Book Review: Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual

From the oversized-yet-slim hardcover format to the big “Haynes” logo on the cover to, well, just about everything else, right down to the font selection, Tim Hampson’s Beer Enthusiasts’ Manual seems like one of those books you’d pick up at the hardware store when you needed a quick primer on plumbing or wiring. Even the…

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Review: Hyde No. 1 Presidential Cask Single Malt Irish Whiskey 10 Years Old

A. Hardy is now importing this new Irish whiskey from Hibernia Distillers, which was established only last year. Hyde No. 1 (No. 2 and No. 3 are in the works) is a 10 year old single malt, aged in first-fill oak bourbon casks, then finished in first-fill oloroso sherry casks and non-chill filtered. Those looking for…

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Review: NV Cockburn’s Special Reserve Porto

Cockburn’s Special Reserve is a widely available ruby Port, nothing fancy, but workable in a pinch. The wine offers a largely standard nose of raisins, with a bit of dried blueberry. On the palate, the wine comes across as less dense than many nonvintage Ports, a touch watery, but still full of flavor and life.…

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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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