Review: Samuel Adams Utopias (2013 Release)

Sam Adams continues its annual release of Utopias, a barrel-aged, mega-alcohol, highly expensive brew that stands as one of America’s longest-running “extreme beers” (and which is made without the freeze-and-skim technique that most other high-booze beermakers rely on. For 2013, Utopias has been “blended with Samuel Adams Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF), a Belgian-style ale barrel-aged for…

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Review: Le Grand Courtage Sparkling Wine, Brut and Rose

Look closer: Le Grand Courtage (“the great courtship”) is sparkling wine made in Burgundy, not Champagne, which means it’s made from different grapes… and priced at about $20 a bottle. Thoughts follow. NV Le Grand Courtage Grande Cuvee Blanc de Blancs Brut – A blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard, and Ugni Blanc. Lots of tart,…

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Review: Willa Vodka

A craft vodka made with Italian grain and water from Nantucket, where this vodka is created, Willa is part of the “low-cal” spirits trend. What that means in practical terms is it’s lower in alcohol — 70 proof vs. the standard 80 in the industry. Very little about Willa enchanted me. The nose is charcoal…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select

  Many contemporary drinkers are surprised to hear that Frank Sinatra was a Jack Daniel’s man — through and through, that’s really all the legendary singer drank. But in the revised Sinatra mythos, many now think of Ol’ Blue Eyes as holding a martini, with Jack Daniel’s seen as a commoners’ drink. Back then, that…

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Drinkhacker’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

Back again by popular demand, it’s the Drinkhacker holiday gift guide — or our “best stuff of the year awards” if you want to go that route. As usual, this list is filtered through the lens of the holidays, designed to help you decide what you might buy for the loved ones on your shopping…

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Review: 2013 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau

Hey guys, it’s turkey day! But the end of November also means one thing for wine fans: The release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the first wines to come from the just-finished 2013 harvest. As usual, Duboeuf is first out of the gate, and these bottlings should be on store shelves right now if you need a…

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Review: Batch 206 Vodka, Mint Vodka, Gin, and Moonshine

Seattle-based Batch 206 is a craft distillery focused on hyperlocal raw materials — just about all of its source materials are from the Pacific Northwest. The company cooks up its goodies in a variety of stills, including a unique hybrid pot/column still, and most are filtered heavily through coconut husk charcoal before bottling. Thoughts on…

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Recipes: Last Minute Thanksgiving Cocktails, 2013

Running around the house panicked with no idea what to serve the more discriminating drinkers in your clan? Here are some quick and easy cocktail fixes to serve before or after that giant meal tomorrow. Ellinge Autumn Sky 3 ounces Purity Vodka .5 ounce honey Barspoon roasted pumpkin Handful fresh cranberries Add pumpkin, cranberry, and…

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