Review: Wines of CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs, 2015 Releases

We’ve covered the wines of Paul Hobbs in the past, but this year we look at a larger collection of five offerings. Thoughts? Here they come! 2014 CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – Fresh and easygoing, blending tropical notes with gingerbread cookies up front. The finish is creamy and caramel-focused, but it’s not…

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Review: Mezcal Alipus, 4 Expressions

Del Maguey isn’t the only game in town if you want to explore single-village mezcals. Craft Distillers has put together a line of six different mezcals (including one special bottling of only 600 bottles) showcasing different terroirs in the pueblos of Oaxaca — all of which are a bit south of the capital. Each of…

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Maraschino Head to Head: Bols vs. Luxardo vs. Maraska

Maraschino is an essential liqueur in many a classic cocktail — especially the Casino and the Hemingway Daiquiri — but it’s one of the few categories where only a small number of producers, typically wicker-clad European brands, hold sway. The biggest of these is Italy’s Luxardo. Croatia’s Maraska is another commonly-seen version of the liqueur.…

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Book Review: The Craft Cocktail Party

Cocktail party? OK. Craft cocktail party? Even better! Julie Reiner’s big, hardbound book takes the now-popular seasonal approach to organization, dropping a couple dozen recipes into each of the four seasons. Reiner, owner of the Clover Club in Brooklyn and the Flatiron Lounge in Manhattan, keeps things fairly simple — most of the cocktails only…

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Tasting Report: West of West Wine Festival 2015

The West of West Wine Festival is all about wine at its westernmost terminus in the United States: The Sonoma Coast, where dense fog and craggy conditions make growing conditions ripe only for a few prized varietals — chardonnay, pinot noir, and syrah. Recently I spent an afternoon at the WoW grand tasting, working through dozens…

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Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project: Every Barrel Reviewed on One Page

Looks like there’s still plenty of interest in the recently-completed Buffalo Trace Single Oak Project. Want to look up a barrel but can’t stand dealing with the search system (I don’t blame you) — then here ya go, every single barrel reviewed on one page, in numerical order. As a reminder, barrel #80 was named…

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Review: Braulio Amaro Alpino

Braulio’s an Italian amaro… alpino. Alpino? From the alpine mountains, which gives it a bit of a different spin than what you might be used to. Braulio originated in 1875, and it’s created with a blend of 13 herbs. Only four are known to the public: gentian, juniper, wormwood, and yarrow. The rest of the ingredients remain…

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Review: Kirk and Sweeney Dominican Rum 18 Years Old and 23 Years Old

Kirk and Sweeney 12 Years Old, imported by Sonoma’s 35 Maple Street, is one of the best artisan rums on the market. And that’s just a babe at a mere 12 years old. Today we’re looking at the older line extensions of Kirk and Sweeney, including the 18 year old and 23 year old expressions.…

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