Review: 2014 Chateau d’Esclans Rock Angel Cotes de Provence Rose

Rarely have I been so unoffended by a wine. In this case, Provence-based Chateau d’Esclans makes a rose from (red) grenache and (white) vermentino (aka rolle) and bottles this barely pink wine as Rock Angel. (The wine replaces the company’s previous rose, Whispering Angel.) It smells basically like almost nothing at all, just the lightest…

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Review: Magic Hat Ale, Electric Peel, Miss Bliss, and Belgo Sutra (2015)

A quartet of brews from Vermont’s Magic Hat, including two seasonals, a new full-time release, and limited edition available only on draft. Let’s go! Magic Hat Ale – Seasonal for fall. A simple name for a simple beer, an Irish-style red ale with ample malt and a slightly fruity, caramel-heavy palate. Magic Hat Ale serves up…

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Review: Jacob’s Creek Two Lands Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, 2014 Vintage

“Two Lands harnesses the creative power of collaboration by bringing together two award-winning winemakers from opposite sides of the world to create a range of premium and totally unique Australian wines that marry Californian winemaking craft with Australian varietal character.” Well, let’s see how that pans out. 2014 Jacob’s Creek Two Lands Pinot Grigio Australia –…

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Review: Left Coast Cellars 2013 Pinot Noir and 2014 White Pinot Noir

Willamette, Oregon-based Left Coast Cellars makes pinot noir — no surprise there — but it comes in two varieties: A standard red cuvee and a white wine. All grapes have white juice of course; the color comes making the wine with the skins. But white varieties of the major red wine grapes are quite rare. Let’s…

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Review: Copper & Kings Absinthe Complete Lineup

Recently we talked about Copper & Kings’ brandies. Today we look at the absinthes, a set of four blanche absinthes made in… Kentucky. All are based on the brandy distillate (so, made from Muscat grapes — though some sources claim French Colombard), vapor-distilled with grande wormwood, fennel, anise, and hyssop during the initial distillation. Intriguingly,…

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Review: Ron Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

If you see a cocktail on a menu with Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva in the ingredient list, buy it. Doesn’t much matter what else is in it. I guarantee you’re going to have a hell of a good drink. Exclusiva is the top of Diplomatico’s “tradition” line — though there’s a pair of “prestige” rums above…

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Review: La Quintinye Vermouth Royal – Complete Lineup

This line of French artisanal vermouths is newly available in the United States. Fans of the aromatic wine, be it straight up or in cocktails, should definitely pick up a bottle or two or three. This is a modern style of vermouth, complex and a bit avant garde in its production. La Quintinye is made…

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Review: Cruzan Blueberry Lemonade Rum

I’m not gonna lie. It’s over 90 degrees outside as I write this, and nothing sounds better than a glass of cold blueberry lemonade. Cruzan’s latest flavor unfortunately won’t get you there — even with a ton of ice, it’s too sweet and saccharine to recreate a boozy lemonade on its own. At a mere…

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