Review: Redemption White Rye, Rye, High-Rye Bourbon, and Straight Bourbon (2016)

It’s been four years since we last checked in with Redemption Whiskey, one of the best-known bottlers of spirits sourced from Indiana-based MGP. Redemption’s cylindrical bottles are as iconic as its rather singular focus: Rye whiskey, a category which Redemption was fanatical about before rye was cool. All of its products are rye-heavy, and even…

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Book Review: The Manhattan Cocktail

Whiskey, sweet vermouth, bitters. Sub in dry vermouth for some of the sweet if you want to be fancy. As most of us know it, this is the Manhattan Cocktail, one of the absolute classics of the industry and the base upon which legions of other drinks have been built. To Albert W. A. Schmid,…

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Review: Big Bottom Pear Brandy and Oregon Gin Collection

If you know Big Bottom, you probably know the company for its bourbons, most of which feature exotic finishes and impressive levels of quality. Big Bottom also makes white spirits, though, including fruit brandies (pear now, apple is coming) and a collection of gins. Today we take a look at four of BB’s latest white…

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Review: 2013 Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast

Smith & Hook is a Central Coast producer that focuses exclusively on Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes are sourced from four Central Coast appellations: Arroyo Seco, San Antonio Valley, Hames Valley, and Paso Robles. As Cab goes, the 2013 offers easy approachability, though it’s short on complexity. Early notes of cocoa powder, vanilla, and blackberry give way to some light…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 5 and Barrell Whiskey Batch 1

Turns out Barrell Bourbon, first released in 2014, wasn’t a one-off. To date the company has released six small batch Bourbon offerings, all  of which are significantly different from one another. As a trend goes, they’re getting older — significantly so, considering Batch 1 was a mere five year old baby. The last two releases have…

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Review: 2013 Concannon Vineyard Chardonnay Monterey County

Livermore-based Concannon moves a tad upmarket with this Monterey County bottling of chardonnay from the 2013 vintage. Immediate notes of burnt butter and baking spice are prominent, with a bit of tropical character on the back end. The body is somewhat flabby, with a caramel note on the finish followed by a light astringency. It…

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Review: Fizzics Beer Tap

The Fizzics Beer Tap is not a complicated idea: It’s basically a svelte pump that takes beer out of one container and spits it into your glass. Basically a keg tap, only you don’t need a keg. It can pour from a bottle, can, growler, or even a pitcher or another glass. Just pop it…

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Book Review: Cookies & Beer

Cookies and beer? Yes, beer. And cookies! Jonathan Bender says they go great together, and who are we to argue? The title aside, this slim cookbook is really all about the cookies. Bender offers suggestions for pairing beer with each of the sweet treats he teaches you to make (including key sidebars, like pairing beers…

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