Review: Compass Box Flaming Heart 2015 and This Is Not a Luxury Whisky

Compass Box is probably the most exciting whisky blender in Scotland right now, and these two new limited releases, if nothing else, show just how avant garde the company can be. Let’s take a dip into the blending pool, shall we? Compass Box Flaming Heart 2015 Limited Edition – Flaming Heart is a semi-regular blend,…

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Review: 2013 Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County

Solid effort here from this Sonoma producer, with a layered wine that offers notes of currants, raspberry, and Christmas spices up front. A bitter edge winds through some distinct vanilla notes before settling down for a somewhat racy, almost peppery character on the finish — a nice counterpart to the denser, almost macerated fruit notes up…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila 2015 Edition – The Rolling Stones Tour Pick

Here’s a curious crossover. This year’s release of the acclaimed Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Extra Anejo tequila is coming with a familiar pair of lips: The Rolling Stone’s logo. Bottled to commemorate the band’s 1972 “Tequila Sunrise” tour, this tequila is designed to “celebrate the pivotal role Jose Cuervo played in fueling The…

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Review: 2011 Pombal do Vesuvio Douro

Portugal’s dry red wines come in a distant third place when ranking the wine varieties the country is known for, and even at Quinta do Vesuvio, it’s better known for Port than it is for table wines. It’s easy to overlook the standard reds of the Douro region, but this blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional, and Tinta…

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Review: The Exclusive Malts Batch #9 – Deanston 1997, Ben Nevis 1996, Glen Keith 1996, Glen Garioch 1995, Allt-A-Bhainne 1995, Cambus 1988

It’s another outturn from indie bottlers The Exclusive Malts, with a series of eight single cask releases from a wide range of distilleries. Today we look at six of them. So, without further ado, let’s get on to the tasting! The Exclusive Malts Deanston 1997 17 Years Old – A “midlands” distillery near Glasgow, Deanston…

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Review: Wines of Stonestreet, 2015 Releases

Stonestreet is a high-elevation vineyard and winery in California’s Alexander Valley — all three of the wines below are made from 100% estate fruit. Let’s taste. 2014 Stonestreet Sauvignon Blanc Alexander Valley – Not especially Californian in makeup, but rather quite tropical with melon, mango, pineapple, and standard citrus fruit notes, with a quite sweet —…

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Review: Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon 2015 Edition

With Jim Rutledge retiring from Four Roses and Brent Elliot succeeding him as master distiller, Rutledge has just overseen his last edition of the Four Roses Small Batch, his final release from the distillery. The 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch is comprised of a 16-year-old Bourbon from Four Roses’ OBSK recipe, a 15-year-old OESK, a…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale 2015

It’s the time of the season for Jubelale, Deschutes’ highly regarded winter sipper. This year’s Jubelale has a familiar profile, with notes of Mexican coffee, baking spices, fresh hops, and a mildly earthy and woodsy core. 2015’s installment has a nice balance among its constituent components, playing up the coffee the most this year while tempering…

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