Review: Domestik Adjustable Wine and Spirits Aerator

Wine aerators — little gizmos which suck in air and mix with wine or spirits that you pour through them — aren’t a new idea. But Domestik is trying to teach this aging dog some new tricks by letting you adjust the amount air the liquid gets. Just twist the dial on the Domestik and…

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Review: Alaskan Brewing Company Imperial Rye

Not to be confused with Alaskan’s Imperial Red Ale, this IPA brewed with rye cuts a surprisingly nutty character, offering notes of bracing, traditional IPA hops plus a backbone that features chocolate, coffee, and lingering notes of baking spice. Consumed straight from the fridge, it sticks closely to the IPA side of things. As it…

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Tasting Report: Whiskies of the World Expo San Francisco 2015

This year marked my sixth consecutive in attendance at Whiskies of the World, a fantastic event that’s typically held on the San Francisco Belle paddleboat, docked in San Francisco Bay. I asked organizer Douglas Stone why it seemed so empty this year, and he told me it was an optical illusion: He pushed the distilleries’…

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Review: Craft Distillers Low Gap 2 Year Old Rye (2015), 2 Year Old Blended, and 2 Year Old 100 Proof Whiskeys

The mad microdistillers at Craft Distillers keep rolling with the Low Gap line. These whiskeys began as white dog releases in 2011, and the company has been putting out progressively older and more interesting expressions in the years since. Today we got to sample a trio of two year old whiskeys, including a rye, a…

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Review: NV Fizz56 Brachetto Spumante

Most of us (myself included) can probably count on one hand the number of sparkling red wines we’ve consumed. If you’ve never given one a try, the oddly-named Fizz56 is a good place to start. This is a sparkling Brachetto, a grape grown predominantly in the Piedmont region of Italy, and which is usually used…

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Review: 2008 Kaiken Mai Malbec Mendoza

This 2008 wine from Argentina’s Kaiken is 100% malbec and is definitely starting to show its age. The fruit is extracted and dense, loaded with black pepper, cedar, and tar notes on the nose. The body is rich with currants and fresh herbs, but it also has some Madeira characteristics starting to emerge. This is offset by…

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Review: Painted Stave Distilling Candy Manor Gin and South River (Red) Gin

Based in Smyrna, Delaware and founded only four years ago, Painted Stave Distilling is an artisan craft distiller that is dipping its toe into all manner of spirits. For now Painted Stave has a collection of white spirits in production, with aged offerings en route. Today we’re looking at two products, Candy Manor Gin —…

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Review: 2010 Montes Alpha M

Here’s a gorgeous release from Montes, the (almost) top of the line of the well-regarded Alpha line, Montes Alpha M. This 2010 bottling is a blend of 80% cabernet sauvignon, 10% cabernet franc, 5% merlot, and 5% petit verdot. A “Chilean first growth,” this wine has all the hallmarks of a Bordeaux blend, offering dense currants…

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