Review: Peychaud’s Aperitivo

Peychaud’s is one of the most classic bitters brands — and lately owner Sazerac (Buffalo Trace’s parent company) has been pushing the brand even further. First came a barrel-aged version of Peychaud’s Bitters. Now comes a whole new category of product: Peychaud’s Aperitivo. If you’re familiar with Aperol or Campari, you understand the basics of…

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Review: 2012 Stonestreet Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

This latest release from Stonestreet showcases an incredible turnaround from last year’s lackluster slate. This cabernet is drinking wonderfully already, showcasing notes of chocolate-covered cherries, solid vanilla notes, and a touch of eucalyptus. The body is round and mouth-filling, the finish moderate in length but gentle and lightly bittersweet as it fades out. Worthwhile on its…

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Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Seasoned Wood Bourbon

It’s been nearly a year since Buffalo Trace’s last release in the Colonel E.H. Taylor line, and now the eighth of these whiskeys is here, and it’s got quite a story behind it. First, it’s critical to note that this is a wheated bourbon, while the others are all rye-focused bourbons, except for one straight rye.…

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Review: Wines of Silver Palm, 2016 Releases

This new brand is another Jackson Family creation, focusing on the sub-$20 segment with wines heralding from the North Coast and Central Coast regions. Thoughts on four of the current offerings from this winery follow. 2014 Silver Palm Chardonnay North Coast – A garden-variety chardonnay, with heavy apricot notes that are heavily buried in brown…

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Review: Coppersea New York Corn Whisky, Green Malt Rye, and Excelsior Bourbon

Coppersea, based in upstate New York, has been on a real tear lately with a flood of new (and very young) whiskey releases, running the gamut of American styles. Today we’re looking at three of them. Thoughts follow. Coppersea New York Corn Whisky – 80% corn, 20% malted barley, aged at least six months in…

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Review: Diageo Orphan Barrel Project The Gifted Horse American Whiskey

Some time ago at the historic Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Ky., a batch of beautiful 17-year-old Kentucky bourbon was accidentally mixed with barrels of much younger whiskey. This error turned out better than anyone could have expected as the older bourbon wasn’t marred, but was transformed into something surprisingly special. Realizing this unique liquid deserved…

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Review: Warsteiner Grapefruit Special Edition

A 50:50 blend of Warsteiner Pilsener and “grapefruit flavored drink” is what makes up this special edition concoction — marketed, oddly, as a special edition for winter drinking. The results are largely as expected: lightly sweetened but largely sour citrus notes come in up front, followed by malty, somewhat musty, German beer character. Both manage to…

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Experimenting with Beyond Barrels Bottle Aging Staves

Beyond Barrels doesn’t exactly have a new idea: Take whiskey you don’t quite like as is, add a small piece of wood to the bottle, wait a few weeks, then presto, you’ve got extra-aged whiskey for just a few extra bucks. So-called “whiskey sticks” are everywhere these days. Sounds good, but does this all work quite…

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