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This Is the Cider You Should Be Drinking Right Now

Virtue Cider is the perfect drink for beer and wine lovers alike.

virtue ciders
Virtue Cider

Every month, a huge amount of booze moves through the Gear Patrol offices — beer, wine and a whole lot of whiskey. This month: a bunch of delicious new scotch whiskies, a new entrant in the canned cocktail game and more.

Virtue Cider's Cider Society

virtue cider's cider society
Virtue Cider

By the time you read this, the ciders I had as part of Virtue Cider's monthly subscription will have changed, but I'm telling you right now: Try. This. Cider. (The ones I had were a part of its Apple Fest Series, featuring single apple varietals: Spitz, Baldwin, Golden Russet and Dabinett.) Greg Hall, of Goose Island fame, has been killing it in his cider venture with drinks that are the perfect mesh between wine and beer. If you order before December 6, you'll receive Virtue's Winter Box, which will contain three 750 milliliter bottles and one 500 milliliter bottle of barrel-aged ciders made with Double Mitten, Triple Mitten, Rye Mitten and 2020 Mitten Michigan apples. As giftable as these ciders are, you should totally be selfish and hoard them for yourself. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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Benriach Malting Season

benriach malting season
Benriach

Speyside scotch brand Beriach announced a new expression to its lineup, the Malting Season, which is the distillery's first expression in a century to be made entirely from malted barley from Benriach's floor maltings. The whiskey undergoes two-cask maturation in bourbon and virgin oak barrels, and they impart a creaminess to the scotch that fills thee mouth with sweet vanilla flavor, as well as apple and pear. This limited-release whisky really is limited — there are fewer than 7,000 bottles out there. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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Benriach Smoke Season

benriach smoke season
Benriach

Another limited release from Benriach, Smoke Season is a little easier to find and also cheaper. As its name suggests, the whisky is smoked, and the distillery claims its its most intensely smoked whisky to date. (It's not joke. A sip of this feels like you just blew fire out of your mouth in the best dragon-like way possible.) While "smoke" and "Speyside" don't usually go together, Smoke Season is made with Highland peat, harkening back to a time when smoky whisky was in vogue in Speyside. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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Patrón Sherry Cask Aged Añejo Tequila

patrón sherry cask aged añejo tequila
ReserveBar

I'm not sure when I learned to appreciate tequila, but I know it was definitely not in college. However, for as long as I've been of drinking age, I've associated Patrón with high-end tequila — and its new Sherry Cask Aged Añejo Tequila is one to savor. The newest expression from Patrón is aged for two years in Sherry casks, which imparts notes of the fortified wine it once held into the aged tequila. It's a sipper, not a shooter, and I may very well be reaching for this over some of the brown stuff in the coming months. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao

the macallan harmony collection rich cacao
The Macallan

The Macallan's newest scotch is a chocolate lover's dream. The Macallan whisky maker Polly Logan collaborated with the pastry chef Jordi Roca, of the three Michelin star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, to help concoct Rich Cacao. The single malt scotch spends time in both European and American oak casks, which give the juice a dark chocolate profile that happens to pair well with — you guessed it — dark chocolate. "For this expression, I sought out a specific chocolate note in The Macallan’s traditional sherry seasoned European oak casks and combined this with a vanilla note imparted by sherry seasoned American oak casks to sweeten the slightly bitter chocolate note I had found," Logan said in a press release. On a side note, the whisky's packaging is fully recyclable and biodegradable from the labels to the box ribbon. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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Goose Island Barrel House Blackberry Smash

goose island barrel house blackberry smash
Goose Island

Goose Island has entered the mix with its new canned cocktails, which are made with real bourbon — a personal fave. The drink is fizzy enough to enjoy straight out of the can but is best served over ice in a tumbler. At 9% ABV, you don't have to worry about a couple cans knocking you out in one sitting, either. — Will Porter, Commerce Writer

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Seedlip

seedlip booze
Seedlip

Having recently dealt with some health issues that have forced me to put down the bottle, so to speak, I've been struggling to find the sweet spot between the painfully sweet juices, flavorless carbonated waters, and poorly pre-mixed beverages that dominate the NA category. However, Seedlip has been a bright spot with its current lineup, a trio of gin-like NA spirits that run the herbaceous-to-fruity gamut. I was, honestly, not very keen on the idea of mixology sans alcohol until discovering Seedlip, but now I've drank the Kool-Aid and have become a true believer. — Sean Tirman, Commerce Writer

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