Review: Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask Finished Small Batch Bourbon 2014

For the third installment (and second annual release) of Jim Beam’s Signature Craft series (find reviews of the first limited annual release and the permanent member of the series here), the company is offering a curious concoction. While it’s called “Quarter Cask Finished,” that’s a little misleading. The whiskey is actually a blend of standard…

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Review: 2011 Brancaia TRE Rosso Toscana IGT

Here’s a very simple wine, one of the most gentle Italian reds I’ve ever encountered. This blend of Sangiovese (80%), Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon is named for both the three varietals and the three vineyards it is sourced from. The nose nods at both cherries and milk chocolate, but the body is pure fruit. Almost…

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Review: Talisker 27 Years Old Limited Edition 2013

The final whisky in the 2013 Diageo Special Releases series comes from venerable Talisker on the Isle of Skye. It’s a 1985-distilled spirit aged exclusively in American refill casks, so this whisky’s considerable age should be the main focus here rather than any finishing it encounters. Sure enough: This is classic Talisker, a peaty, green-tinted…

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Review: The 50 by 50 Pinot Noir and Rose

Are we not men? We are Pinot! (Sorry.) Devo founding member Gerald Casale is the man behind the new wine label The 50 by 50, which is named for a never-built home that doesn’t exist on a property that’s wedged between the Atlas Peak AVA and Wild Horse AVA in Napa County. (How very Devo,…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 07.14.2014 – Cheap Wine and Luxurious Repositioning

The Daily Mail is reporting the wild statistic that one in five bottles of big-brand wines sold at retailers could very well be fraudulent. In what sounds like a plot to an independent movie, local gangs are forging labels, placing them on bottles and then selling them to stores at a reduced price. Apparently this…

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Review: The Singleton of Dufftown 28 Years Old Limited Edition 2013

Whisky #8 in the Diageo Special Releases series is an installment from The Singleton line, this one from Dufftown. (There have been many whiskies in “The Singleton” line, but only Dufftown is current.) This old fogey is from an actually operational still in Speyside, aged completely in American oak for its 28 years. (It was distilled…

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Review: Sierra Nevada Beer Camp West Coast Double IPA (Unreleased)

Who likes beer fests? Sierra Nevada’s got a huge one coming up this summer, a seven-city traveling beer festival that’s called Beer Camp Across America and which will feature more than 700 total breweries in total. As an “invitation” to the festival, we received this 24 oz. monster bottle of Sierra’s Beer Camp West Coast Double IPA. You can’t buy…

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Review: Port Ellen 34 Years Old Limited Edition 2013

Whisky #7/9 from the Diageo 2013 Special Release series comes from Port Ellen, Islay’s cult distillery which was shuttered way back in 1983. This spirit was produced in 1978, just five years before the stills were mothballed. Aged in American and European oak, it’s one of the oldest whiskies ever to be bottled from this…

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