THIS MONTH IN ALCOHOL
The Best Things We Drank Last 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.
Sagamore Spirit Cognac Finish Rye Whiskey
Sagamore Spirit made headlines this year when its Port Finish rye won “Best Rye Whiskey” at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition and promptly sold out. This cognac finish rye is its first limited release since that win and it is now apparent that the folks at Sagamore Spirit know how to handle whiskey finishing. The nose is almost purely Cognac — raisins and apple, mostly — but the initial taste leans rye. Vanilla, cinnamon and star anise dominate the palate, and the fruitier Cognac hints return on the finish. This is a rye destined for sipping, not mixing.
Folksbier Braueri Watermelon Glow Up Berliner Weisse-Style
Watermelon is tough to do in a beer — it tends to either come out way too strong and overbearing or way too weak and unnoticeable. Folksbier has found the perfect vessel to deliver the precise amount of watermelon in its Glow Up Berliner Weisse-style series. This 4.75 percent ABV sour beer is refermented and conditioned with fresh watermelon juice for a sweet yet tart balance, and has us wishing summer wasn’t coming to an end so soon. Bad news: you’re only going to find it in New York City.
Stone Brewing Notorious P.O.G. Berliner Weisse
We tend to adhere to the belief that a “Berliner Weisse” can only be brewed to a particular way in Berlin, Germany. But we’re willing to overlook that for Stone Brewing’s Notorious P.O.G. This was a fan-favorite topical sour beer when it released back in 2018 and it made its triumphant return this summer. It’s a tribute to the classic Hawaiian juice POG that uses passion fruit, orange and guava juice and that trifecta in a 4.7 percent ABV beer delivers a crushable beer we could drink all summer.
The Long Drink
Called lonkero in its native Finland, long drinks were invented in 1952 as a means for the government to get tourists visitng Helsinki buzzed during the Summer Olympic Games. The gin-based, grapefruit-forward sodas have been popular in Finland since, but it’s taken until the year of the spike seltzer for them to make their way into the states. What does it taste like? Fresca, mostly. But Fresca at 5.5 percent ABV. In other words, they’re absolutely delightful.
A pair of refreshing beers and a landmark rye whiskey. Read the Story