Review: 6 Wines from Frank Family Vineyards, 2015 Releases

Calistoga-based Frank Family Vineyards has been on a tear of late. Recently we received a collection of six wines for consideration, including two from the standard lineup and four from the reserve line. (It’s easy to tell the difference at a glance, as the reserves all feature etched bottles rather than standard labels.) Let’s crack into…

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Review: 5 Beers from Good People, 2015 Releases

Now celebrating seven years making beer, Birmingham, Alabama-based Good People was keg-only for several years. Now its beers can be obtained in an increasingly wide area, but only in cans, not bottles. (Of note, those cans are made from the thinnest aluminum I’ve ever encountered.) We tried five of Good People’s offerings. Thoughts follow. Good…

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Review: Vida Tequila Anejo

We covered Vida Tequila’s Blanco expression in 2012. Now we’re back with the Vida Anejo, a 100% agave tequila that’s aged for 18 to 24 months in oak barrels before bottling. The nose is laden with sweet stuff, marshmallow and brown sugar, but the agave — powerful in Vida Blanco — still peeks through. On…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof

Here’s what’s hard to believe: Jack Daniel’s has never released a barrel strength whiskey. That’s changing, with the release of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Barrel Proof, the company’s first-ever cask strength offering. The whiskey isn’t a terribly complicated idea: Take the JD Single Barrel Select (which we only just reviewed a few weeks ago) and don’t…

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Review: Pedras Salgadas Mineral Water

Pedras Salgadas is mineral water from Portugal; naturally effervescent, it is born in the Pedras Valley, in the north interior of Portugal at Trás-Os-Montes. Very, very lightly sparkling, it has significant, weighty minerality to it, reminiscent of Perrier. The finish is on the metallic side, but otherwise comes across clean and refreshing. I like it. B+…

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Review: Wines of Three Sticks, 2015 Releases

Three Sticks is an emerging cult wine with a serious following for its serious pinot noirs, which are largely under allocation at this point. Recently we received a smattering of its offerings — two chardonnays and three pinots — for review. Thoughts follow. 2013 Three Sticks Chardonnay Sonoma Mountain “One Sky” – Intensely golden in color…

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Review: Journeyman Kissing Cousins and Three Oaks Single Malt

Michigan’s Journeyman Distillery continues to crank out the whiskey, and recently we received two new offerings for review. Thoughts follow. Journeyman Distillery Kissing Cousins Whiskey – This is a selection of Featherbone bourbon that is finished in a Wyncroft Winery 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon barrel. An annual release, this is the third edition of Kissing Cousins. The finished product…

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Review: Laphroaig 15 Years Old

Though it was introduced 30 years ago, Laphroaig 15 Years Old is a bottling that has come and gone over the years. For a short while, however, it’s back, with this expression being re-released in honor of the company’s 200th anniversary. That said, nothing has technically changed with the production of the spirit vs. older…

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