We all know that Gin is the backbone of plenty of great mixed drinks, but when you let it mature in Bourbon barrels, you give the already versatile spirit superpowers. Tommyrotter Cask Strength Bourbon-Barrel Gin was distilled just like the award-winning American Gin the Buffalo, NY distillery makes, featuring twelve flavorful botanicals. It was then aged in white American oak charred barrels before being bottled at 122 proof. No chill-filtration was used and each bottle was filled and labeled by hand at the distillery. Great as a mixer and even more interesting served over rocks.
Barrel-aging continues to show up just about everywhere. But there are few that are as trusted with this trending task as Founders Brewing. Founders Frootwood Beer is the latest in their Barrel-Aged series, and might be the most ambitious yet. It starts with their crisp cherry ale, Cerise, which is aged in oak barrels that once held bourbon and maple syrup. The time in wood really changes things, giving way to a more subtle cherry flavor along with notes of vanilla from the oak. Available this month in four-packs and 750ml bottles.
To mark Master Distiller Richard Paterson's 50th year in the industry, The Dalmore has something very special to share with fans. The Dalmore 50 Year Old Scotch Whisky is not only incredibly old — but also benefits from a special finish in Domaine Henri Giraud Champagne casks for 50 days before bottling. All of this after its time spent in American white oak, Matusalem oloroso sherry casks, and port Colheita pipes. Additionally, French crystal house Baccarat created beautiful crystal decanters that are enhanced with a solid silver stag. Only 50 decanters will be released, each hand-filled upon order and is certain to become the crown jewel of any whisky collection.
We'll admit to slipping a little something in our morning coffee now and again. Jack Daniel's Coffee gives you the flavors that come with an AM shot without the booze. Made from 100% Arabica, it's infused with full-strength Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey to give it notes of caramel and vanilla that you simply don't get with beans alone. Available in 1.5 oz gift bags or in handsome 8.8 oz collectible tins.
When the temperature dips to unbearable levels this winter, there's nothing like a big barleywine to help warm you up. Dogfish Head Olde School Barleywine is one of the originals in this class, brewed for the first time back in 2002. Their new world take on a traditional English barleywine is fermented with dates and figs and lands at right around 15% ABV. It's back for its 15th anniversary this year, and makes for a delicious companion for extra warmth — or to lay down in a cool, dark place to be opened years later for an even smoother treat.
When they set out to disrupt the beer scene in the UK, the founders of BrewDog quickly became a household name and increased their footprint across the globe in the process. Uncle Duke's Scotch Whisky is their first spirits release, and is being described as the "bastard love child of Scotch and Bourbon". Aged for three years in heavily charred American virgin oak casks, it's a great sipper in addition to being a base for a fantastic Old Fashioned. Bottles are available for purchase in BrewDog bars as well as through their website.
One of the standouts in a wide array of great beer in the Sierra Nevada lineup is Bigfoot — an American Barleywine they've brewed since the 1980s. Sierra Nevada Trip In The Woods: Ginger Bigfoot is a special version of barrel-aged Bigfoot, and part of the Trip In The Woods series of special releases. In addition to the time the beer spends in barrels, ginger is added to help mellow out the hop bite and add a perfect amount of sweetness. Previously only available in Sierra Nevada taprooms, it's been bottled for the first time at 11.6% ABV.
We can't think of a better way to kick 2016 out the door than by sipping on some cask strength bourbon. And New Year from Barrell Bourbon might be the most appropriate spirit to have on hand to help usher in 2017. 5, 7, 8, 9, and 13-year old Straight Bourbons from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee were blended to make this limited edition release that clocks in at 117 proof. Of course, all of the releases in the Barrell line are bottled at cask strength, but this special blend provides loads of flavor and a long finish to enjoy before, during, and after the new year begins.
Having a cold one in the shower before heading out for the night isn't a new concept, but Shower Beer — a collaboration between Snask and Pangpang Brewery — might be the first beer made specifically for such an occasion. Hand brewed in Sweden, it's a sweet but strong pale ale that arrives in small 6 ounce bottles, making it an easy brew to consume as you prepare for a night out with your squad.
