Spirits

Roundup
Tasty, tasty patriotism

5 Great American-Made London Dry Gins

In recent years, London Dry gin hasn’t done so hot. Looming in the shadows of vodka and whiskey, the juniper-tinged spirit has been cast aside as a singular-tasting alcohol of choice for a generation past its prime -- dry gin is your father’s and grandfather’s drink, not yours. But with a new class of excellent brands in an "American" dry style -- boasting a more balanced and widely ranging flavor profile -- blossoming as we speak, you'd be wise to reconsider. We found 5 of the best on the market.

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Worth another look

Tasting Notes: Wiser’s 18 Year Old

Wiser's is one of the oldest brands in the Great White North, having started life in 1857. While its ownership has changed hands several times, its reputation for quality among the locals has typically remained strong. Wiser’s 18, also sold as Wiser’s Very Old, is a premium offering worth a try for any drinker interested in tasting some of the best Canada has to offer at a reasonable price.

Roundup
Tasty, tasty patriotism

5 Great American-Made London Dry Gins

In recent years, London Dry gin hasn’t done so hot. Looming in the shadows of vodka and whiskey, the juniper-tinged spirit has been cast aside as a singular-tasting alcohol of choice for a generation past its prime -- dry gin is your father’s and grandfather’s drink, not yours. But with a new class of excellent brands in an "American" dry style -- boasting a more balanced and widely ranging flavor profile -- blossoming as we speak, you'd be wise to reconsider. We found 5 of the best on the market.

Gift Guide
12 gifts for the booze lover

12 Guys of Christmas: The Mixologist

The Mixologist's gotten you into plenty of blissful adventures, most of which ended without real long term damage to your record or your marriage. He's a passionate guy, and he knows his craft: beer, that is. Malts, mash, wheat, barley, rye, and oh yes, sweet sweet delicious hops -- he

Juniper, unmolested

Masters of Malt Origin Single Estate Gins

Masters of Malt was tired of juniper (the main ingredient by law in all gins) playing second fiddle to botanicals like geranium and cucumber. While the source of grapes has always been a key point of distinction in wines, with variables

Three Deep

Tasting Notes: High West Campfire Whiskey

Throughout the ages, explorers have embraced a shared passion besides venturing into the unknown. Whiskey. Now the story behind this Park City based whiskey may not involve stories of crusading into the unknown, but it does involve a fortuitous encounter

Lighten up

Wild Turkey Rye 81 Proof

For many of us, 101 proof alcohols conjure up fuzzy memories of enflamed shot glasses and, well, not much else. For the now more responsible -- and presumably with better taste -- the Lawrenceburg, Kentucky distillery famed for its high-proof whiskeys,

Layering down the party

LayerNation El Tirador Shot Dispenser

Having a product made by Dutch entrepreneurs that's seemingly named by Spaniards makes almost no sense, but then again, what do you expect when dealing with a machine made explicitly to shock and amaze booze drinkers? The LayerNation El Tirador

The Secret Garden... of delights

Wentworth Pewter Flask

A gentleman will go portable with his drink via flask, not beer hat. And his drink of choice will probably fall into the category of whiskey or whisky. Cheap, logo'd flasks are a dime a dozen and will class you up about

Guatemala’s finest export

Tasting Notes: Zacapa XO Rum

While most drinkers look to the islands for their rum fix, good things are coming out of Guatemala, like Ron Zacapa XO ($50), a delicious blend of rums aged six to 25 years old. Most rums are distilled from molasses,

Help bring this Irish spirit upstart, stateside

Kickstarter: 1661 Poitín Small Batch Traditional Irish Spirit

Poitín is essentially the traditional Irish equivalent to moonshine and holds a reputation for being one of the strongest spirits in the world, thanks to its 60%-95% ABV. Its Gaelic name references the small copper pots used in its distillation and

It's not your grandfather's gin

Tasting Notes: No. 209 Gin

One of the most exciting product categories of recent years is New American gin. Eschewing the juniper-driven backbones of London Dry style gins like Seagrams and Beefeater, New American gins encompass a broader range of botanicals, which leads to unique combinations

A whisky-soaked punch in the mouth

Tasting Notes: Compass Box Peat Monster

Compass Box Whisky Company is a specialty Scotch whisky maker that, since forming in 2000, has made a big splash in the boutique whisky market. American John Glaser is the man behind the label, and his experimentation with unconventional malt combinations

Double aged for twice the taste

Tasting Notes: Brugal 1888 Rum

Brugal 1888 ($45-50) is what happens when five generations of Maestros Roneros, or Rum Masters, have been hand-crafting Brugal rums since the company was founded in 1888. This latest product blends that experience with a double distillation and double aging

Bottled History

Tasting Notes: Pierre Ferrand 1840 Original Formula Cognac

Don’t be confused by the name. This Cognac isn’t 171 years old; rather, it’s fashioned in the style of “three-star” Cognacs that were consumed around 1840. Those Cognacs were very mixable and often bottled at a higher proof (Pierre Ferrand 1840

Vodka, With Flavor. Not Flavored Vodka.

