Review: Wines of Mt. Beautiful, 2016 Releases

Mt. Beautiful is a fairly noteworthy New Zealand winery, which we most recently encountered in our tasting report on new NZ wines. Recently we received a quartet of expressions from the winery. Thoughts on each of these 2016 releases follow. 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris North Canterbury – A simple wine, with moderate florals embedded into…

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Review: South Hollow Spirits Twenty Boat Cape Cod Spiced Rum

Massachusetts-based craft producer South Hollow Spirits has a heavy focus on rum, one of the traditional spirits of New England in the pre-Prohibition era. The Twenty Boat brand comprises both an amber and a spiced rum, the latter of which we review below. Made from organic molasses and sugar cane juice sourced from Florida and…

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Reviewing Gluten-Free Beer: Coors Peak Golden Lager and Copper Lager

Despite the science, the “gluten-free” movement still refuses to go away, so that sea of footnotes indicating glutenlessness continues to mar restaurant menus, and gluten-free alternatives to regular products continue to line grocery shelves. Including gluten-free beer. Beer is traditionally made from barley, which is loaded with gluten, so making a beer without gluten presents some thorny…

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Review: Cocktail & Sons Fassionola Syrup (2016)

Fassionola is an old school tiki syrup, blood red in color, made from who-knows-what back in the 1920s. The idea was probably a lot like grenadine: Give a drink some bright red color, and in this case, a punch of sugar, too. Some authorities have compared old scchool fassionola to syrupy Hawaiian Punch. There’s no evidence…

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Review: The Traveler Beer Co. IPA Shandy

Bottled shandies shouldn’t be difficult — it’s just beer and lemonade — and yet it’s surprisingly tough to find a really good one on the market. The Traveler Beer Co. — which already has three lackluster shandies on the market — finally cracked the code with this version, which blends IPA with real grapefruit juice…

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Tasting the Wines of Lodi’s Mokelumne Glen Vineyard, 2016 Releases

Now this is a rarity: A tasting organized based not on producer but on vineyard… and not just any vineyard, a specific vineyard in California’s Lodi region known for producing, of all things, German varietals. Mokelumne Glen spans 26 acres but is home to more than 40 cultivars, some only a represented by a few…

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Review: Captive Spirits Big Gin Peat Barreled and Barrel Reserve

Seattle-based Captive Spirits makes one thing and one thing only: gin, and lots of it. The company recently expanded its Big Gin line from two to a total of four expressions. The line now includes one standard bottling and three barrel aged versions. Just added, a “peat barreled” version, which is rested in peated whiskey casks, and…

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Review: Wines of Chateau Tourril, 2016 Releases

A new arrival to the U.S. market, Chateau Tourril is a Languedoc-based winery based in Minervois. The operation relies primarily on traditional Rhone Valley grapes, though you’ll need to check the back label to see what’s inside each bottle: Tourril has a fanciful name for each of its bottlings that has nothing to do with…

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