Review: Metze’s Select Indiana Straight Bourbon Whiskey

It’s not the end of an era, it’s the beginning of one. MGP Ingredients, the Indiana distillery where oh so much bourbon is produced and sold to other companies for bottling under their own label, is finally — for the first time — releasing its own whiskey. Metze’s Select “2015 Medley” is a limited release…

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Review: Manhattan Margarita

First, let’s clear up the confusion. Yes, it’s a pre-mixed margarita, not a Manhattan. The color is from citrus juices added to “perfect” the recipe. No, it’s not from Manhattan. It’s from California. “Manhattan” refers to Manhattan Beach. No, it’s not made in Manhattan Beach, which is in Los Angeles. It’s made in Graton, in…

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Review: The Macallan Edition No. 1

Never shy about innovating, The Macallan Edition No. 1 is the first bottling in a new limited edition series from one of Scotland’s titans, with new expressions to be released annually. Per the company: The inaugural bottle’s theme is co-creation, while showcasing our mastery of wood. Each year, a special selection of oak casks will…

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Book Review: Drinking the Devil’s Acre

Duggan McDonnell’s Drinking the Devil’s Acre isn’t so much a bar book as it is a love letter to San Francisco, hardbound. Which, it turns out, is basically the subtitle of the book. McDonnell is one of my favorite SF bartenders and interesting characters in general, so I’m inclined to meet anything he does with general approval.…

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Tasting the Wines of Lodi Native, 2013 Vintage

Lodi is an area that most California wine fans are familiar with, especially if they enjoy a glass of Zin once in a while. 40 percent of all Zinfandel grown in California comes from this region, and it has the highest proportion of old vine Zin in the state – with some active, still-producing vines…

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Review: Smirnoff Peppermint Twist

Ho ho ho! What’s Santa want next to the fireplace? Not another peppermint candy but rather a peppermint-flavored vodka. Smirnoff Peppermint Twist isn’t just a mint-flavored spirit, it’s all wrapped up and ready for your holiday partying. Let’s give this flavored vodka a holiday-centric spin, shall we? The nose is all candy canes, and that’s…

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Review: Anchor Distilling Christmas Spirit White Whiskey 2015

Every year, the folks at Anchor Distilling take the prior year’s Anchor Christmas Ale, distill it, and turn it into an unaged white whiskey. Last year it was known as Christmas Spirit, as it is again for 2015. The 2015 Christmas Spirit is classic white whiskey, cut with notes of seasonally appropriate herbs and pine…

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Review: 2013 Starmont Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Two new releases from our friends at Starmont, Merryvale’s sister winery and an all-around great value label. 2013 Starmont Chardonnay Carneros – A mere $23 will get you this masterfully made Chardonnay, which balances buttery oak with fresh pears and a dusting of cinnamon sugar. A touch of acid on the finish brightens things up. A- /…

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