Review: Patron Citronge Lime and XO Cafe Incendio

Patron is no longer content to rule only the tequila world. Now it wants to take over the liqueur market as well. Two newish releases in this space recently launched. Thoughts follow. Patron Citronge Lime Liqueur – Patron’s rendition of triple sec, Citronge Orange, was a big enough hit that it has begotten a sequel, Citronge…

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Review: Arrowood 2013 Chardonnay and 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon

Two new releases from Sonoma-based Arrowood, including — oddly enough — a new 2011 Cabernet, released in a time when everyone else is putting out their 2012 releases. Thoughts follow. 2013 Arrowood Chardonnay Sonoma County – Nothing new to see here. This California starts off with buttery vanilla notes and sticks with them to the…

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Aged Cocktail Recipe: Smoky Old Mate

This recipe is designed to be aged in a barrel… or in a glass bottle with a small, charred oak stave dropped into it. (The Black Grouse provided a stave for us to play with.) Fun results. The name of the cocktail is spot-on for this one. Smoky Old Mate 4.5 oz. The Black Grouse…

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Review: Adelbert’s Brewery The Traveler, Tripel B, and Philsophizer

Austin, Texas-based Adelbert’s Brewery specializes in Belgian-style, bottle-conditioned ales in Big Boy, 25.4 oz. bottles. To a T, these are all big, burly beers that you should probably have a beard to drink properly, but I did my clean-shaven best nonetheless. Thoughts on three of the brewery’s current lineup follow. Adelbert’s Brewery The Traveler Belgian-Style…

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Review: Founders Brewing Dirty Bastard, Porter, and Imperial Stout

Grand Rapids, Michigan is home to Founders Brewing, the company behind these three chilly-weather brews, all excellent choices for knocking back while you’re sucking out the last of the heat from those fireplace embers. Founders Brewing Dirty Bastard – A Scotch style ale, loaded with malt, dried figs, sawdust notes, and heavy chocolate overtones. Filling…

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Review: McMenamins Phil Hazelnut Liqueur

Craft Frangelico? You better believe it. Our pals at the Northwest brewpub/restaurant/microdistillers McMenamins churn out a small amount of this hazelnut spirit, called Phil. (Filbert? Get it?) Phil is made from unaged wheat whiskey that’s infused with Oregon hazelnuts. Bottled at 60 proof, it’s considerably stronger than both Frangelico and Fratello, both of which are…

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Review: Yellow Spot Irish Whiskey 12 Years Old

It’s hard to fathom that some of the most anticipated whiskey releases in recent years are named after, well, colored spots. Yellow Spot originated in the late 1800s — there were a whole host of “Spot” whiskies made by the Mitchell family back in the day, including the beloved Green Spot, which were made at…

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Review: Wines of Frei Brothers, 2015 Releases

Three new wines from Sonoma’s Frei Brothers, which seemingly only has a “Reserve” label. Thoughts follow… 2013 Frei Brothers Chardonnay Russian River Valley Sonoma County – A big, slap-your-mama California Chardonnay, but one that’s not without some charm. The big vanilla is kept in check by some lemon and orange notes, with a pervasive apple cider character.…

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