The A-List – June 2014

Welcome to this month’s edition of the A-List, where we look back at the best of last month’s reviews and ratings and compile them into a really useful, printer-friendly graphic you may take along during your next trip to the store. We’ve reached the midpoint of 2014 and there have been some really truly exceptional…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection – Rye Bourbon Warehouse Floor Experiments

More tinkering in the form of experimental whiskeys from the mad scientists at Buffalo Trace. This is one of the company’s most interesting and telling ones to date: Three 12-year-old, rye-heavy bourbons each aged on a different floor of Buffalo Trace’s massive Warehouse K (floors 1, 5, and 9). Warehouse K is built of brick, with…

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Review: Rittenhouse Straight Rye Whisky Bottled in Bond

One of the classic examples of this spirit, Rittenhouse is a 4-plus-year-old, 100 proof bottled-in-bond rye, made from a surprisingly low-rye mashbill of 51% rye, 37% corn, and 12% malted barley. The winner of all sorts of accolades and awards, the Heaven Hill-produced Rittenhouse Rye Whisky (the company’s spelling) recently updated its packaging with a…

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Review: Town Branch Bourbon

Full confession: the first batch of this stuff was so bereft of quality, it was not uncommon to passive-aggressively serve generous pours to irritating house guests in hopes of expediting its stay on the shelf to the recycling bin. A few years since its initial release, reconsideration is warranted; with the hopes of quality control…

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Review: Ingenium Dry Gin

Portland, Maine-based New England Distilling presents this avant garde “new western” gin, made from a triple pot-distilled mash of 2-row barley with a bit of rye added. Botanicals include juniper, lime zest, lemongrass, bay leaf, mace, and rose petals — plus some other oddities. That description alone gives you plenty to think about. Pour a…

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Review: Wines of CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs, 2014 Releases

Once called “the Steve Jobs of wine,” Paul Hobbs is a NorCal bigshot that makes wines under his own label as well as importing stuff he really likes. CrossBarn is his new, lower-cost label. We sampled three wines (two Pinots, one Chardonnay) under the CrossBarn label. Thoughts follow. 2013 CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Sonoma…

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Review: 2013 Charles & Charles Rose Columbia Valley

This Washington state rose, part of the Trinchero empire, is made from a blend of 86% syrah, 6% cinsault, 4% grenache, 2% counoise, and 2% mourvedre. Restrained, this wine has some herbal notes on the nose — rosemary, perhaps — with the fruit creeping out a bit slowly on the palate. Strawberries, for sure, and…

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Review: Wigle Rye Whiskey Deep Cut and Barrel-Rested Ginever

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Wigle (aka Pittsburgh Distilling Company) is an up-and-coming craft distiller that makes loads of products including, in a page taken from the Tuthilltown/Hudson Distillery playbook, a wide range of different whiskeys — seven of them at current count. Today we look at two of the company’s products, a rye and an aged “ginever,”…

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