Review: Mt. Brave 2012 Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon

Napa’s Mt. Brave is back with two big 2012 releases: A malbec and a cabernet sauvignon, the winery’s signature release. Thoughts on both wines follow. 2012 Mt. Brave Malbec Mt. Veeder – 98% malbec, 2% cabernet sauvignon. It may be a little thin around the edges, but the notes of black pepper, currants, and rhubarb…

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Review: Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Dry-Hopped with Pekko Hops 2016

This special edition version of Stone’s Old Guardian Barley Wine — part of its “classic” release collection — dry-hops this already intense barleywine with Pekko hops, a new variety out of Washington. (Warrior, Cascade, and Chinook are also represented.) The results are punchy, juicy, almost chewy — intense raisin and Port-like notes kick things off…

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Review: Wahaka Mezcal Complete Lineup

Mezcal is always fun, but it gets really fun when you can compare different styles and species of agave that are used to create this unique spirit. Wahaka, based in the Tlacolula Central Valley region of Oaxaca, offers five different Mezcals — four joven (silver) varieties, and one reposado. We tasted them all. Thoughts follow.…

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Review: Alaskan Hop Turn IPA

Alaskan’s latest IPA in a seemingly endless procession of IPAs is Hop Turn (cute skiing-inspired name there), which is designed to be a “German-style IPA” — a style of beer that doesn’t readily exist. It’s made with¬†Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich malts, Magnum and Sterling hops, and is dry-hopped with Sterling — “radical” choices, none of…

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Review: Old Hickory Blended Bourbon and Straight Bourbon

Nashville-based R.S. Lipman revived this very old brand recently, but the spirit inside has nothing to do with whatever came before. Within you will find MGP-sourced whiskey which is bottled in Ohio. Old Hickory — not just named after Andrew Jackson but featuring his picture on the label — is offered in two varieties, a…

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Review: Speakeasy Syndicate No. 03

San Francisco’s Speakeasy launched its limited-edition, barrel-aged Syndicate beer series in 2013. Today it’s an annually released series, “united by barrels and graceful age,” with Syndicate No. 03 now hitting the shelves and kegs. Here’s what’s inside: Syndicate No. 03 is a blend of seven different strong beers matured between 13-37 months in bourbon barrels.…

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Review: The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2016

In 2014 Jim Murray pronounced The Yamazaki Sherry Cask 2013 the best whisky of the year, and the world promptly exploded. Everybody likes Japanese whisky — why wouldn’t you? — but giving this small bottling a “best in the world” award led to the expected chaos. All of Japanese whisky has been impacted by the…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye

It’s no secret that Jack Daniel’s has been working on its rye for the better half of the decade. The company has been putting out works in progress since the beginning.¬†“Unaged Rye” came in 2012; a brash “Rested Rye” hit in 2014. Now, in 2016, the finished product is finally here. My math pegs this…

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