Review: 2014 Sonoma-Cutrer Sauvignon Blanc

Sonoma-Cutrer is best known for its Chardonnay, which is one of the top-selling wines in American restaurants. The winery makes other bottlings (particularly Pinot Noir), but this year the company branches out into Sauvignon Blanc for the first time ever. Here’s how this new release stacks up. This inaugural bottling offers clear pepe du chat notes…

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Review: Newcastle Collaboration Edition British Pale Ale and Session IPA

Newcastle is back and continuing its Collaboration Edition series of limited releases with two new brews made in collaboration with Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery — updates on the pale ale/IPA recipe. Newcastle Collaboration Edition British Pale Ale – Had I not read the label I would have assumed this was a standard brown ale, quite malty…

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Review: Grand Macnish Six Cask Edition

This new blended malt from Grand Macnish includes whisky from six single malts — one each from the Highlands, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, Lowlands, and the Islands — and is designed to capture the very essence of Scotland in a single bottle. Note that this is a blended malt, with no grain whiskey in it. Most of Grand…

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Review: Amaro Lucano

Amaro Lucano recently returned to U.S. shores and broader distribution here. Hailing from the small town of Pisticci in Lucania, Italy, the amaro is made from a secret blend of 30-plus herbs and essential oils. As amari goes, Lucano has a traditional and relatively centrist profile, aptly riding the line between bitter and sweet. On the nose:…

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Review: Don Q 151 Rum

Whether you truly need to set a cocktail on fire or just want a little ultra-high-octane in your glass, 151 proof rum is a mixing ingredient without a peer. (Mention Everclear and I’ll barf on you.) Make no mistake: 151 is dangerous. Don Q knows it and with this new bottling it even includes a…

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Review: Old Forester Whiskey Row Series – 1897 Bottled in Bond Bourbon

Last year Old Forester got started with its new Whiskey Row Series of Bourbons with its 1870 Original Batch Bourbon, meant to recreate the company’s batching process that it introduced in that year. Now comes OldFo’s 1897 Bottled in Bond, the next in the series, is bottled in honor of the 1987 Bottled-in-Bond Act and a…

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Bar Review: The Franklin, Philadelphia

Philadelphia isn’t exactly known as a hotspot for craft cocktails, but those of discriminating tastes do know at least one spot to go for elevated libations: The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co., a cheeky name for an underground bar and seemingly one of the only drinking establishments in Philly that doesn’t have a TV. I’ve…

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Review: Baron Cooper 2013 Chardonnay and 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Baron Cooper isn’t a winemaker. He’s a dog and as the namesake of this series of wines he’s leading the charge toward the raising of funds for Best Friends Animal Shelter. Five percent of all sales of these wines — about a buck a bottle — will go toward ending the killing of dogs and…

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