We may be looking at Christmas in the rearview mirror, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't seek out and consume a great beer like Hardywood Kentucky Christmas Morning. The 10.8% brew starts out as Hardywood's legendary Gingerbread Stout before aging for months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Then, before being bottled, it's cold filtered through fresh locally roasted coffee beans. The result is an avalanche of flavors like vanilla, coconut, coffee, and spices. A worthy treat to toast the end of what has been a very long year for many.
The team at Ancho Reyes have done it again with Ancho Reyes Verde Poblano Liqueur. The limited edition release is sure to be a favorite amongst bartenders and is a great companion in cocktails and blended with other spirits like tequila and mezcal. Made using hand-picked poblanos, each bottle of Verde employs flavors of tomatoes, pineapple, mirabelles, fresh ginger, green tea, and just enough spicy notes to perk up any mixed drink.
Braxton Brewing already have a great Winter Warmer on their hands with Snow Shovel, and now they've taken it up a notch with the release of Braxton Brewing Rum-Barrel Snow Shovel Beer. The malt forward beer has ginger, cinnamon, and local honey in the mix, and was aged in Caribbean Rum barrels for over a year. A sweet, warming treat at 11.4%, it's brewed to thaw you out on a cold winter night.
The best gins on the market have the right mix of botanicals to give them a standout taste. That's the case with Isle Of Harris Gin, along with subtle coastal notes that come from hand-harvested Sugar kelp. Juniper, Coriander, Angelica Root, Orris Root, Cubebs, Bitter Orange Peel, Licorice and Cassia Bar round out the botanical list, and it's packaged in this beautiful, award winning bottle designed by the team at Stranger and Stranger.
Alcohol has so many qualities that it's easy to overlook the fact that a stiff drink on a cold day or night can be the warmth you need to move forward. Townshend's Bluebird Alpine Liqueur is the perfect cure for the cold weather blues, made using a mix of aromatic herbs and spices like Angelica and fennel. Distilled in Portland, Oregon by Thomas & Sons, who specialize in creating tea-based craft spirits, Bluebird is great to sip neat during the winter months, but also does just fine in several cocktails.
Each year, the folks at Upslope Brewing release a limited, small-batch, holiday beer that is the companion to their Christmas Ale. Upslope Brewing Wild Christmas Ale is this year's installment, and marks Volume 10 of the Lee Hill Series for the brewery. It's a sour ale that clocks in at 9% ABV, and spend 11 months aging in Leopold Bros Rye Whiskey barrels before re-fermenting with 500 pounds of cranberries. It's a unique release for the holiday season that is sure to please fans of wild and sour ales.
The latest release from the Teeling Vintage Reserve Collection just happens to be one of the oldest single malts ever bottled. Teeling 33 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey was distilled in 1983 and aged in two ex-bourbon barrels. After such a long time aging, the barrels produced only 275 bottles of whiskey. Each bottle comes with a special commemorative booklet that documents the story of Teeling Whiskey and is printed and bound by one of the oldest bookbinders in Ireland.
Barrel aging beer has never been bigger, but there's a new brand of barrel making its way into the hearts of craft beer brewers. Green Flash Divine Enebro Beer is a classic Belgian-style Tripel, but instead of using a bourbon barrel to add new flavors, they've aged this 10.8% ABV brew in gin barrels. They've also added botanicals to the mix in an effort to mimic the flavors found in a classic gin cocktail. Only 600 bottles exist of this unique beer that's bound to be a big hit with fans of experimental brews.
Inspired from a mission to make the perfect cocktail gin, Vigilant Gin is a great looking new kid on the block in the gin industry. This London style dry gin employs hand-foraged Oregon juniper berries, citrus, and an herbal blend that helps balance it out nicely. Distilled in Washington, DC, it's worthy of a spot at your bar for the packaging alone, but makes a gin cocktail you can be proud of as well.
Matcha green tea is a great alternative to coffee. It delivers a comparable energy boost, but without the jitters, and has the bonus of providing antioxidants and speeding up your metabolism. PANATEA Instant Matcha is a perfect way to enjoy this clean green energy source on the go. Made from premium powdered Japanese matcha green tea, these packets dissolve instantly in hot or cold water, making them ideal for those of us who don't have the time to wait for leaves to steep.
