Review: Alaskan Brewing Company Winter Ale

Alaskan’s Winter Ale is brewed with spruce tips plus a selection of specialty malts and hops. The beer is sweeter than you’d think, think less evergreen and more winter spice mix — cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Very heavy with malt, it’s quite sweet and it leaves behind a lengthy, sugary finish before fading out with the aid…

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Review: Sheep Dip Islay Blended Malt

Sheep Dip is a relatively well-known blended whisky, but few realize that there are multiple Sheep Dips (Sheeps Dip?) to choose from. The “original” Sheep Dip is easily the best known and most widely available, but producer Spencerfield Spirit Co. has also produced vintage bottlings from time to time. The latest expression is a (nonvintage)…

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Drinkhacker’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

We at Drinkhacker have been busier than ever this year, and yet it seems impossible that it’s time for our eighth annual edition of the Drinkhacker holiday gift guide — our “best stuff of the year awards.” As always, the list comprises some of the best-rated products we looked at over the last 12 months but…

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Review: J Vineyards 2014 Pinot Gris and 2013 Pinot Noir

Two new release from J Vineyards in Sonoma, California — a pinot gris and a pinot noir. Let’s try them! 2014 J Vineyard Pinot Gris California – A simple white, quite herbal and touched with notes of camphor and menthol. Light lemongrass notes up front give way to rosemary and sage. Best with food. B /…

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Review: The Feathery Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Spencerfield Spirit Co. makes some relatively well-known blended whiskies (at least in whisky nerd circles), Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip. Now it’s back with a new blended malt (no grain whisky added, only various single malts): The Feathery. The name is a reference to the first golf ball (golfing being sacred in Scotland), which were made of…

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Review: Samuel Adams Utopias (2015 Release)

The 2015 expression of Samuel Adams’ most extreme beer is the fifth time we’ve covered it — the first was the 2007 vintage — and it may just be the best Utopias we’ve seen to date. Not familiar with the idea? Here’s some background: Only the ninth batch brewed since the first release in 2002,…

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Review: Stolichnaya Elit Vodka

Perhaps the best known of ultra-luxe vodka bottlings, Stoli Elit is oversized, over-designed, and over-hyped — complete with  a limited edition subset of vodkas that are made with water from the Himalayas, the Andes, and other far-flung locales. Straight-up Stoli Elit is a single-estate vodka that starts with winter wheat, spring wheat, and rye from…

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Review: Stone 24 Carrot Golden Ale

Further proof that brewers will find inspiration in anything can be found in Stone’s 2015 Collaboration Ale, which combine’s Stone’s resources with Monkey Paw Brewing Company and Stone Homebrew Competition champion Juli Goldenberg. What they came up with is 24 Carrot Golden Ale — a Belgian style ale inspired by, well, carrot cake. Infusing the…

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