Review: Gordon Biersch WinterBock

This Gordon Biersch seasonal is sold from November to January, a dark, double bock that’s just about perfect for the winter season. Rich and malty with subtle notes of cocoa and coffee, it’s a nicely balanced beer despite a relatively hefty 7.5% abv, which makes the finish a touch winey. Rounded and lush, it offers an…

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Review: NV Graham’s Six Grapes Porto Special Old Vines Edition

If you’ve ever had a glass of Port, you’ve probably had Graham’s Six Grapes, an ubiquitous Ruby Port that is lush, easy-drinking, and cheap — making it a nice choice for everyday after-dinner sipping. Now Graham’s is giving Six Grapes an upgrade with a new special edition bottling, Special Old Vines Edition. Graham’s explains: It…

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Review: Hanson of Sonoma Vodka, Complete Lineup

Hanson of Sonoma — based in, of course, Sonoma, California — distills its vodkas from the most abundant product around these parts: grapes. Using a massive 50-plate column still, it runs its spirits through seven filtering systems before bottling them in snazzy, artisan-looking bottles (all of which are signed and numbered). Hanson of Sonoma is sold…

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Review: Wines of Sojourn, 2012 Vintage

These three new releases hail from Santa Rosa-based Sojourn. The wines themselves are made from grapes sourced all the Northern California wine country. Thoughts follow. 2012 Sojourn Chardonnay Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast – Big and buttery on the nose, and the body largely follows suit. Subtle notes of melon, tropical fruits, and tart gooseberry percolate…

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Review: NV Berlucchi ’61 Franciacorta Brut DOCG

It’s Italian sparkling wine, but it’s not Prosecco. Franciacorta is a DOCG area in the north of Italy, to the west of the Veneto, where most Prosecco is produced. While Prosecco is made from the Glera grape, Franciacorta is largely Chardonnay-based, with some Pinot Nero and Pinot Bianco, depending on the producer. Berlucchi ’61, despite…

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Review: Freedom Moonshine

This new unaged whiskey (a moonshine as they call it) — available in a straight version and four (heavily watered down) flavors — is distilled in Indiana from 95% rye and 5% malted barley and flavored and bottled in Tennessee. What, no corn? No neutral grain spirits? It’s true, believe it or not! We tried all…

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Review: Kilchoman Single Cask Releases – Sherry Matured and PX Finish 2009

Lookee here: Two new single-cask, barrel-strength Kilchoman releases (literally, these are both made from one cask), exclusive to U.S. importer ImpEx. We got to try them both. Kilchoman Single Cask Release Sherry Matured – Distilled in 2009, this Islay whisky then spent 5 years in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks. This is a powerful and searing expression…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 12.22.2014 – Budweiser Myths, Pappy Preferences, and More

• Forbes takes on the myths and trends behind the recent major brand vs. craft distillery sales conversation. [Forbes] • This latest round of diplomatic talks between Cuba and the United States could have major ramifications for the rum industry. Bring on the Havana Club! [The Daily Beast] • Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year Old…

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