Scenes from Passport to Russian River Valley, 2015

The last weekend in June marked the third annual installation of the Passport to Russian River Valley, an event that sets the public loose on dozens of relatively remote wineries, many of which aren’t normally open to the public. This year’s event took me to Benovia, Sonoma-Cutrer, Dutton Estate, and Inman Family Wines. Lots of…

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Review: Innis & Gunn Rare Oak Pale Ale and Highland Ale

It’s our second look at Scotland-based Innis & Gunn‘s beers, with two new oak-aged offerings (as all I&G beers are made) hitting the shelves now. The first is a seasonal brew, the second is a special edition that comes in a large-sized bottle and its own wooden carton. Innis & Gunn Rare Oak Pale – Aged…

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Review: Starr Hill King of Hop 2015 and Soul Shine (2015)

It’s time for one new, limited release — King of Hop — and the return of a seasonal — Soul Shine — to the Drinkhacker beer fridge. Let’s dig in… Starr Hill King of Hop Imperial IPA 2015 – Not to be confused with the King of Pop, this is a classic, dry-hopped Imperial IPA with…

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Touring Scotch Whisky Distilleries in Speyside, Scotland

The trouble with drinking whisky in Scotland is the regret you experience the moment you get home. No matter how long you spend there and how much you purchase, by the time you get back to the States you wish you’d tasted and brought home more than you did. The vastness of malt whisky options available to…

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Tasting the Wines of Italy’s Lugana Region, 2015 Releases

What, you’re not drinking Lugana wines every night? You can be forgiven if the name doesn’t ring a bell. Lugana is a tiny region in the north of the country, nestled between the better-known areas of Lombardia and the Veneto, snug against the southern shores of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy. It’s here…

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Review: 1792 Sweet Wheat Bourbon

1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon has long been a well-respected but widely overlooked part of the Buffalo Trace stable, which is understandable since it’s made at its own facility, Barton 1792, quite a ways away from the thriving Buffalo Trace headquarters. But BT is breathing some new life into 1792 with this, the first of what is…

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Review: 2013 Mark West Pinot Noir California

If there’s a store that sells wine in California that does not have Mark West on the shelves, I haven’t been there. But nine bucks for pinot is a deal that’s pretty tough to beat, so it’s easy to see why retailers and consumers alike gravitate to the brand and its iconic, yellow label. The wine…

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Review: 2013 Humble Pie Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast

Our final Tony Leonardini wine of three is this humbly named humble cabernet from the humble Central Coast of California. It tastes a lot better than it should at this price point, offering a nose of fresh berries, with the palate taking things into a blackberry jam-and-chocolate arena. Quite sweet at first, it settles down…

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