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A pocket-sized whiskey connoisseur

In Distiller, a Whiskey App Aimed at Educating the Masses

Brent Stiefel and Mikael Mossberg didn’t know much about whiskey when they met up for drinks in May of 2011. Like many people navigating an ocean of Scotch and bourbon, they “were intimidated by folks with mustaches”, Stiefel says, but didn’t want to drain their bank accounts by buying every bottle to learn more about what they liked and what they didn’t. Feeling a booze-filled higher calling to drink better (and more), the two began drawing up plans for the ideal whiskey resource they’d been searching for but never found.

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Four Award-Winning Whiskies

Tasting Notes: Aberlour Full Line

On a recent visit to Aberlour distillery smack dab in the middle of the famed Speyside region, our task at hand was to gain an appreciation for the distiller’s unique malting, mashing, blending and maturation processes, and of course, the tasting.

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A Prime Spot in Scotland's Scotch Valley

Photo Essay: Walking the Grounds at Aberlour Distillery

Among the big names of the central Speyside region — Macallan, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Ardmore — Aberlour garners less recognition than most. And yet it’s consistently produced one of the most decorated single malt whiskies, with more than 185 awards since the mid-1980s. We walked the grounds of their distillery, which has continuously produced since 1879.

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Saison D'etre

Barnyard Brews: The Best Saison Beers

Originally brewed in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium, as a summer treat for farmers who spent hours under the hot sun, saisons often taste spicy, earthy and yeasty, and contain ABV levels that typically run between 4% and 8.5%. Other than a glass of ice water, they’re about as refreshing a drink as you can get on a hot summer day. Here are seven favorites.

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two traditional drinks and a classic cocktail with a twist

How to Drink Absinthe Like a Gentleman

Will Elliott of NYC’s Maison Premiere shows us the steps to making three types of absinthe drinks: a drip, a frappe and a Sazerac, with a twist.

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5 Great Wines Escape their Bottles

White Wine? Just Can It

We got our hands on five canned white wines to find out if they’re a clever packaging solution or just an excuse to drink more white wine.

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Two Biologists teach Montreal how good craft brews can be

Dieu du Ciel and the Science of Good Beer

A little over two decades ago, Stephane Ostiguy and Jean-Francois Gravel met while studying science at McGill University. Neither got their degrees — but they do make some of the best beer in the world at Dieu du Ciel, Montreal’s best craft brewery.

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Highly Alcoholic, Highly Worthwhile

American Absinthe: A Misunderstood Spirit Arrives Stateside

After years of global vilification and false stigma, absinthe is making a comeback. We tasted six new American versions.

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Get Your Glass in Order

The GP Guide to Beer Glassware

There are serious benefits to matching your glass to your beer. Here’s our guide to the different types of glasses and the brews you should sip out of them.

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An afternoon with a surfer, winemaker, and philosopher

Viewfinder: Meant to Be

“Why do I surf, why do I make wine?” Johan Reyneke says, laughing to himself. “I don’t know. It just happened. It’s just meant to be.” In this short film by The Perennial Plate, Reyneke surfs in False Bay and explains the way he makes wine. They’re two disciplines that may seem quite different but are actually quite similar through the lens of his life’s philosophy.

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Thanks, Cubans

Weekend Cocktail: The Grapefruit Mojito

It isn’t a big secret that we’re more than a bit enamored with the beauty and mystique of all things Cuban. That includes the ubiquitous mojito. And while the original recipe will suffice any day, adding the sweet, tangy flavor of grapefruit should boost the mojito to the top of your summer “To-Drink” list.

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American Beer Meets Irish Whiskey

Tasting the First Beer Aged in Jameson Barrels

Among the fastest growing trends named by brewers at the American Craft Beer Festival was barrel aging, so it’s no surprise that the world’s largest Irish whiskey producer, Jameson, is constantly approached by craft brewers looking for used barrels. Despite this, not once in Jameson’s 234 years of distilling whiskey had the company loaned their barrels to a U.S. company. Well, not until this year, when they gave KelSo Beer Co. founder Kelly Taylor ten barrels to use for an aged IPA.

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Drowning in Beer

On the Scene: The American Craft Beer Festival

Only in its seventh year, the American Craft Beer Festival is already the largest beer festival on the East Coast. Unlike the West Coast-dominated Great American Beer Festival, the American Craft Beer Festival isn’t a competition; brewers aren’t asked to pay for their booth space, and they are reimbursed for the beer they serve at the festival. This allows more smaller breweries to attend, and it also makes the festival something of a celebration of beer for beer’s sake.

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Drink Pink

A Learned Man’s Guide to Rose

Rosé season is upon us, and while we generally advocate for consumption of pink wine year round, the same warm weather that begs for draping oneself in white linen and opening too many shirt buttons demands the freshness of a crisp, vibrant rosé. Here are our ten favorites.

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Extra Extra Anejo

Tasting the World’s Oldest Tequila: Lote Fuenteseca

For the past 18 years, agave-mogul Enrique Fonseca Cerda has been aging the world’s oldest tequila. We headed down to the NoMad, Manhattan, for a taste.

