If you were to make a dream list of ingredients for a beer to make dudes drool, it's tough to imagine the description being any more appetizing than Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. You read that right, maple syrup, coffee, and bacon all play vital roles in this incredibly balanced porter. None of the flavors overwhelm, but all of them get along amazingly well in this beer that transports us to a greasy spoon diner for a little hair of the dog after a night of carousing. It's even better than it sounds, and for the first time ever, can be found in 22 oz bottles Funky Buddha Brewery.
Hey, it works for whiskey, so why not for another one of the key food groups, sriracha? Made using fresh, locally sourced ingredients — specifically chili peppers, brown sugar, garlic, and salt — Sosu Barrel-Aged Sriracha is a new take on everyone's favorite rooster-emblazoned condiment. Aged for one (or in the case of the limited-edition version, three) month(s) in whiskey barrels, the pepper mash takes on sweet, fruity, and smoky notes that help balance out the spiciness of the sauce, making it an even more amazing accompaniment for eggs, meat, noodles, or anything else you can imagine.
If you're ready to distance yourself from the occasional rum and Coke but don't want to give up on the sugar cane spirit altogether, Penny Blue XO Rum should rise to the top of your list. Made at the oldest distillery in Mauritius, where you'll find a sugar cane estate that has been making rum since 1926, Penny Blue is named after the world's rarest stamp, and this rum is very limited as well, with only 2500 bottles making it to US shelves. Each batch is unique as well, some aged in American oak whiskey casks while others spent time in French oak Cognac casks. We're pretty certain you don't want to put this rum anywhere near a bottle of soda.
Well, that's pretty self-explanatory. Drunkin Donuts are what they say on the tin — alcohol-infused desserts that taste like your favorite party cocktails. Arriving in donut, cupcake, cannoli, brownie, and even truffle form, they'll liven up any gathering with the flavors of daiquiris, martinis, mudslides, creamsicles, piña coladas, champagne, white russians, caketinis — isn't that sort of cheating? — and even mai tais. And since every shipment is baked to order, you don't have to worry about your amaretto macaroon brownie arriving stale.
If there is one thing that is consistent throughout drinking history, it's the desire most of us have for stronger drinks. The barley wine style of beer was introduced for this specific reason in the late 18th century, and not many have mastered the style as effectively as Firestone Walker Brewing with their annual release, Sucaba. Brewed since 2006, but only bottled since 2010, the annual release of this bourbon barrel aged barely wine is one that beer geeks look forward to acquiring, hoarding and of course, drinking. Those fortunate enough to unlock a bottle are rewarded with hints of chocolate, vanilla, dark fruits, and a warming 13.5% ABV.
They look like normal waffles — and depending on what flavor you get, they taste like them, too. But Wired Waffles pack a secret ingredient to help you get a jump start on your day. See, each 2.5oz waffle packs 200mg of caffeine, meaning that a breakfast of two waffles will pack more punch than a grande coffee from Starbucks. They come in tasty flavors like Bacon Maple, Sweet Sugar, Cinnamon, and Chocolate Chip, and should you decide you need an extra kick, they sell caffeinated maple syrup to serve along side it for the equivalent of a triple espresso breakfast.
One of the first bourbon releases of 2014 also happens to be one we look forward to the most every year, Evan Williams Single Barrel. This is the 19th annual release of the world-renowned spirit, spending 10 years aging in barrels. It's also become a tradition to find that each bottle is marked with the exact date the liquid was placed into the barrel and then bottled. Inside each hand numbered bottle is a sweet, smooth bourbon with flavors like maple syrup, toffee and mint. A bottle this great usually costs you an arm and a leg, but at under 30 bucks, you might want to buy more than one.
It's that time of year, the time when beer drinkers who crave large amounts of hops in their beverages rejoice, because Bell's Hopslam Ale is hitting store shelves. Released every January, Hopslam is a double IPA with a demand that continues to grow. Hopslam starts with six different hop varietals, each selected in large part due to the aromatic qualities they possess. After a big dry-hop addition at the end, Bell's adds a helping of honey to balance out the bite and give this 10% ABV hop bomb the balance that makes it special.
You might already be familiar with WhistlePig Rye, it's one of the only 100% rye whiskies on the market, and is run by former Apprentice cast member Raj Peter Bhakta. The standard WhistlePig is a great rye, and now the family is growing with the release of The Boss Hog ($150), a select bottling from the Vermont based distillers. The Boss Hog weighs in at barrel strength, with no water added, at a hefty 134 proof after over 12 years of aging. The flavors also push their weight around as caramel, vanilla and gingerbread are present and welcome. This release is a must for rye whiskey lovers, and with less than 3,000 bottles, it's sure to be gone quickly.
When it comes to great, hoppy beers, the West Coast has no shortage of choices. So when a new brewery pops up on the coast with the promise of hoppy beers, they have our attention. Modern Times Brewing started last year in San Diego, and one of the hop bombs they are canning is an amber IPA called Blazing World ($11). It's packed with plenty of sticky, aromatic Nelson, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops that will satisfy those that crave a dry IBU punch. And the light, malty backbone that provides the amber hue helps balance things out nicely. To top it all off, it comes in a super sharp, well designed can.
One of the most trusted blenders in the scotch whiskey game is switching things up again this winter, with the introduction of Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve ($87). The scotch itself isn't brand new, but the limited edition, reflective gold bottle certainly is. Of course, it's what is inside the bottle that ultimately matters, and Johnnie Walker delivers again with a fruity nose, plenty of oak flavors and some subtle smoke to round things out. An addition to your collection that even King Midas would be proud of.
What could possibly taste better than a healthful, meaty snack combined with the sweet, oaky flavors of whiskey? It's that very question that drove the guys at Get Some Jerky to create Whiskey Beef Jerky ($7). Made from locally-sourced beef near their home in Sacramento, California, their jerky is seasoned with all-natural ingredients so you never have to deal with dry, flavorless, processed jerky again. Their whiskey beef jerky gets its flavor from premium whiskey — adding a subtle burn to its taste — along with brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and more, giving it a unique flavor like no other.