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A Japanese Whisky-Inspired Scotch Is One of the Best Things We Drank This Month

Dewar's Japanese Smooth is a tasty drink and an excellent value.

dewars japanese smooth
Dewar's

Every month, a huge amount of booze moves through the Gear Patrol offices — beer, wine and a whole lot of whiskey. This month: a nostalgic rye whiskey, a perfect post-run beer and more.

Dewar's Japanese Smooth

dewars japanese smooth
Dewar's

Whiskey drinkers love their Japanese whisky, but their coveted spirit owes a lot to scotch. So it's pretty funny that a scotch brand, Dewar's, is making a Japanese-style whisky, and to be honest, it's pretty damn good (and also a steal at around $20-$25 in most markets). Dewar's Japanese Smooth is the latest addition to Dewar's Cask Series, which takes Dewar's 8-year-old double aged whisky and ages it in select casks. Japanese Smooth sees Dewar's spending six months in Japanese Mizunara Oak (how the brand managed to score the barrels is beyond me), imparting much of the wood's flavor to the whisky despite a shorter resting period. In the sub-$20 price range, this makes for an excellent sipper, but it also shines in any scotch-based drink, as well as a Japanese whisky highball. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

Price: $25

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Komos Tequila Extra Añejo

tequila komos extra anejo
Tequila Komos

I am by no means a tequila expert, but the new Tequila Komos Extra Añejo is pretty much the smoothest I've sipped. Sweet, slightly spicy and effervescent. I guess that's what happens when you age tequila for three years in a combination of French ex-white wine barrels and ex-bourbon barrels. Incidentally, "komos" is Greek for revelry, and this Mediterranean-inspired spirit seems perfect for parties large or small. — Steve Mazzucchi, Editor

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George Dickel x Leopold Bros Collaboration Blend Rye

george dickel leopold bros collaboration blend rye
George Dickel

Two exceptional distilleries — George Dickel and Leopold Bros — teamed up to create a rye whisky that recreates a traditional heavy-bodied rye that was popular in America decades ago. The blended rye unites Leopold Bros’ Three Chamber Rye with George Dickel’s column still rye, creating a 100-proof whiskey with a taste and mouthfeel of maple syrup, as well as notes of cocoa and dark fruit. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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Aberlour Hot Toddy

aberlour hot toddy
Aberlour

It's hot toddy season, and this cool season, I'm whipping up a bunch to keep colds at bay. I've been using Aberlour's 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch for my hot toddys, which helps to accentuate the baking spices, honey and lemon in the drink. And when the feeling for a hot toddy doesn't strike, 12 Year Old neat usually hits perfectly. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

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Finback x Hoka One Soaring High

finback x hoka one soaring high
Alexander Swanson

A Pilsner brewed with strawberry and kiwi doesn’t sound all that appealing at first blush. But the fine folks at Finback know what they’re doing, and they brewed this special post-race Pils with Hoka One in celebration of the Fiftieth NYC Marathon. It ended up being light and bubbly, with the hints of kiwi and strawberry working perfectly in concert. At only 4 percent ABV, this one may be a new post-race favorite for the NYC beer running contingent — hopefully Finback brews some more of it down the road. — Ryan Brower, Commerce Editor

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Lord Hobo Doom Sauce

lord hobo doom sauce
Lord Hobo

Give me a Black IPA and I’m a happy man. Give me a Black IPA that actually tastes like a darkened version of an IPA and I’m an even happier man. Lord Hobo takes its flagship Double IPA Boom Sauce and darkens it. While most Black IPAs go for a balance of IPA and roasted malts, Lord Hobo leans into the IPA hop character and just converts the malt profile to be dark. The result is a 7.8 percent ABV zinger of an IPA that just so happens to have a roasted malt finish. — Ryan Brower, Commerce Editor

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Bonbuz

bonbuz
Bonbuz

While I can't speak to its nootropic or adaptogenic properties (I didn't notice a marked change in my stress or focus levels), Bonbuz added a much-needed puzzle piece to the ritual of crafting cocktails, replacing a traditional alcoholic spirit with a punchy, citrusy, non-alcoholic distillate alternative. While it had a bit of lingering bitterness, which could have been exacerbated by my use of a grapefruit Betty Buzz mixer, the flavors were altogether bright-yet-balanced and had me coming back for more. All told, I'm going to keep drinking it and, at the end of the day, isn't that what matters most? — Sean Tirman, Commerce Writer

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Baker's Exclusive Selection

bakers single barrel
Baker's

As our very own Will Price wrote, "nobody is drinking one of Jim Beam's best bourbons." That bourbon being Baker's. The Jim Beam brand debuted its new Baker's Exclusive Selection, featuring an extra-aged version of its Kentucky straight bourbon (11 years and 8 months to be exact). The 107-proof bourbon has a fairly heavy mouthfeel that's both fruity and nutty. If you've ever had standard Baker's before, it's like that but turned to 11. — Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

Price: $200

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