Review: Chateau du Tariquet Armagnac VS Classique (2015)

Armagnac, in the Gascony region of France near Bordeaux, has long played second fiddle to the better-known and more prestigious Cognac. Subtle production differences exist between the two. Cognac uses up to three grape varieties. Armangac can include four (Folle Blanche, Ugni Blanc, Colombard, and Baco). Cognac is distilled twice, Armangac only once. Bas-Armangac is the…

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Review: Wines of Smith-Madrone, 2015 Releases

Three new winter releases from Smith-Madrone, located at the top of Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain. 2012 Smith-Madrone Chardonnay Napa Valley Spring Mountain District – Buttery, with strong notes of vanilla and nuts. Not much in the way of a surprise here, with modest pear and lemon notes duking it out with that big, brown butter…

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The A-List – December 2014

Hello and welcome to the A-List, our tip of the cap to the stellar products we’ve received and reviewed over the last month. December certainly had its fair share of quality offerings and sent off 2014 on a high note. Plenty to choose from for a wide variety of tastes and price points. (Rob’s note:…

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Review: Wines of Esporao, 2015 Releases

Three new offerings from Portugal’s Esporao, new releases from the company’s Reserva line as well as its Quinta dos Murcas Reserva offering. Some thoughts follow. 2011 Esporao Reserva Red DOC Alentejo – Made from a blend of traditional Portuguese grapes, including aragonez, trincadeira, cabernet sauvignon, and alicante bouchet. Incredibly dense, this wine starts with licorice notes and…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 01.05.2015 – Great Lakes Brewing Rebrands, Gandhi Gets a Beer

We’ve heard the phrase “new year, new you” all over Twitter in the past few days, and that’s good news to hear. We can think of many people who need to take this mantra to heart. One company really going for it in ’15 is Great Lakes Brewing, which has announced a total overhaul of…

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Review: Glendalough Poitin – Complete Lineup

Poitin (po-cheen) pushers are trying their darnedest to bring this ancient Irish spirit back to the masses. A distillation of malt barley and sugar beets, the finished product is aged in virgin oak (but generally filtered back to white). Ireland’s Glendalough sent us a trilogy of poitins for us to sample. Our thoughts follow. Glendalough Poitin…

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Review: Bowen’s Whiskey

Here’s a craft spirit out of Bakersfield, California, a Bourbon-like whiskey that’s not quite Bourbon, a spirit that wears its smoky character on its muscular sleeves. The company describes how it is produced thusly: Bowen’s Whiskey, a true artisan whiskey, is made from 100% corn, cut to proof with a proprietary, structured micro-clustered water to…

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Review: Oregon Spirit Vodka and Merrylegs Genever

Two more spirits from Oregon Spirits Distillers in Bend, Oregon — these renditions of those two most classic white spirits, vodka and gin. Let’s taste them together! Oregon Spirit Vodka – Distilled from winter wheat. Very innocuous on the nose, it’s got just some modest hospital notes and a dusting of white grape juice to…

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