Review: 2014 Freemark Abbey Chardonnay Napa Valley

Freemark’s latest chardonnay offers a bit more mineral character than your typical California chardonnay, with notes of white grapes, white florals, and honeysuckle, before slowly fading into light caramel, vanilla, and gentle oak notes. The 2014 bottling rides the line between traditional Napa chardonnay and, say, a New World pinot grigio — which is either…

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Review: Chieftain’s Batch #9 – Linkwood 1997, Mortlach 1997, Braeval 1996, Fettercairn 1996, Glen Grant 1995

Don’t look now! It’s our biggest single review of indie bottler Chieftain’s yet — five new releases of well-aged single malts, all distilled in the late 1990s, all but one hailing from Speyside. Let’s dig in to these morsels and have a taste. Chieftain’s Linkwood 1997 17 Years Old Oloroso Sherry Finish – Speyside. Exotic and…

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Review: Kirkland Highland Single Malt 16 Years Old Bourbon Cask Matured

Every time Costco’s Kirkland brand releases a single malt Scotch whisky without revealing the distillery that made it, tongues start to wag. Prices are generally well below retail — though today’s 16 year old is higher than the mystery 20 year old released just three years ago — so whisky enthusiasts often grab a bottle…

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Review: Montucky Cold Snack

“The Unofficial Beer of Montana” is actually made in Wisconsin, but I doubt anyone’s checking the fine print in the Great White North. What we have here is a lager as pale as the folks for whom it’s made, sold in 16 oz. cans emblazoned with a white horse and pastel mountains. Inside the can…

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Review: Vodka DSP CA 162 Vaccinium Macrocarpon Cranberry

When last we left Vodka DSP CA 162, the brand was still a new idea — the former producers of Hangar One Vodka had sold the company, then had to wait for their noncompete to expire before getting back into vodka. Eventually DSP CA 162 came to pass, and at long last the company’s out…

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Review: NV Tiamo Prosecco DOC

A fresh and fruit-forward Prosecco, Tiamo offers ample apple and lemon-lime notes, with a significant undercurrent of dried herbs. The savory notes are initially a bit off-putting — who dropped rosemary in my Prosecco — but over time begin to add some nuance to the wine. Lingering florals emerge on the finish, particularly as it…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery The Abyss Aged Stout 2015 Edition and Red Chair NWPA (2015)

Two major winter seasonals from Bend, Oregon-based Deschutes are here, including the new Abyss aged Imperial Stout and Red Chair, Deschutes’ northwestern spin on an IPA. Thoughts follow. Deschutes Brewery The Abyss Aged Stout 2015 Edition – For the 10th installment of The Abyss, there are no major recipe changes — although the beer has seen…

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Review: 2014 Gran Passione Rosso Veneto IGT

A blend of 60% merlot and 40% corvina, this is a deep purple, wholly opaque wine with a pungency that you’ll find from wines like this — “apassimento” wines that are made from dried grapes, common in northern Italy. (Think Amarone, but on a much simpler scale.) The initial rush of fruit and florals — think…

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