How better to celebrate the upcoming holiday than by a sampling of booze? The Whisky Advent Calendar ($245) is just the traditional advent calendar you've come to know, only behind each of the 24 doors lies a different 3cl sample of whisky. For added fun, one of the doors contains a sample of 50 year old single malt Scotch, a full bottle of which would run you over $550. Happy holidays indeed.
Whether you're looking to add to your knowledge of classic cocktails or are simply too lazy to mix them up yourself, this line of Experimental Series Antique Cocktails (£40-£50; roughly $65-$80) should be on your booze shopping list. Each bottle of pre-mixed Negroni, Manhattan, Rob Roy, and Martinez is made using rare spirits bottled in the '60s, '70s, and '80s, giving them a slightly more complex and mellow flavor than anything you'll get at the local bar, and thanks to the Handmade Cocktail Company's experience, you can ensure they'll be mixed properly. Cheers.
Call it white whiskey, call it moonshine, but don't dare call it ordinary. Jack Daniel's Unaged Rye Whiskey ($50) is the first new mashbill to come out of Lynchburg in over 100 years, and surprises drinkers with a sweet and fruity smell, plenty of rye bite, and a crisp, dry finish. Available in Tennessee in December, and arriving elsewhere early next year.
It doesn't get much better than this. The Macallan 60 Years Old in Lalique ($20,000) is not only one of the oldest and rarest (and tastiest) single malt whiskies ever bottled by the distillery, it's also one of the best looking when it's sitting on your shelf. That's because it lives inside an elegant Lalique IV decanter that pays homage to the small stills in which the spirit is made. It's topped off with a crystal stopper with a copper cap made from an old Macallan still. All of it comes in a sleek, high-polish black lacquer box.
Expand your coffee horizons beyond the standard Starbucks brew and try out a cup of Bowtruss Coffee ($11-$28). Their lineup of coffees includes everything from a standard Colombian to the chocolatey Ethiopia yirgacheffe — our personal favorite — with a little bit of everything in between. Should your current coffee pot not be up to the task of rendering these fine flavors, Bowtruss also offers a line of Japan-sourced Hario brewing solutions that will maximize the potential in pretty much any coffee you choose.
Given the no-nonsense label and clear color, House Spirits White Dog Whiskey ($34) looks more like something from a doctor's office than a liquor store. This unusually clear whiskey is made from 100% malted barley, and aged in a barrel for only three hours to round out any harsh notes without taking on any unwanted brownish color. Beyond the obvious flavor of malt, you'll find some nice spicy notes, a dry body, and a long finish. If you're thinking about picking up a bottle, you'd best hurry — it's an extremely limited release.
We've had plenty of beer-based concoctions before, but a milkshake? The Samuel Adams Octoberfest Milkshake ($TBA) is here to make us believers. Available through November 11 at Red Robin, this unique drink is a blend of soft serve ice cream, Samuel Adams Octoberfest draft, vanilla, and caramel, and pairs well with the chain's warm pretzel bites and Pub Crawl Tavern Burger, which boasts beer cheese spread, beer mustard-onions, and bacon.
Serious cigar aficionados like to keep track of what they're smoking — and Humidor Notes ($13/3-pack) are perfect for the job. In addition to a built-in ruler and cigar ring gauge, these pocket-sized journals feature pages with spots for recording everything from the brand and price to the weather and what you drank with it, as well as a glue dot for attaching the band.
Believe it or not, beer used to come in cans that required you to put in a bit of work before you could enjoy their hoppy essence. Churchkey Beer ($TBA) is looking to bring that experience back with a flavorful, golden Pilsner that comes in a flat-top can — leaving you only one way to get the sudsy goodness out. Extra points for friends that have a churchkey on hand without you warning them first. [Scouted by JT]
They've been making the stuff there for years, but Ole Smoky Moonshine ($40) is the first moonshine to emerge from Tennessee that's actually legal. Available in apple pie, peach, neutral, blackberry, and original flavors — or in a jar packed with cherries soaked in the 100 proof neutral stuff — it's the closest you can come to straight-from-the-still without incurring the wrath of the law — or risking your eyesight in the process. [via]
Who needs coffee with their pancakes when you can get a jolt of caffeine from the pancakes themselves? Wired Wyatt's Caffeinated Maple Syrup ($13) makes that dream possible. Packing as much caffeine as an energy drink in every tablespoon-sized serving, it's also all-natural, good for use on waffles, pancakes, and other breakfasty foods, and we hear it tastes pretty good, too.
Packing drinks deep into the wilderness isn't an option for most backpackers — the added weight far outweighs (get it?) the potential joy an ice-cold Coke could bring. Pat's Backcountry Beverages ($TBA) aim to fix this problem by using a unique, portable carbonator bottle and concentrated soda packs to mix your drinks on-the-spot, letting you enjoy colas, lemon-lime and ginger drinks, root beer, and even real beer (!) without needing to haul 6-, 12-, or even 30-packs deep into the brush.