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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Recipe: Holiday Cocktails, 2015

No holiday season is complete without the insufferable relatives and the libations that go along with numbing the rage you may feel at the family dinner table. Here are a few recipes to help get you through those rough moments. For everyone who doesn’t have holiday headaches, well, just serve and enjoy! Happy Holidays from…

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Review: Mezan Extra Old Rum XO Jamaica

If you’re familiar with Plantation Rum, which offers a wide range of expressions sourced from throughout the Caribbean and beyond, you’ll get the idea of Mezan, a line of rums that similarly has no specific home but rather sources product, most of it vintage dated. These are all limited-edition releases, so if you see one…

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Review: 2012 Matchbook The Arsonist and Tinto Rey

Two new releases just arrived from our friends at Matchbook in Zamora, California. One of them blew my socks off. Keep reading to find out which one! 2012 Matchbook The Arsonist Red Blend – 52% petit verdot, 24% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better wine at this price level.…

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