Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society Casks 36.67 and 93.61

Surprise, it’s two new outturns from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Thoughts follow on two current releases. Scotch Malt Whisky Society Cask 36.67 – 9 year old Benrinnes from Speyside. Burly, with notes of wet earth and the essence of a pre-lit campfire. There’s fruit here, but it comes across a bit like a canned tropical medley,…

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The Best Orange Bitters Roundup – Regans’, Fee Brothers, & The Bitter Truth

After aromatic bitters, orange bitters are easily the most commonly called-for bittering agents in cocktails today. There’s also a huge variety of bitters available on the market. Are they any different? Which is best? I put three big bitters brands — there are plenty more, but these are all I had on hand — to…

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Review: Samuel Adams Escape Route, Crystal Pale Ale, Double Bock, and Rebel IPA Series

Sam Adams is positively pouring out the new releases this season for springtime, including three seasonals — Escape Route, Crystal Pale Ale, and Double Bock — and a new series of “west coast style” IPAs called Rebel. Rebel is available at three different strengths, from a low-alcohol session version to a thick and rich double. We…

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Review: 2011 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder

Mt. Brave isn’t called that because they think the name is cute. It’s because the fruit for this wine is grown at high altitudes on the dedicedly inhospitable Mt. Veeder in Napa Valley, California. This 2011 Cabernet (94% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc) is the picture of restraint. The nose is very mild,…

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Tasting 2015 Bruichladdich Releases with Distiller Jim McEwan

Since Bruichladdich was reopened in 2001, just one man has been running the stills: Jim McEwan. A veteran from Bowmore (where he began working as a cooper at age 15), McEwan has overseen some 300 different bottlings of Bruichladdich during its wild first decade (and change) of production. When Remy Cointreau famously bought Bruichladdich in 2012,…

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Review: NV Ferrari Perle Trento DOC

This sparkler is made in the same method as Champagne, but in Trento, Italy, located in the far north of the nation, midway between Milan and Venice. Made from 100% Chardonnay. It’s a fresh and flavorful wine that lands somewhere between Champagne and Prosecco in most of the facets of its construction. Fizzy, but not…

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Review: 2012 Flora Springs Trilogy

2012’s bottling of the Bordeaux-style Trilogy is composed of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 6% Malbec, and 6% Petite Verdot — another quartet of grapes for a wine named for threes. It’s another knockout vintage, offering a lush core of cherries, currants, and plum, well-laced with notes of chocolate sauce. Beautiful perfume on the nose…

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Review: Riedel Veritas Champagne Wine Glass

Riedel’s latest high-end glass looks like a stretched-out white wine glass, but it’s designed for Champagne. Towering at nearly 9 1/2 inches tall, this monster doesn’t resemble any vessel I’ve consumed Champagne from, but let’s try anyway. A traditional flute is designed to minimize bubble production while you’re drinking, and most of the time it…

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