Review: 2012 Markham Cellar 1879 Blend Napa Valley

God bless the lunatic who dreamed up this insane blend of six grapes that shouldn’t go together. Markham’s Cellar 1879 blend is composed of Napa grapes in this proportion: 36% Merlot, 21% Petite Sirah, 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Syrah, 9% Zinfandel, and 8% Petit Verdot. Named in honor of Markham’s founding, it’s an insanely drinkable bottling that won’t break the bank. There’s…

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Recipe: Super Bowl Cocktail Recipes 2015

Super Bowl XLIX is a mere one day away. With #deflategate, anti-media players, and all the commercials to watch, it seems as if folks are forgetting the most important thing about the game: drinking. Here’s a sampling of a few recipes to kick your viewing parties up a notch or two. No underflated drinks here! Dulce…

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Book Review: Fire Water

If you liked Alt Whiskeys, you’ll love Fire Water, Darek Bell’s follow-up tome on the intricacies of craft distilling. While Alt Whiskeys focused mainly on the impact of using different grains in your whiskey mash, here the Corsair Distillery founder takes a look at how smoke can impact craft whiskeymaking. This isn’t just a lark. For this book,…

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Review: Kai Lemongrass Ginger Shochu, Lychee Vodka, and Coconut Pandan Vodka

Vietnam’s only vodka comes from Kai, which distills rice into both vodka and shochu (aka soju — it puts both names on the bottles), in a variety of flavors. Kai (slogan: “Taste the pleasure”) sent us three expressions of its Asian-inspired spirits for our investigation. Thoughts follow. Kai Lemongrass Ginger Shochu/Soju – Very light and…

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Review: Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel

And now for something completely different from Crown Royal — no, not another flavored whiskey — it’s Crown Royal’s first ever single barrel expression, straight from the cask! The catch: It will only be on sale in Texas (and only through retailers who sign up to buy a full barrel of the stuff). Off-the-rack Crown Royal…

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Review: 2012 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

This well-pedigreed Cabernet offers a ripe, blackberry-laden nose with touches of black pepper and dried herbs. The body is rich and lush with chocolate notes, some coffee bean, and vanilla. The finish is big and fruity, its tannins mellowing with ample time in the glass, leaving behind some notes of tea leaf, charcoal, and cocoa…

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Review: 2010 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard

For the 2010 vintage, Chile’s (arguably) biggest cult wine Don Melchor (a splinter of Concha y Toro) is composed of 97% cabernet sauvignon and 3% cabernet franc. Grown in the Alto Maipo Valley, the wine is aged 15 months in French oak (3/4 new, 1/4 second use). Appropriately huge, the nose is thick with notes of…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 01.29.2015 – Craft Beer Made From Sewage Water: The New Trend

A company in Oregon wants to make craft beer out of recycled wastewater. There’s certainly an argument that this is not innovative, as a few craft breweries are already unintentionally engaging in this process. [NPR] The demand for Japanese whisky is still hot with no signs of slowing down. The Spirits Business reports that a…

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