Buying Guides

Just Try and Stay Out of The Red

Elements: A Black, Friday

Stay home, avoid getting pepper-sprayed over a discounted 42-inch Panasonic, check out the best blacked-out gear on Black Friday.

Have Your Pappy and Your Dickel Too

10 Best Bourbons Not From Kentucky

The rise of craft American whiskey now extends beyond the bourbon belt. Here's the shortlist of major players nationwide.

Los Autos

10 Best Cars of the L.A. Auto Show 2014

The 2014 LA Auto Show is the last chance of the year for the automotive industry to show off what they have now and what's coming up next. From realistic to only-in-your-dreams, the LA Auto Show has a lot to offer, but only the best are worth mentioning.

Admiring the Selection at Lexington's Blue Grass Tavern

Rare Bourbons Not Named Pappy: A Budding Collector’s Guide

Call it the Pappy effect if you want, or just plain business savvy, but most distilleries saw an opportunity in limited, premium bourbons in the early 2000s. At one of Lexington's best bourbon bars, the Blue Grass Tavern, we laid eyes on some of the absolute best.

Distillery-Exclusive Bourbon Bottles

Finding the Rarest of the Rare

At some of the distilleries along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, there are bottles you can't find anywhere else -- rarities that can only be purchased on-site. These were the exclusive bottles we found in the dozen or so distilleries we visited.

Stirring Hearts and Glasses Alike

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Mixologist

A drink at their place rivals any experience you’ve had at a bar. Their reach for the top shelf is as quick as Mr. Eastwood's draw, at least when you’re around. Seize the rare opportunity to settle your tab this gifting season by arming the mixologist with more tools of the trade. And be sure your generous side prevails -- because in this case, re-gifting is always welcome.

Americana in a bottle

The Spirit of Autumn: Best American Apple Brandies

If you're into vintage -- your dad's aviators, reclaimed wood counters, old military watches -- then it doesn’t get much more old school than apple brandy, a spirit distilled from the hard cider of fermented fresh apples and then aged in oak.

Gear that Suits the Man and the Machine

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Driver

The holiday season can be stressful, especially if you're buying for a gearhead. But never fear: if you're in need of a present for that special guy, there is an array of automotive gifts out there that will suit any driver's tastes, and enhance his time behind the wheel.

An Atmosphere of Uncommon Scents

Your Guide to Home Fragrance

It's easy to change and improve the way our homes smell with comforting scents -- and we’re not talking about diffusers that plug into the outlet. These boutique home fragrances go the distance in creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for you and your guests.

Bon Appetit

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Chef

Every year, more and more gadgets and gizmos -- you know, gear -- come out for the kitchen. And every year, there are plenty of food fans that have distinct opinions on all of it. So regardless of if you’re buying for your favorite foodie, friend, or yourself, we’ve curated some of the best, most unique gastronomic options to ensure your present makes the cut.

Judgment-Free Gifts

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Designer

For aesthetically minded design buffs, here's a list of things that will last for decades -- because, unlike the pile of reindeer socks and plastic tchotchkes littering your closets from holidays past, they're meant to.

Gifts Meant to be Scratched, Smashed and Destroyed

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Outdoorsman

Everyone knows a man who doesn't mind a little dirt under his nails. He knows how to tie more knots than you have paisley ties; he casts for fresh fish, you Seamless for sushi. We all know him, and he probably destroyed something or another on his last adventure and is looking for it under the tree. So use this guide to give him something for his next outdoor excursion, and maybe he'll let you tag along this time.

Sensory Overload

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Mediaphile

There’s a word for someone who appreciates the finer details in digital entertainment. (There’s also another word for someone who takes appreciation to a level of obsession, but we’ll focus on the positive one -- it's the holiday season.) After all, anyone worth buying for probably deserves a bit of downtime, and there’s nothing like a splash of A/V newness to stimulate the senses. It’s true that a screen is a screen and a speaker is a speaker, but buy with that mentality and all you'll get is the "I love the knit sweater!" forced smile. Nobody wants that. So start here, with our recommendations to suit the media fanatic in your life.

The Well Curated Life

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Dapper Man

The Dapper Man's the type of guy who takes his time on things and still comes out ahead. He’s an example of a well curated life and considers all the details. These gifts are sure way to show your secret hero you’re on his level, and you got “it” too.

Twelve Gifts For The Handiest of Men

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Do-It-Yourselfer

Today’s handyman is far more than a mere fixer of household problems. Armed with knowledge and the right tools, no task is too complex for their capable hands, from fine carpentry and engine work to maintaining wi-fi-based home ecosystems. They deserve celebration and appreciation -- and yet, as you’ve undoubtedly noticed, they are an incredibly humble breed, their most cherished rewards being the result of a hard day’s work. We’ve put together a dozen gift ideas guaranteed to boost enthusiasm, bolster abilities and foster talents for the do-it-yourselfer in your life.

Ready for Takeoff

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Globetrotter

Whether it’s a comfortable pair of slacks or the ultimate travel bag, making him feel like travel royalty is only a good buy away. This is the best globetrotting gear of 2014 -- gifts so good he'll feel right at home, even when he's getting familiar with a TSA agent.

Natural class

Elements: Brown

Few colors exude class and understated luxury quite like brown. Think of a good cup of coffee (or bourbon), rich hardwood or Steve McQueen's Ferrari. Brown is natural, earthy and dependable -- it has an air of quality to it. These are some of our favorite brown products.

The Original Barrel Aged Beer

Tasting the Full 2014 Bourbon County Stout Line

If you heard Goose Island Beer Co. was coming into town with their upcoming Black Friday release of their Bourbon County Stout lineup, which features some of the most coveted beers brewed in the US, you’d expect a little fanfare. But when Mike Siegel, innovations manager for Goose Island, carried the lineup in for tasting, it was at room temperature and accompanied by little plastic cups, the sort any corner store would carry.

