We don't blame you if you aren't familiar with I.W. Harper 15 Year Bourbon, or even the Harper name, mostly because it hasn't been available here in the US in nearly 20 years. The Harper brand dates back to the late 1800's, when Isaac Wolf Bernheim and his brother began distilling. It has remained a premium offering in Japan all along, and if finally back on shelves in the states after a long hiatus. Packed with flavor, this 15 year old bourbon whiskey was distilled at the Bernheim Distillery and comes packaged in this decanter that is as classic as the Harper brand name.
When Arrogant Bastard debuted all the way back in 1997, it put Stone Brewing on the map and changed the way we think about craft beer. The Bastard family continues to grow this year with the release of Bourbon Barrel Arrogant Bastard. This version debuted last year, but in 2015, it's not only going to be on more shelves, it's also being offered for the first time in six-pack 12oz bottles. With vanilla, oak, bourbon, and the familiar arrogance you've come to expect from the grandfather of craft, it's time to welcome the newest member of the Arrogant Bastard family.
When it comes to coffee, freshness matters. A lot. Which is why the Moustache Coffee Club roasts and ships your coffee on the same day. In most cases, you get your beans so quickly that you need to read the Recommended Drink Date to make sure you don't start brewing too soon. As for the beans themselves, they're different nearly every shipment, sourced from single origins and hand selected by the Moustache team. Weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly plans are available so you can choose one that fits your drinking habits.
The hottest style in craft beer right now is undoubtedly the Gose. And Kirsch Gose from Victory Brewing not only takes advantage of the trend, but lands among some of the best around right away. The new spring seasonal pours a light red shade with plenty of carbonation and is both refreshing and tart thanks to the addition of fresh cherries. Subtly sweet, salty, and session-able at 4.8% ABV, this refreshing brew is a great place to start if you've been interested in the Gose style.
Not unlike the famous Dutch spirit Genever — VL92 Gin starts with a base of Malt Wine. It's then re-distilled with a mix of 14 botanicals including fresh cilantro, juniper, orange peel, and some others that remain a secret. Made at the Van Toor Distillery in Vlaardingen, Holland, this unique gin is an ideal choice for your next G&T as the spring weather makes a few hours on the patio more and more tempting.
Not all beer experiments are successful, but every now and then something that sounds amazing ends up tasting amazing as well. Such is the case with Beer Geek Vanilla Shake from Mikkeller. What begins as an imperial oatmeal stout gets loads of vanilla added and is then added to bourbon barrels for 8 months to let it soak up even more flavors. It can stand up to any dessert, but that sweetness won't overpower you, while the 13% ABV just might.
Rugged and dependable yet surprisingly sophisticated, LTD Smoking Tools are an upgrade over your standard glass pipe. Two models are available: a safety pipe with a hidden release and a .625" diameter chamber, and a multi-chamber model with a layered design and two spinning lids for chamber selection. Both are constructed from stainless steel with a brushed finish, feature internal supports for the included stainless screens, and arrive with extra parts, a wrench, and a nylon lanyard.
It's never easy to reimagine a classic. But with Ruination 2.0 IPA, Stone Brewing has put together an updated version of the first full-time bottled double IPA in the world. The new Ruination still has plenty of things you'll recognize from the original, but 2.0 packs in loads of citrus flavor and has a bitter bite that help make it a standout West Coast style double IPA. It's got big shoes to fill, but if there's one thing Stone knows how to do, it's brew IPAs, and this new year-round offering continues that tradition.
Distilled three times and aged in American Bourbon Oak Casks, many call The Irishman Cask Strength Whiskey one of the most exclusive in all of Ireland. And it's not only rare — with only two to three thousand bottles produced each year — but it's also a remarkable Irish whiskey. Only the best casks in the cellar are used for this annual release that weighs in at 54% ABV and garners awards and praise from reviewers and tasters around the world every year.
