Lauren Buzzeo

Tasting Director/Senior Editor

Reviews wines from South Africa and Languedoc-Rousillon. Reviews beers.

Tasting Director Lauren Buzzeo joined Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2006 as a tasting coordinator. Thanks to her father, she developed an interest in and love of wine at an early age, and her respect and adoration for all things vinous has remained strong ever since. Today, Lauren is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the tasting and review program, and currently reviews the wines of Languedoc-Roussillon and South Africa, as well as beers. Since coming to Wine Enthusiast, she has made it one of her personal missions to promote the acceptance of cross-drinking, encouraging everyone to embrace finely crafted libations across all beverage categories. Lauren is also an avid homebrewer and a member of the AHA (American Homebrewers Association).

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98
points

Founders KBS

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $20

Founders’ KBS, or Kentucky Breakfast Stout, has been at the top of beer aficionados lists for years as the ultimate in barrel-aged stout pleasure. It’s intense, bold and flavorful, with all the stuffing to cellar well for years. The nose overflows with aromas of bittersweet chocolate, espresso, Bourbon-soaked vanilla bean and roasted malt. Those notes continue…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
97
points

New Glarus R&D Wild Peach Batch: Cave 2

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $8

Brew (and fruit) master Dan Carey does it again with this latest R&D release: A sour brown ale brewed with Michigan peaches that’s spontaneously fermented with wild yeasts and aged in oak, with the final product being a blend of one-, two- and three-year-old beer. It opens with assertive sour-peach aromas, supported by secondary notes of barnyard, leather, toasted…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
96
points

Deschutes Mirror Mirror 2014 Reserve

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $20

After five years, Mirror Mirror—a barleywine with 50% aged in oak barrels that previously held Oregon Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Malbec—is back. Labeled “best after 2/24/15,” this is definitely one for the cellar, and should hold and mature extremely well through 2017, at least. A strong, potent and flavorful selection, it’s bursting with rich malty flavors of…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
95
points

Mullineux 2013 Straw Wine Chenin Blanc (Swartland)

  • Editors' Choice
  • Online Exclusive
  1. $37

Made from 100% air dried Chenin Blanc, this is a remarkably well-balanced, knock-your-socks-off effort, loaded with lush, seductive notes of honey-drizzled apricot, peach preserves, baked apple, orange oil and honeycomb. It’s full and unctuous, but not flabby, with beautiful lifting acidity that keeps the palate fresh. The long, sticky finish boasts a gorgeous…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
94
points

Founders Backwoods Bastard

  1. $15

This is the barrel-aged version of Founders’ year-round wee heavy, Dirty Bastard. The Bourbony oak influences are apparent throughout, with assertive aromas and flavors of peppery wood, vanilla, cocoa powder and campfire smoke. The malty core of caramel malt, toffee, toasted hazelnut, Whoppers and molasses-drizzled fruitcake fills the palate, grounding the sweet…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
93
points

New Glarus Oud Bruin

  1. $10

This is the first release out of the brewery’s new Wild Fruit Cave, and it shows great promise for the lineup. The muddled reddish-brown brew offers loads of funky barnyard and balsamic vinegar on the nose and mouth. The green apple and sour cherry notes are supported by a malty core of dry, toasted grain and light toffee. It’s fruity and earthy, with a light, tart…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
92
points

Full Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Brewmaster Reserve 2014

  1. $12

Brewed in December 2012 and aged for a year in Bourbon casks from Maker’s Mark, Four Roses and Heaven Hill, this is a thick, bold and strongly flavored selection. It pours an opaque black color, with a soft head that falls quickly. Upfront scents of warm dried fruits, vanilla bean, sweet oak and tobacco lead the nose, while the creamy mouthfeel favors plum sauce…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
92
points

Lost Abbey Agave Maria Ale Vintage 2014

  1. $20

Brewed with agave syrup and aged in Tequila barrels, this is an usual beer of layered complexity. It pours a hazy dark brown, with aromas of brown sugar, agave, pepper and smoky oak. The palate offers more rich malt flavors of caramel, molasses and toffee, with an overarching sweet smoke character that tarries through to the finish. The carbonation is low and the…

 — L.B.  (12/31/2014)
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