Review: 2011 Cliff Lede and Moondance Dream Cabernet Sauvignon

New 2011 Cabs from Cliff Lede, one of Napa’s blue chip bottlers. Surprising thoughts follow… 2011 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Stags Leap District – A big misstep for the normally spot-on Cliff Lede. This ultra-premium Cab has lost all its body, coming across as flabby and pruny, without the barest hint of acidity…

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Review: Base Camp Brewing In-Tents IPL, Ripstop, Northwest Fest, and S’More Stout

Like any good craft brewer, Portland, Oregon-based Base Camp makes a dozen-plus different beers, some with very exotic compositions. Unlike most craft brewers, it then puts these beers into oversized 22 oz. aluminum bottles, which are “made for adventure.” We tested four of the company’s brews. Thoughts follow. Base Camp Brewing In-Tents IPL – An…

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Review: Tincup American Whiskey

Tincup (or Tin Cup, or TINCUP, as I refuse to write it) is the brainchild of Jess Graber, who launched Stranahan’s Whiskey in Colorado, where Tincup also hails from. These are different animals, though. Stranahan’s is 100% malted barley distilled and aged on site. Tincup is rather simply sourced bourbon (from MGP), to which a…

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Review: Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon (Fall 2013)

Hye is one of those tiny towns that everyone from Texas (including myself) has heard of, but no one actually knows where it is. There it lies, on the road from Austin to Fredericksburg, and it’s here where Garrison Brothers is making some fine “micro” whiskey. The brothers Garrison don’t disclose their exact mashbill on…

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Book Review: Savory Cocktails

Sometimes you don’t want “something sweet.” Sometimes you want something, well, savory. Greg Henry’s book, Savory Cocktails, offers 100 recipes were sugar (in all its forms) is not the focus. Separated into various chapters such as Sour, Spicy, Smoky, and Strong, Henry walks you through some basic nonsweet stuff (Martini, Bloody Mary, Pickleback) but focuses on originals (most…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 04.02.2014 – The Top Craft Breweries In America?

Everyone knows that lists are a fickle, subjective thing. So it should come as no surprise that there’s some pretty hefty disagreements and discussions involving the latest list from the Huffington Post detailing the The Top 50 Craft Breweries in America. The yearly list is compiled by the Brewers Association, with overall annual sales being…

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Review: 2008 Inniskillin Ice Wine – Vidal and Cabernet Franc

Years have passed since we last encountered Inniskillin and its masterful Canadian ice wines. We recently had the good fortune to sample two new vintages from Inniskillin, both sweet yet low-alcohol dessert wines made from frozen grapes from way up north. Thoughts follow. 2008 Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine – Gorgeous, with a rush of honey,…

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Review: Lombard Jewels of Scotland Springbank 21 Years Old

This independent bottling of Campbeltown favorite Springbank is a D&M Liquors exclusive (link below), so don’t go shopping all over creation for it. Only 263 bottles were produced. 21 years old and fully matured in a bourbon hogshead, this is Springbank at its finest. The nose is mysterious and mild, with hints of greenery and…

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