Enjoy the cascades of tiny bubbles at home with Stumptown Nitro Cold Brew Coffee. Canned on site at the company's Southeast Portland facility using special 11oz, nitro widget-sporting aluminum cans from Ball cannery in Europe, this alternative to regular coffee tastes great whether you pour it into a glass or drink it straight from the can.
As the IPA craze reaches fever pitch, sometimes it's best to keep things simple. Lunch from Maine Beer Company is simple, from the label to the hoppy contents of the bottle, but it's that simple approach that makes it one of the best IPAs you'll taste. It's packed with tropical aromas and flavors and is balanced out nicely by a subtle malt sweetness that other breweries strive for but have difficulty replicating.
Some partnerships make perfect sense, but never actually materialize. So when New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry's announced they were teaming up to create Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, it sounded deliciously overdue. Both companies have been champions of environmental causes for years, and they have both continued to create tasty products we love as well. The only downside to Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale is that it won't see store shelves until this Fall, when it's likely to become one of our favorite new beers.
Just because you don't distill bourbon yourself doesn't mean it can't be fantastic. And Red Handed Bourbon from Treaty Oak Distilling in Austin, Texas is a perfect example. Using some of their favorite bourbons from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee, Treaty Oak blends them together to find the perfect taste profile and then ages the whiskey for another 12 to 15 months. The results are an expertly blended, unique high rye bourbon that should be on your radar.
If you're familiar with the burgeoning craft beer scene in North Carolina, then you already know Wicked Weed Brewing and their stable of great beers. Bretticent, one of the standouts, is a saison brewed using North Carolina grown barley, wheat, and rye. It's then open fermented, dry hopped, and finished with the tasty and versatile yeast strain known as Brettanomyces. It's a light, easy, refreshing saison that gives off a bit of lemon and funk. You aren't required to drink this one outdoors, but if you pair it with sunny, Spring weather it might taste even better.
If you like your IPAs refreshing, hoppy, and All-American, look no further than Fire Eagle IPA from Austin Beerworks in Austin, Texas. It's generously hopped, with the citrus flavors and dry hop bite you've come to associate with great American IPAs. And it comes in this standout can, making it easy to find amongst a cooler of watery, flavorless choices that others blindly choose.
As the days get longer and warmer, it's time to figure out your best options for classic Gin cocktails. And Right Gin from Altamar is nothing short of a perfect candidate. Made from a grain base in Malmo, Sweden using water from a nearby protected lake, Right Gin has all the juniper and citrus flavors you'd expect from a dry gin, but also includes Sarawak Black Pepper which gives it a subtle, unique twist. Perfect for Martinis or Gin & Tonic as you celebrate Spring.
While you might crave the hop bitterness that most double IPAs provide, every now and then a more balanced expression should fill your glass. Blast IPA from Brooklyn Brewery is just that, with British and German malts forming the backbone, and English and American hops to give it a citrusy character without too much bitterness. And this year Brooklyn has refreshed the label, making it even harder to walk past in the beer aisle.
If you're a fan of fresh, hoppy IPAs, then Fresh Squeezed from Deschutes should already be a go-to. But just in case it isn't, you should be aware that it's made using plenty of citra and mosaic hops, giving it an aroma an taste that is difficult to top. IPA season is year-round for us, but if you were waiting for the warmer weather to hit, it's as good a time as any to grab a sixer of one of the better IPAs around.
Leave it to the fine folks at Buffalo Trace to continue to release unique and experimental bourbons to make our mouths water. E.H. Taylor Cured Oak is the latest, and it's nothing short of special, and rare. For the seventh release in the Taylor line, the barrel staves spent twice as much time outside drying in the open air than normal, which eventually allowed the whiskey to extract even more complex flavors that lie deep within the white oak. It aged for 17 years in the famous brick and limestone Taylor warehouse, which was built back in 1881. It's 100 proof and undoubtedly unique, but after 17 years in the barrel, there won't be nearly enough to go around.