Tasting the Beers of Baeltane Brewing, Spring 2016 Releases

Baeltane Brewing is located right in my backyard in Novato, California — they have brewed their beer in an industrial park here since 2012 and even run a little tasting room out of the front of it. Baeltane can also be found in bars and stores around the Bay Area, all the way up to…

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Review: Stone Enjoy By 05.30.16 Tangerine IPA

You’ve got only 18 more days to enjoy this very limited release from Stone, so you best get busy. Once you crack into Stone’s latest, a “tangerine IPA” made with 12 different hop varieties plus pureed tangerines. it won’t be hard to enjoy what the brewery has cooked up. Ample hoppiness is paired with fresh, sweet…

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Review: Alexander Walker & Co. Polly’s Casks Double Barrel Aged Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Who is Polly and what is so special about her casks? Allow me to explain. Alexander Murray is a major private Scotch bottler — in the U.S. it’s best known for making the Kirkland brand of whiskies that show up in Costco (and which we often write about). With Polly’s Casks, Alexander Murray has something…

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Review: 2011 Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port

A new LBV release has arrived from Port titan Dow. Surprisingly restrained, the omnipresent raisin character of this Port is muted by heavy milk chocolate notes, vanilla, and notes of pie crust. The body is loaded with sweetness, but lacks some needed gravity, coming across more like a candy bar than the bold dessert wine it…

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Review: Buchanan’s Blended Scotch Lineup – 12 DeLuxe, Master, 18 Special Reserve, and Red Seal

Buchanan’s isn’t a blended Scotch brand that gets a whole lot of play, or respect, stateside, and my experiences with it in the past have not been particularly memorable. Today I put aside my preconceptions and sat down with the full hierarchy of four expressions, tasting them in order from bottom to top, to see how…

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Review: Damoiseau Rhum Agricole, Complete Lineup

Rhum agricole (made from sugar cane juice instead of molasses) is a French style of rum-making made almost exclusively in the French West Indies, specifically on Martinique, where the majority of agricole producers (at least 14 of them) can be found. Less well-known in the U.S. is rhum agricole from Guadeloupe, which is the home…

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Review: 2015 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough

JL Giguiere, which makes the Matchbook line of wines, imports this sauvignon blanc from New Zealand and bottles it in the U.S. No surprises here for anyone familiar with NZ wines: Hope you like pineapple and mango, because Chasing Venus is loaded with it. Fans of Jamba Juice will find plenty to enjoy in this…

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Review: Armorik Breton Single Malt French Whisky – Classic, Double Matured, Sherry Finish (2016)

It’s been five years since we last checked in with Armorik, a single malt whisky producer in Brittany, France. Its lineup has been radically revamped and updated, with numerous new expressions hitting the market in the intervening years. The 80 proof expression we reviewed in 2011 is no longer produced under that name, but you can still…

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