Serenity Now

7 Best Noise Canceling Headphones

Because they make it so much easier to hear hushed dialogue in movies or the pianissimo finale of a favorite symphony, active noise canceling headphones have become standard items to pack for any serious traveler (especially anyone with a window seat next to the plane’s engine). They’ve also become popular with office workers who want to eliminate the chatter of colleagues and other workplace noise. We tried out more than 15 different pairs of ANC headsets on planes, trains, buses, noisy subway cars and riding mowers across the U.S. and Europe to settle on seven models that lead the pack.

Gifts for the Spartan Renaissance Man

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Athlete

Today’s athlete is a spartan renaissance man, a conglomeration of multi-faceted fitness that culminates in one fine-tuned machine ready for whatever the world will bring. And the modern fitness man requires diversity in gear -- something to guide him in excellence in all of his athletic follies. This gear will aid him in crossing the finish first, whatever that finish line may be.

Because There's Always More to Explore

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Adventurer

Whether you're a thrill seeker shopping for yourself, a worried parent trying to protect your baby, a best friend looking to help a buddy shred it up, or a tagalong seeking some extra comfort, the best thing about the gift of outdoor gear is that it serves all those purposes simultaneously. These are the best adventuring gifts money can buy.

Stay Ahead of Planned Obsolescence

The 12 Guys of Christmas: The Techie

In a world cluttered with uncertainties, you can be assured of this: you’ll never be stumped for something to buy if there’s a techie in your life. As the pace of innovation hastens each year, the technology fanatics among us can’t ever seem to find contentedness. That’s bad news for one's wallet, but it’s great for those hoping to send the perfect message this holiday. Have a look at our recommendations below -- just be sure to gear up for one or two massive hugs in return.

How do you Say...Sugary?

13 Tasty Treats From Around the World

If there's anything wrong with our addiction to Halloween candy (and really, there's not), it's that we refuse to open our eyes to the wonderful sugary treasures a global economy provides, instead deciding to focus on issues that are sticky for other reasons -- international political snarls, embargoes, and the like. So alongside your favorite American treats this Halloween, consider unwrapping a few of these, our favorite foreign beauties.

Vintage gear for old Italian roads

The Handsome, Throwback Magic of Italy’s L’Eroica Bike Race

In 2014 bike parlance, L’Eroica is the ultimate gravel grinder, a 38-204 kilometer ride along the strade bianche (“white roads”) of Tuscany, Italy, with ascents steep as 23 percent grade and sketchy, sandy downhills as a reward for the hard work. Unlike the Dirty Kanza, though, you won’t find riders toeing the line in Gaiole in Chianti with carbon bikes, electronic shifting and hydraulic disc brakes. L'Eroica's done old school.

A Study in the Finer Points of Drinking

The Perfect Bar Cart

Alcohol remains an enduring motif in the great American narrative. That’s probably because those that wrote it drank, and drank well — epitomized by the enduring symbol of the most sophisticated of drinking cultures: the bar cart. What follows is just one interpretation of how the home bar should look and taste. Like with all things great, a great bar cart is a long term investment and requires time to develop. It’s not necessary to stock everything; ours is listed simply to help guide those starting from scratch in the finer points of home drinking. Click, learn and imbibe well.

You're a Better Man than Hungry-Man

8 Feasts of a Frozen Variety

Easy-to-make meals have been associated with artificial preservatives and gluttonous additives for far too long. These brands are changing the paradigm of instant food for the better -- and they taste great, too.

Recipes From Acclaimed Chefs

7 Essential Cookbooks this Fall

Whereas summer is defined by freshness and abundance, fall is marked by the chef's creativity and skill in the kitchen. Kitchens center around the pantry, the chef's color palette. These cookbooks showcase the distinctive fall flavors of acclaimed chefs from around the world.

No Spandex Here

Kit: Fall Commuting

Every “hardcore”, year-round bike commuter was once a fair-weather cycler. Then came the discovery that the key to year-round biking comfort is getting the right gear.

A place to rest your wheels

Wheels Up: 7 Indoor Bike Racks

City bikes need a place to rest inside -- enter the indoor bike rack. Whether it's standing in the corner, blending in with wall decor or just plain out of the way, the method comes down to you (and your wallet). These indoor racks will keep your bike dry and safe at night.

Gear for an Open-Wheel Beating

Kit: Taking on Baja

Packing perfectly for the Baja Peninsula in Mexico means being prepared for everything -- because anything can, and will, happen.

Join the Revolution

The Complete Guide to Electric Bikes

Last month at Interbike, bike industry trend-spotter and mountain biking pioneer Gary Fisher stepped onto the stage to announce the season’s best electric bike. “The growing e-bike category”, he said, “is going to be the next Big Thing.” To casual onlookers, Fisher sounded like he’d lost his marbles. After all, unless you live in New...

7 Pants, 2 Wheels, 1 Handsome Dude

Bike to Work in These 7 Pants

Commuting cyclists require a specific type of pant. These seven are designed to handle the wind, rain, grime and out-of-control cabbies.

Daily green without the groan

Tested: Five Great Everyday Hybrids

From miserly compacts to full-sized fuel-sipping sedans, you can have your cake and eat it, too, with both style and a serious salute to the environment. These five excellently executed everyday hybrids meld style and sensibility.

Triathlon on a budget

Gear for the Triathlon Newbie

Here’s a little secret: You don’t need to spend a lot to race in your first triathlon. These affordable options will get you to the finish line with enough money in the bank for a post-race beer.