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The 10 Best Things We Drank in May

Plus, a low-ABV table saison and a surprisingly delicious mezcal seltzer.

angels envy madeira finished kentucky straight bourbon
Angel's Envy

Every month, a huge amount of booze moves through the Gear Patrol offices — beer, wine and a whole lot of whiskey. This month: a super summer aperitif, a sparkling Cabernet Franc and more.

Angel's Envy Madeira-Finished Kentucky Straight Bourbon

angels envy madeira finished kentucky straight bourbon
Angel's Envy

Angel's Envy is known for its finished bourbons, and its third release from its Cellar Collection is a madeira-finished whiskey that gets a lengthy stay (a whole year!) in madeira casks. The extra time aging in the casks gives the juice extra woody notes, and in the end, the finish is very close to something like bananas Foster. There are strong notes of burnt brown sugar, cinnamon and, of course, caramelized bananas. You can score a bottle if you're a member of Angel's Envy 500 Main Club, which is reserving 600 bottles for those who win a lottery. There will also be a limited public release. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

Price: $230

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Macari Horses Cabernet Franc

macari horses cabernet franc
Macari Vineyards

You can keep your Champagne because I'm all about that pet-nat, or petillant naturel wine, which is just as effervescent minus all the snobbery of Champagne. Macari, a winery out in North Fork on Long Island, makes a yearly sparkling Cabernet Franc that never seems to stay in stock very long. For 2020, it made Horses in the pet-nat style, which means the juice was bottled pre-bubbles, and it underwent its second fermentation while in the bottle, producing its signature effervescence. It's basically like strawberry soda for those 21 and up. It's full of bright, red berry flavors and a ton of acidity. It's just slightly sweet on the palate with a very dry finish — like bone dry actually. Get this while you can and drink it on a hot, humid summer day. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

Price: $28

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Wicked Weed Dr. Dank

wicked weed dr dank
Wicked Weed Brewing

This beer is dank. North Carolina's Wicked Weed infuses its Dr. Dank beer with botanicals, which includes hemp seeds. I really don't know how to describe the beer with any other word besides "dank," probably because of the hemp. It's a hazy IPA with a very sharp bitterness and malty biscuit-like flavor that also makes it drink like a West Coast IPA. It's dry-hopped with six (!) hops including amarillo, ctira and galaxy, and it's an all-around dank beer in every sense of the word. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

Price: $12/6-pack

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Drowned Lands Flora Firma

drowned lands flora firma
Drowned Lands

I'm way, way, way out on pastry stouts and triple (even double) IPAs. It's summer; I'd rather not drink a beer that actively causes dehydration. (They don't, but it feels like it.) Instead, I'm opting for something with the same impact as a Bud Light — but it's much better. It's Warwick, New York-based brewery Drowned Lands' Flora Firma, a 3.5-percent alcohol Table Saison. It's crisp, bright and lightly hopped and feels faintly farm-to-table. (Not sure what I'm saying here, but you'll get what I mean when you try it.) — Evan Malachosky, Assistant Editor

Price: $15

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New Belgium Dominga Mimosa Sour

new belgium dominga mimosa sour
Courtesy

If you're a little burnt out on hazy IPAs and need a break from the hops (or just want something different), New Belgium might have your cure. This 6 percent ABV gose offers extreme citrus, fruity notes and very little tartness. Goses are great for the summer months as they're refreshing and a truly nice mix from lagers and IPAs. And you don't get many of them that come from the hallowed wood foeders overseen by legendary New Belgium Wood Cellar Blender Lauren Limbach. — Ryan Brower, Commerce Editor

Price: $9/6-pack

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Allagash Nowaday

allagash nowaday
Courtesy

I will admit, blonde ales have been a style I haven't drunk much of the past few years — there are wood-aged lagers, hazy IPAs and Saisons to drink of course. But when Allagash ventures into a style, I tend to give it a go. This Belgian-style blonde ale is brewed like a lager which gives it a bit of dryness that most blonde ales don't have. It also has that distinct peppery Belgian character, making it one of the more unique blonde ales around. At 5.5 percent ABV I could definitely see myself sipping this one all summer long. — Ryan Brower, Commerce Editor

Price: $24/12-pack

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Blue Point Brewing Peripheral Drift Illusion Series II

blue point brewing peripheral drift illusion series ii
Blue/Point

Another beer from Blue Point brewed with terpenes, this beer is an under-the-radar juice bomb. It might be the closest IPA or DIPA to orange juice that I've ever tasted. It looks like orange juice, smells like orange and tastes like orange juice. The hop burn though is non-existent and the head retention is impeccable, two qualities you don't typically find in Double IPAs like this. This 8.5 percent ABV DIPA hits hard though — one of these set me straight for the evening (maybe that had to do with the terpenes?). It's got great head retention and has a solid hop character with Comet, Columbus, Simcoe and Simcoe Cryo hops. Don't sleep on this one from Blue Point. — Ryan Brower, Commerce Editor

Price: $16/4-pack

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Redbreast 12 Yr. Cask Strength Irish Whiskey

redbreast 12 yr cask strength irish whiskey
Flaviar

I am not a fan of Irish whiskey. When I think of Irish whiskey I think of Jameson and I'm instantly reminded of shots in a college bar. That, this is not. It's remarkably smooth, balanced in sweetness and mineral flavors. Sip it neat or on the rocks. Pro tip: You may want to sit down when you drink it. — Matthew Pastorius, Business Development Manager

Price: $73

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Haus Lemon Lavender Aperitif

haus lemon lavender aperitif
Haus

As I approach 30, I'm looking for ways to redefine my relationship with alcohol while still having the ability to enjoy well-made beverages with interesting flavors. This delicious aperitif does exactly that. It's absolutely delicious over ice, and the lemon and lavender combo has been perfect for the increasingly warm weather. Plus, the bottle looks beautiful on the bar. — Caitlyn Shaw, Associate Director, Product and Marketing

Price: $35

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Elenita Mezcal Cucumber Lime Basil

elenita mezcal cucumber lime basil
Elenita

Are we at peak seltz? It's hard to tell, we've gotta be close. Thankfully, this absolute glut of sparkling, 5% ABV drinks means that the fringe stuff is finally coming to the fore. Namely, Elenita. It's a mezcal seltzer with some lime juice and a tiny hint of cucumber and basil. That is to say, it's refreshing as hell and is a nice evolution from tequila (and anonymous grain alcohol) sparklers. I bought 24 of them sight unseen and I regret absolutely nothing. Icing on the cake? They're priced pretty reasonably as far as crafty seltzers go. — Henry Phillips, Deputy Photo Editor

Price: $20

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