When it comes to holiday beer traditions, Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale is one worth reaching for every year. Brewed at Sierra Nevada headquarters in Chico, California since 1981, this fresh hop ale is a celebration of the holidays and the first hop harvest of the season. Unlike most holiday beers, no spices are added to the beer and it instead relies on a hop forward approach to satisfy IPA lovers. One of the first IPAs ever brewed, though never marketed as one, Celebration is a fantastic representation of consistency and tradition from one of the first craft breweries in the country.
In case you hadn't already planned to drink whisky each night in December, the Premium Whisky Advent Calendar is happy to change those plans. You get 24 wax sealed sample drams of some of the best whiskies in the world, a great way to try stuff you might never be able to find a full bottle of, or to scout out the next whisky to add to your growing collection. This year's calendar includes 50 year old Scotch, award-winning Taiwanese whisky and whiskies worth up to $700 a bottle.
The inspiration behind the newest pale ale from Stone Brewing comes from two places, both providing a different hop variety to the equation. Stone Brewing Ripper Pale Ale takes the citrusy, spicy Cascade hops from San Diego — the brewery's home town — and adds in gentle, tropical fruit forward Galaxy hops from Australia. The 5.6% pale ale taste more like an IPA thanks to the fresh hop combo, but everyone knows the best pale ales are hop heavy anyway.
The ceiling for American whiskey has been raised yet again in the form of Michter's Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey. The new release is the first Celebration in three years, and is the final one blended by Master Distiller Willie Pratt before his upcoming retirement. The whiskey comes from only six barrels, with ages ranging from a decade old to nearly 33 years aging. It arrives at a robust 116.8 proof with a yield of only 258 highly sought after bottles.
While it's difficult to find a flavor that hasn't been infused into beer, it's rare to find one that not only nails that flavor, but is balanced as well. Funky Buddha knows a thing or two about nailing flavors, and French Toast Double Brown Ale is yet another example of their expertise. The 8.8% ABV ale features cinnamon and vanilla flavors, along with just enough sweetness from maple syrup to have you hunting for your next taste.
The masses are still slowly being exposed to Mezcal, and that exposure stands to grow with the release of Bozal Ancestral Mezcal. The Bozal line aims to uncover different agave varieties, such as the extremely limited maguey Papalote used in this special batch. Papalote is wild agave grown on the mountain slopes of the Río Mezcala basin in Chilapa, Guerrero, and is harvested by the mezcaleros using traditional techniques to create this artisan, handmade mezcal. Packaged in this handsome, dark bottle meant to pay homage to the terra cotta copitas used for drinking mezcal.
Enjoy all the benefits of cannabis with none of the smoke with the Bloom Farms Highlighter Cannabis Vapor Pen. This self-contained, portable system uses a USB-rechargeable battery-powered heating element to warm all-natural, 50% THC cannabis oil, releasing smooth hits of vapor that's far more healthy — and more potent — than just puffing on a blunt. Available in Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, and strain-specific Single Origin varieties, it arrives in well-designed, 100% recyclable packaging. Bloom Farms is also a 1-for-1 company that donates a healthy meal to a local food bank for every product sold.
While they aren't the first brewer to introduce the idea of beer for breakfast, Dogfish Head Beer For Breakfast Stout does break the mold with their choice of ingredients. This 7.4% stout includes coffee, brown sugar, maple syrup, and the Mid-Atlantic breakfast staple, scrapple. Made from cornmeal, spices, and pork scraps, scrapple adds a unique element to this stout that is great with the most important meal of the day — or any meal for that matter.
The liquid used to create Black Bowmore is so special, it's been slowly trickling out to market since 1993. Distilled in 1964, this release of Black Bowmore 50 Year Old Whisky is the final drops of a legendary dram. It was first bottled in 1993 and most recently in 2007, and now, for its final curtain call 159 bottles are available internationally. Each one is presented in a case made of Scottish oak, featuring silver inlays modelled on tree rings.
Created to celebrate Peterson of Dublin's 150th anniversary and to honor its Sherlock Holmes line of tobacco pipes, the Holmes Vaporizer Pipe updates the detective's signature accessory for modern times. It adopts the lines of the character's deerstalker hunting cap for the "bowl", which has an LED indicator that glows orange when you take a drag and buttons on the interior to control the flavor strength. It also has a redesigned mouth piece, intake, and trigger, and charges wirelessly when placed on its stand.