Collection

I scratched my head, too: Why would a major producer of Scotch whisky name a series of high-end releases after a train invented in the United States? We’ve got the full story, courtesy of The Glenlivet. The Glenlivet has been a standard-setting luxury brand for nearly 200 years, appealing to whisky connoisseurs looking for a…

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Review: Four Roses 2016 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon “Elliott’s Select”

Astute readers might recall that in January 2015, Four Roses discontinued its annual Limited Edition Single Barrel releases, citing a shortage of available stock to produce it. Then beloved distiller Jim Rutledge retired and Brent Elliott got promoted to the job. Somewhere, Elliott found enough 14 year old, lower-rye OESK-recipe bourbon to revive the bottling…

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Review: Iichiko Kurobin Shochu and Yuzu Liqueur

We last visited with two of Iichiko’s shochus in 2013. Today we look at a third variety from Iichiko, plus a liqueur made from yuzu fruit. Thoughts follow. Iichiko Kurobin Shochu – No production information available; “Kurobin” means “black bottle.” Heavy melon notes on the nose, with a touch of sugar distinctly sake-like. Nose and palate…

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Review: Woodchuck June & Juice Juniper Hard Cider

Woodchuck’s latest “Out on a Limb” cider is this true oddity — June & Juice — a juniper-based cider that takes the gin and tonic as its inspiration. It’s a semi-sweet apple cider made by steeping fresh juniper berries, rose buds, and orange peel into the mix. The results are better than I expected, a light…

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Round 2 Review: (Reformulated) LIQS Ready To Drink Cocktail Shots

Last year we saddled LIQS ready-to-drink shots — little single-serve plastic shot glasses sealed with foil — with a bunch of C grades and promptly forgot all about them. Recently the company said the product had been reformulated to use real fruit juice and was anxious to get a fresh review. A few of the products have…

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Review: Wines of Noble Vines, 2016 Releases

Like Cameron Hughes before it, Noble Vines eschews fun names in favor of a simple three-digit number to identify its various bottlings. (Unlike Hughes, however, Noble Vines’ numbers indicate rootstock, vineyard blocks, or both.) Sourcing grapes largely from two vineyards, one in Lodi, one in Monterey, the company currently produces six low-cost wines. We review…

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