THE MONTH IN ALCOHOL
The Best Booze We Drank This Month
Every month, a huge amount of booze moves through the Gear Patrol offices — beer, wine and a whole lot of whiskey. Here are a few of our favorites.
George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond
In order to qualify for Bottled-in-Bond status, a whiskey needs to be 100 proof, the product of a single distillation season by a single distiller at a single distillery and aged in a bonded warehouse under federal government supervision for at least four years. This means that most Bottled-in-Bond offerings don’t typically advertise age statements, as most aren’t pushing far beyond that 4-year minimum.
George Dickel’s new bottle overachieves to the tune of a 13-year-old age statement and a strangely reasonable $36 retail price. If you like Dickel, you’ll like this bottle a lot — the added years in the barrel mellow its infamous mineral-heavy finish and lets its low-rye mashbill do most of the heavy lifting. It’s not going to be the best bourbon you drink all year, but it might be the best under $40. It’s rolling out to specific markets now.
Haus Citrus + Flower Aperitif
New apéritif label Haus wants to undercut Aperol in the casual, low-alcohol, easy-drinking cocktail game. Citrus + Flower, its first flavor, is an all-natural blend of chardonnay grapes, meyer lemon, grapefruit, elderflower, hibiscus, cinnamon and low amounts of cane sugar (its sugar content is effectively one-seventh that of Aperol’s).
Substitute it in for your usual fare in a range of more complex cocktails, or just pour it over ice with a lime wedge and let the herbs and aromatics do the work. Through a weird loophole in alcohol sales law, Haus is able to be sold directly to you online, which will the first time true direct-to-consumer booze has ever cropped up in the states. If you want a bottle, you’ll need to drop your email on the brand’s site to get in line.
Wolves Whiskey First Run
The first expression from this nascent whiskey label is intentionally weird. A blend of whiskey distilled from stout beer aged in French oak barrels for 8 years, whiskey distilled from Pilsner beer aged in classic American oak for 5 years and an especially spicy rye, Wolves “First Run” hits classic whiskey notes with an atypical body. Marko Karakasevic and his family’s hyper-unique alambic still — only five exist in the States — are to thank for that.
The distillate is made slowly over a 10-day period with plenty of cuts in between. And because it’s distilled from beer, it exudes a hoppiness on the nose that is completely unique to it. Less than 900 bottles of the First Run are available and retails at a heavy $150, but it’s likely one of the most unique bottles of whiskey you can get your hands on.
Everything you ever wanted to know about America’s favorite brown spirit, including, of course, the best bottles you can actually buy. Read the Story