Review: 2012 Juxtapoz Red Wine Blend North Coast

This new blend comes from the Delicato family, and it’s a bit of a mutt of a wine: Five grape varieties (not sure which) from all over northern California go into an inky, deep purple, super-fruity concoction. Initially overpowering, it does open up to reveal more charming layers underneath its up-front punch — muddled blackberry, dark…

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Review: Ballast Point Old Grove Gin and Barrel Rested Gin

Ballast Point is a beer and spirits producer in San Diego, where the company churns out a dazzling array of products. Old Grove Gin is made with juniper, rose petals, coriander, and a total of nine other (unspecified) botanicals. Available in a straight and barrel-aged version, we tasted both. Thoughts follow. Ballast Point Old Grove…

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Review: Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon (2014), Single Malt, Double Cask Rye, and White Rye

When famous distiller Dave Pickerell (ex of Maker’s Mark) opened Hillrock Estate Distillery in upstate New York, he had but one product, a high-rye Bourbon aged in the solera style and finished in oloroso sherry casks. Since then, Hillrock has added three more craft distilled products, all super-local and carefully handmade, to its stable: a…

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Review: The 86 Co. Cana Brava Rum Silver and Tequila Cabeza Blanco

Previously we brought you reviews of The 86 Co.’s Ford’s Gin and Aylesbury Duck Vodka, two winning spirits from a New York-based importer that’s partial to one-liter bottles instead of 750ml ones. (Standard size bottles are seemingly available if you’re interested in hunting them down.) Now we’re back with 86’s next offerings, a Panamanian rum…

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Review: Ice Fox Vodka

This new vodka is made in Treasure Island, in San Francisco Bay off the coast of the city, where there are probably no foxes and definitely no ice — rather, a portion of profits from the sale of Ice Fox vodka are donated “to protect the shrinking population of the Arctic foxes that inspired the product.” Triple-distilled…

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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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