Review: Deschutes Brewery Red Chair NWPA (2014) and Hop Henge Experimental IPA (2015)

Winter/spring seasonals from Deschutes have arrived — both can likely be considered 2014/2015 releases, but we did our best on pegging them to a release year in order to keep things organized for those searching through the archives. Thoughts follow. Deschutes Brewery Red Chair NWPA (2014) – This heavily malted Northwest Pale Ale is immediately…

Read More about Review: Deschutes Brewery Red Chair NWPA (2014) and Hop Henge Experimental IPA (2015)

Book Review: Tasting Whiskey

Lew Bryson must be some kind of spirit whisperer. He knows seemingly everything about the whiskey world, and — more importantly — he has managed to distill (ha!) it down to fully readable, understandable essentials with this impressive tome, Tasting Whiskey. As the title implies, Bryson is here to be your insider guide to this often…

Read More about Book Review: Tasting Whiskey

Drinkhacker Reads – 02.05.2015 – Short Barley, Cheap Vodka and Big Bourbon

While everyone is still foaming at the glass about the recent Budweiser brew-ha-ha, a small article published in USA Today has passed by with relatively little fanfare that has a direct impact on brewers big and small: there’s a barley shortage looming. [USA Today] So now we’ve got too much demand for barley for beer,…

Read More about Drinkhacker Reads – 02.05.2015 – Short Barley, Cheap Vodka and Big Bourbon

Review: Claiborne & Churchill Dry Riesling and Gewurztraminer

Two aromatic whites from this San Luis Obispo-based operation. Thoughts follow. 2013 Claiborne & Churchill Dry Riesling Central Coast – A humble riesling, studded with notes of honey, Meyer lemon, and some green herb garden notes on the nose. The body moves into slightly sweet territory, with chewy nougat dominating, leading to a somewhat woody,…

Read More about Review: Claiborne & Churchill Dry Riesling and Gewurztraminer

Review: Wines of Rodney Strong, 2015 Releases

Rodney Strong’s mainstream releases for 2015 are hitting right about now.  We tasted a trio of its entry-level Sonoma County wines. Thoughts follow. 2013 Rodney Strong Chardonnay Sonoma County – Buttery, but not overdone, this rich-and-creamy Chardonnay offers marshmallows atop notes of tropical fruit — pineapples, plus peaches. Some meaty character gives this some oomph,…

Read More about Review: Wines of Rodney Strong, 2015 Releases

Review: Tap Rye Sherry Finished Canadian Rye Whisky 8 Years Old

The Canadian Tap brand is back with a third expression of its finished rye whiskies: Tap Rye Sherry Finished. As with the maple and port versions of Tap, “finishing” here means the addition of actual amontillado sherry to the blend of rye whiskies, not aging in ex-sherry barrels, the traditional definition of “finishing.” (That said,…

Read More about Review: Tap Rye Sherry Finished Canadian Rye Whisky 8 Years Old

Drinkhacker Reads – 02.03.2015 – Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project Reaches A Finale, Finally

The experiment known as the Single Oak Project will at last be reaching its conclusion after sixteen rounds and 192 barrels of bourbon. This final round will focus on number four char level barrels and stave seasoning of six months. The rest of the variables (recipes, entry proof, and grain size) will change. As of…

Read More about Drinkhacker Reads – 02.03.2015 – Buffalo Trace’s Single Oak Project Reaches A Finale, Finally

Review: Banfi 2011 Belnero and 2013 San Angelo Pinot Grigio

Two new bottlings from Banfi recently arrived, including an older vintage of the blended Belnero, the 2012 vintage of which we reviewed a few months back. 2010 vintage notes can be found here. 2011 Banfi Belnero IGT – A sangiovese-heavy blend, this wine is immediately overpowered by chocolate notes, making for a stark contrast to…

Read More about Review: Banfi 2011 Belnero and 2013 San Angelo Pinot Grigio