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Meet Your Summer Drink

The Michelada Three Ways

A michelada makes a shandy embarrassed to be liquid. We caught up with our friends at The Third Man in New York for three variations on the drink: one original, one with rhubarb and bourbon, the last with tequila and grapefruit.

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Founder of Oskar Blues

Beers and Bikes with Dale Katechis

GP correspondent Will McGough goes for a bike ride with beer pioneer Dale Katechis and ends up with a bloody elbow and an appreciation for the canned beer movement.

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Peaty and Proud of it

Tasting Notes: Laphroaig 18

Laphroaig’s 18 year old is divisive for more than its bold flavor profile — it replaced the beloved 15 year in 2009. We give it a try.

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The Revolution is Here

Tested: Northern Brewer One Gallon Homebrew Kit

If you haven’t yet joined the home brew revolution, you’re missing out on a lot of fun. We test out one starting point, the one gallon home brew kit from Northern Brewer.

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Pop the Top With Style

Buying Guide: Bottle Openers

Ten different top poppers for ten different kinds of bottle-opening guys.

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Finding the Foodie Gems of Israel's Second Largest City

Photo Essay: A Food Tour of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv-based photographer Danya Weiner and food stylist Deanna Linder share their picks for the city’s best restaurants.

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¿Qué te gustaría tomar?

5 Tequila Cocktails for Cinco de Mayo

Oh, you were planning on taking a few shots? Celebrate the Fifth of May with these five tequila cocktails instead.

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Grrrr...

First-Round Draught Picks: The Five Best Beer Growlers

For a minimal investment, growlers open up a whole world of local microbrews and draught beers that can be enjoyed on your own schedule. Get in on the action with five of the best.

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Sampling the Core Expressions

Highland Park 12 to 40 Year Old, We Try Them All

Learning about the process of whisky-making is one reason to take a distillery tour, but we all know that the real name of the game is the post-tour tasting. Any day spent sampling a range of whiskies is a special one in our books. Throw in the chance to try 25-, 30- and 40-year-old expressions, and you’ve got a once in a lifetime drinking experience.

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Finding 'the best whisky in the world' on the Scottish Island of Orkney

True Norse: A Visit to Highland Park Distillery

Highland Park has officially been making whisky in Kirkwall since 1798. The distillery requires no introduction for rabid fans of single malt. F. Paul Pacult, known as one of America’s foremost experts on spirits, heralded the 25 year old expression as the “Best Spirit in the World” in 2013; it’s an honor he’s also bestowed on the 18 year old twice before. For more casual imbibers, noting Highland Park’s relationship as the sister distillery to The Macallan generates a good number of nods. Our managing Editor Ben Bowers took the journey to the northern Scottish islands of Orkney to learn first hand how some of the world’s finest single malt is made.

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The Official Drink of Rhode Island

Your New Summer Drink: Coffee Milk

Coffee milk is the official beverage of Rhode Island. Think that’s weird? So do we.

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Cheaper Than Tournament Tickets

Rewind: Malted Madness 2014

There’s a time for relaxing with a good craft beer, but this year’s Malted Madness tournament was not one of them. It took a great deal of humility, but we shelved our self-proclaimed beer snobbery for the sake of a single question: what’s the best mass market beer available? It wasn’t easy, but we got an answer, and some other cool articles, besides.

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Two Experts, Three Cellars, and a Lot of Big Beers

Cellar’s Market: A Guide to Aging Beer

In our own beer cellar, we’ve got a couple bottles of Brooklyn Black Ops, a Firestone Walker Parabola and a Perennial Abraxus — all great beers, but we could use a few additions. For some new suggestions, as well as some tips on beer aging, we contacted our friends at The Cannibal NYC, who run extensive cellaring collections, both personally and professionally.

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The Quest for Affordable Pappy

Hacking Pappy: An Experiment in Home Whiskey Blending

At night, when bourbon connoisseurs go to bed, many dream of Pappy Van Winkle, a line of three exquisite bourbons (15, 20 and 23 years old, all of them colloquially referred to as “Pappy”) distilled and bottled by the Sazerac Company at the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Much of Pappy’s legend comes from its high demand: when it’s released, liquor stores dust off month-long waiting lists to decide who gets a bottle.

At the end of last year, Bourbonr Blog made headlines in the liquor community by posting a recipe for “Poor Man’s Pappy,” a mix of two mid-range W.L. Weller whiskies that they claim, while not being able to emulate Pappy Van Winkle completely, “comes close.” But does the recipe hold up? With $50, a postal scale and a mason jar, we decided to find out for ourselves.

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The Good Kind of Extremists

The Best of the Extreme Beer Fest

Sociologists talk of FOMO (“fear of missing out”) and never has this feeling been more powerful than 20 minutes before the end of the Extreme Beer Fest. The event, which took place in Boston, MA, had 68 of the world’s best breweries offering 2-ounce pours of more than 300 “extreme” beers — defined simply as “a beer that pushes the boundaries of brewing”. Two GP writers, on hand at the festival, managed to try about 50 different beers between them. Here are six of their favorites.