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Let’s Not Go Green: Samuel Adams Irish Red Ale

by Charles Wangersky September 15th, 2014
One of the bigger advantages of being on vacation is the chance to try new things. Another is visiting old, familiar haunts. This vacation has offered rather a lot of both, as I have been returning, for the first time in literally decades, to a place where my family spent a month each summer.

Much of what I find here is familiar; small-town American life has not changed in a long time. The changes are minor: telephone service is ubiquitous now, but cell service and internet are, if I am being generous, spotty. The same corner store is still on
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Beer

Almost Historical: Gritty’s “Maine’s Best IPA”

by Charles Wangersky September 8th, 2014 | Beer
Beer One thing I have recently discovered about family gatherings is that the disparate tastes of various family members can lead you into areas of taste that you could not have found on your own. My recent vacation in the old family summer place has been a stellar example of that. For instance, were I normally to see something that billed itself as "Maine’s Best IPA", I would immediately pass it by, on the basis that such shameless self-promotion could not possibly have any true merit.

And that would be a real shame, in this case.

India Pale Ale, as I have
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Cocktails

Almond Joy — It Doesn’t Have to Be a Candy Bar

by Michele September 12th, 2014 | Cocktails, Martinis, Mixed Drinks
Cocktail Dessert cocktails really don't much more for me.  Oh sure, there was a time in my life when a chocolate or espresso martini was an exciting drink.  In fact, I have to admit that sometimes they weren't dessert drinks, they were pre-dinner drinks.  Now, something like that almost never fits anywhere into my drinking repertoire.  Except when I can make it myself to control the sweetness and consistency.

Yes, I am a picky drinker.

I do have sugar cravings, and sometimes it doesn't mean that I want a cookie or piece of candy, just a bit of sweetness to end the
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Bar Destination

Bars with a Twist in Oklahoma City and Tulsa

by R. Carnavale September 11th, 2014 | Bar Destination
Oklahoma is well-known for its oil and country music stars (Reba, Vince Gill, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood...) and the Sooner State's beer pubs and bars are fame-worthy, too. Oklahoma City has its own brewpub, which serves several distinctive ales, and the city also is home to a whiskey bar that serves $3 shots and $10 signature cocktails. In Tulsa (pictured), there's a new wine bar that supports high quality small production wineries worldwide. Here's more information about
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Wine

[yellow tail] Shiraz, 2013

by Charles Wangersky September 10th, 2014 | Australian Wine, Red Wine, Wine
Wine Casella Wines

Australia, Shiraz, 2013

$16.39 (in Canada)

Australia is no stranger to good wines, no matter what you may have heard. Before the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century and its decimation of the grape vines, Australia won several international wine competitions, despite, in some cases, the French judges refusing to accept that such a good wine could not be French. More recently, however, Australia's wine producers have been the butt (sorry) of many jokes, most famously by Monty Python, who mocked the entire country's wine producers by listing the supposed good points of fictional brands like Chateau St. Wogga-Wogga.
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Spirits

Blanton’s Bourbon: Depth and Sweetness

by TK September 9th, 2014 | Liquor
Spirits It is not often that you get to review a liquor that you have grown to love.   Love may feel like a strong word for many people when you use it to describe a distilled liquid that is meant to enhance your life experience, but Blanton's Bourbon is a love for me.  Everything about the caramel, sweet-tasting bourbon is something that I can close my eyes and feel.  I am a huge horse racing fan, so the stylish rider and jockey stoppers that adorn the top of every Blanton's bottle are always the first thing I envision from my closed-eye-dreaming
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