Review: 2013 Complicated Pinot Noir Sonoma County

A dustier expression of Pinot, this Sonoma County bottling offers notes of black cherry, orange peel, and currants, but is undercut by some rougher, lumberyard notes that leave a distinctly drying character on the palate. This is distinctly at odds with some of the sweeter elements in the wine — these become quite thick on…

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Review: Jardesca Blanco California Aperitiva

Drinkhacker pal Duggan McDonnell — of Encanto Pisco fame — is up to some new tricks. His latest project: Jardesca, a lightly fortified, aromatic wine. Esseentially part of the vermouth/Lillet category, Jardesca is a blend of sweet and dry wines plus a double-distilled eau de vie that is infused with 10 different botanicals. The big…

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Review: Tequila Herradura Coleccion de la Casa Scotch Cask Finished Reposado, Reserva 2014

It’s another round with Herradura’s Coleccion de la Casa limited edition line of reposado tequilas — each one aged first in a standard Bourbon barrel, then finished in another type of specialty cask. (See also the first two releases in this annual series: Port and Cognac finished tequila.) This year, Herradura turns to former Scotch…

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Tasting Mortlach Rare Old, 18 Years Old, and 25 Years Old with Georgie Bell

Mortlach, “The Beast of Dufftown,” is a storied Speyside distillery that has a long reputation as the maker of a connoisseur’s whisky. For years, single malt from Mortlach has been hard to come by; most of its production has been destined for inclusion in blends like Johnnie Walker. But demand for single malts continues to…

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Review: 2014 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

Another year, another Bojo-Nouveau, the “first wine of the harvest,” as Georges Duboeuf’s less-garish-than-usual label reminds us. This year’s Beaujolais Nouveau is the usual shade of grape juice-purple, with a jammy nose redolent of grape jelly, strawberry, some violet notes, and mud. The body runs through all of the above paces, introducing some shades of tea…

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Review: Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon

Hey, remember when Maker’s Mark said it was going to lower its proof from 90 to 84? That didn’t work out, so the company figured why not go the other way, with a limited-availability cask strength expression of the classic Maker’s Mark. Cask strength bourbon is a bit at odds with the company’s avowed mission to…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 11.19.2014 – Wednesday Quick Links

Another round of quick links. Lots to cover today! • Vinuous acquires International Wine Cellar for an undisclosed sum. Pretty ambitious for a company which started up less than 18 months ago. [Forbes] • Bud Light is planning on launching a flavored beer line. [St. Louis Business Journal] • William Grant wastes no time relaunching Drambuie…

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Review: Jim Beam Kentucky Fire

Jim Beam’s spin on the cinnamon-flavored whiskey fad — the Fireball phenomenon — crept up so quietly earlier this August that no one seems to have taken much notice. I guess being, like, eighth to market doesn’t get you much press. No matter, though. Let’s have a look at Beam’s Kentucky Fire — cinnamon whiskey’s…

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