Tasting Notes: Reyka Vodka

In the world of vodka, there’s more parity than any other spirit category, and there’s seemingly a new vodka on the market each week. Given the competition, most resort to lifestyle claims for differentiation tactics – and to justify steep prices

Czech It Out

Tasting Notes: Becherovka Liqueur

More than two centuries old, Becherovka ($26) is a bitter herbal liqueur hailing from the Czech town of Karlovy Vary. The top-secret recipe includes a mix of more than 20 herbs and spices blended with aromatic oils and mineral-rich water.

Like Father, Like Son

Wild Turkey 81

Wild Turkey’s powerful, flagship 101 proof blend has attracted both bourbon fans and “dirty bird” escapists thanks to its bold, peppery flavoring and leg-rubberizing alcohol content. For years, the company has also offered an 80 proof blend for those looking to

Before Gin, there was Genever

Tasting Notes: Bols Genever

Originally produced as medicine in the late 1500s by a Dutch chemist, genever was a spirit distilled from malt wine. It was strong and not particularly tasty, but juniper berries and herbs were added to improve the flavor. Soon genever was

Too smooth to shoot

Tasting Notes: Partida Añejo Tequila

The days of shooting bad tequila with salt and a lime are nearing an end. The tequila category has shaken off its sordid past and reemerged better than ever, with renewed interest in the spirit and a spate of new labels

Drink like a navy man

Tasting Notes: Black Tot Last Consignment Rum

July 31, 1970 was a tough day for British sailors as the 300 year tradition of daily rum rations ended. With the market for British Royal Naval Rum drying up, remaining stocks were stored away in warehouses laying mostly undisturbed, only

Shaking Up the Vodka Pack

Eristoff Premium Vodka

Eristoff’s roots are in Georgia; that’s the former Soviet Union satellite, not the birthplace of MLK Jr. and Cee Lo Green. It was created by Georgian royalty back in 1806 when times were tough, and since the country is known

Sweet Restitution

Junior’s Midnight Moon Aged Fruit Moonshine

Vodka brands have been adding fruit flavoring to their spirits for years in hopes of coaxing mixologists to shell out for another fifth, or at least get the squeamish drinking something. So it makes perfect sense the same trend would trickle

Caribbean in a Bottle

Tasting Notes: Appleton Estate Reserve Rum

It’s a commonly known fact that the months between New Years and Spring are dreary and depressing, especially for those of us on the East Coast. Being strong believers in self medication taking action, Gear Patrol set out to find a

A Comeback 300 Years in the Making

Nolet Silver Gin

Nolet Silver Gin ($50) is a new brand of gin from a family that's been making the spirit since 1691. Ironically, the Nolet distillery is more widely known today for its contribution to the world of vodka. That's because 10th

Making the Best From a Bad Situation

Glennfiddich Snow Phoenix Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Attaching something like "Snow Phoenix" to the name of an otherwise perfectly good bottle of single malt might lead many to think the master distillers have been reading a bit too much Harry Potter after work. The truth is, this special

Time flies when you’re having Rum

The Kraken Rum

“A rum to put a beast in your belly”, The Kraken has washed onto the market and is bringing out the inner pirate in us all. An alternative from name brand rums, the Kraken ($20) provides a flavor that’s richer

What's the Shiny Exterior Hiding?

Fenom Modern Absinthe

Absinthe has a reputation for many things. Some of them are accurate and justified, others are bogus. Fenom certainly hopes to capitalize one way or the other on the allure of this infamous mind altering substance with their so-called "Modern Absinthe". Brought

An Iconic Bottle Meets an Iconic Director

Absolut Brooklyn Limited Edition Vodka

As a tribute to one of the city's most renowned boroughs and film makers, ABSOLUT has put out a limited edition flavor known as ABSOLUT Brooklyn. Developed in conjunction with Spike Lee, the bottle's unique cover pays homage to the stoop

Appealing to Geek Drinkers Everywhere

Medea Vodka

medea_vodka

Companies like Procter & Gamble have known for years that distinct packaging can make or break a product's success on the shelf. Alcohol makers certainly aren't newbies in this game either, but the creators of Medea Vodka appear to be hell

And You Thought Wisconsin Only Made Cheese

Death’s Door Gin

deaths-door-gin-gear-patroTypically when the word island comes up in the same sentence as Gin, most people immediately prepare for some stogy tale of a famous English Dry Gin house, and its long standing cultural significance to our juniper guzzling, eating-baked-beans-with-their-eggs cohorts from