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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Review: Sangre de Vida Tequila and Mezcal, Complete Lineup

So here’s the story. I hope I have all the facts correct. In 2009, Grace Kim Brandi founded of L.A.-based Elements Spirits, which makes KAH Tequila and packages it in unmistakable skull decanters, hand painted to honor the Mexican Dia de los Muertos. Elements was sued by the people that make Crystal Head Vodka, which…

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Review: 2014 The Clambake Unoaked Chardonnay Mendocino

This is a pleasant Mendocino chardonnay, unaged in oak, in the traditional style of Mendocino and Anderson County. Surprisingly creamy at first, the wine quickly segues into strong citrus, some tropical notes, and a dusting of rosemary and sage on the finish. Nicely balanced but a tad herbal on its own, it pairs particularly well with…

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Review: Michter’s US-1 Barrel Strength Straight Rye 2016

Michter’s is back with its second barrel strength rye, which is a higher-proof rendition of its US-1 Single Barrel Rye. The interesting thing about this rye: It goes into barrel at just 103 proof. 125 entry proof is standard; 105 proof is used sometimes, but 103 is quite on the low side. Hot on the…

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Review: Glen Oak Single Malt Whiskies – 10, 17, and 30 Years Old

Today we’re looking at a collection of single malt Scotch whiskies from our friends at Branded Spirits. This whisky is bottled under the brand of Glen Oak, which isn’t an actual distillery — in fact, the various bottlings of Glen Oak are sourced from two different distilleries, in two different regions of the country, but all of…

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Review: Starr Hill King of Hop Series 2016, The Hook, Daily Grind, and Sublime

A  whopping seven new releases from Starr Hill, including a series of four IPAs which are variations on the theme, bottled under the “King of Hop” moniker. Let’s dig in… Starr Hill King of Hop Imperial IPA 2016 – The base IPA, dry hopped with a variety of American hops and pumped up to the full,…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection – Infrared Light Wave Experiments

Never one to shy away from wacky experiments, Buffalo Trace’s latest bourbon has gone straight off the reservation. The trick this time? Exposing barrels to infrared light waves before giving them a light char. Eight barrels total were made, four irradiated for 15 minutes, four for 30 minutes. The full details are wonky and intricate.…

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