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The Macallan's Ode to New York Is One of the Best Things I Drank Last Month

As part of its Distil Your World series, The Macallan's whisky maker traveled to New York to get the flavor of the city into its new Scotch.

macallan distil your world new york
The Macallan

Every month, a huge amount of booze comes across our desks — beer, wine and a whole lot of whiskey. We taste it all, and we only share the best of the best. This month: orange wine to chug all summer, an IPA that's a lot like grapefruit juice and more.

The Macallan Distil Your World New York

macallan distil your world new york
The Macallan

The Macallan's latest offering is a limited-edition Scotch inspired by New York. The brand has been working on its Distil Your World series, with previous releases focusing on London and Scotland. Its New York edition, limited to just 1,000 bottles, combines six European and American oak casks. Polly Logan, The Macallan's whisky maker, traveled to New York to try to infuse the flavor of the city into the brand new Scotch. But don't worry — it doesn't taste like polluted air, dirty water dogs or stale pretzels. Distil Your World New York has notes of baked apple (New York City is the Big Apple, after all) along with hints of maple syrup, honey-roasted nuts and sweet oak. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

Price: $4,200

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Gulp Hablo Orange Wine

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It can be tricky to bring orange wine to a party — people either love it, or they've never heard of it. This wine has enough going on to please those looking for the quirkiness typically associated with orange wine, but as the name implies, it's also extremely drinkable. For a one liter bottle, it's also affordable. I'll be drinking this all summer.— Caitlyn Shaw, Associate Director, Product and Marketing

Price: $20

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Lawson's Double Sunshine Ruby Red Grapefruit

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Lawson's decided to finally distribute this taproom favorite double IPA with ruby red grapefruit in it and everyone is better off for that. This limited-edition release clocks in at 8 percent ABV and provides a nice tropical twist to the brewery's flagship Double Sunshine. Getting grapefruit addition correct in an IPA is no easy task and Lawson's nails it — makes sense considering this beer was long heralded as the favorite limited-edition offering they had. — Ryan Brower, Senior Commerce Editor

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Goose Island Neon Beer Hug

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While a respectable IPA with tropical notes thanks to the use of hops like Nugget, Sultana, Citra, Mosaic and Eureka isn't necessarily something out of the ordinary, Neon Beer Hug does mark Goose Island jumping into the IPA brand family. What does that mean? Think the likes of New Belgium's Voodoo Ranger or Firestone Walker's Mind Haze — flagship IPAs with multiple variants that all tie together while using (mostly) the same base beer. Beer Hug is that latest development from the folks at Goose Island and expect to see plenty more of the variants coming out. — Ryan Brower, Senior Commerce Editor

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The Seed All Tucked Away

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While typical porter season is in our rearview mirror, The Seed in Atlantic City, New Jersey, does nothing typical. This pub porter is a delicate 3.8 percent ABV and highlights what I love about craft beer right now: digging back into old world beer styles (in this case a British pub staple), low ABV and finding ways to improve upon it. In All Tucked Away's case, roasted dandelion root gives the beer a subtle bite and mustiness (not unlike the smokiness of a Rauchbier). This also means the beer doesn't lean on the typical porter chocolate malt flavor, which most times can come off as just a thin, chocolatey beer and nothing else. It also offers much improved mouthfeel and head retention to the typical porter (as mentioned, only the best porters avoid the watered-down chocolate approach). All-in-all, this interpretation of a porter is keeping me company right now as we still deal with cold temperatures heading into May. Ryan Brower, Senior Commerce Editor

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Mouthy Wines, "Head to Toe" Cinsault Duo

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Earlier this month, Foxtrot did a collaboration with Wilco on some snacks, cereal and a Chicago-exclusive beer. While I didn't get a chance to try the Wilco-branded beer, I did get to try Foxtrot's new wine, made in collaboration with expert winemaker, Samantha Sheehan. Meant to be enjoyed chilled, the Head to Toe red blend is a deliciously good alternative to your typical summer rosé (or orange wine). It's bursting with red fruit flavors and a nice hit of acidity that makes this go down a little too easy, especially since this stuff is chuggable straight from the bottle. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

Price: $52 for 2 bottles

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Old Elk Double Wheat Straight Whiskey

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Master distiller Greg Metze and Old Elk distillery are two names you need to know if you love whiskey. Old Elk releases two new expressions in April — Double Wheat Straight Whiskey and Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey — both of which are exceptional. It was hard to pick one that I liked more, but after being on a wheated whiskey kick, I have to say that Old Elk's Double Wheat Straight Whiskey was my favorite. The high-proof juice — clocking in with a 53.55 percent ABV — is a combination of Old Elk's Straight Wheat Whiskey and Wheated Bourbon. The combo of the two creates a drink that's bright, fresh and crisp, tasting notes I wouldn't usually associate with whiskey. However, it makes it an exceptional sipper for the warmer months. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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GlenDronach Cask Bottling Batch 19

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We'll be upfront: You probably won't get a chance to try any of the three bottles at part of GlenDronach's Cask Bottling Batch 19. The Scottish distillery's master blender Rachel Barrie selected 12 casks, "each bottled from a single Pedro Ximénez or Oloroso sherry puncheon or Butt, distilled between 1990 and 1994." The single cask bottlings range from 50.8 percent ABV to 55.4 percent ABV, all of which highlight the effects of sherry maturation. Cask 217 is from 1992 and was aged in Oloroso sherry butt; Cask 6052 is from 1992 and aged in Pedro Ximénez puncheon; and Cask 5080 is from 1994 and aged in Oloroso puncheon. Select states across the US received each of the offerings, and the MSRP for these bottles start at $600. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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Stauning El Clásico

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Founded by nine Danish friends, Stauning's Danish whisky is one of the best boozes you're probably not drinking. The distillery is taking local grain that is floor-malted in-house, in hopes of reviving traditional methods of making whisky. Its newest launch is El Clásico, a rye whisky that spends some time sitting and aging in vermouth casks. Wait, rye and vermouth? Sounds like a classic Manhattan cocktail, and that combination comes through in this whisky, enjoyed straight up. El Clásico has a soft and sweet taste upfront that dissipates into a bit of vermouth-like bitterness. And as great as the juice is inside, the bottle's artwork makes this is a standout piece on your bar cart. – Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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Basil Hayden Subtle Smoke

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Basil Hayden isn't an Islay Scotch brand, but a blind tasting of its newest Subtle Smoke bourbon might make you believe it. OK, maybe not exactly, but Subtle Smoke does have a satisfying heat to it that makes this limited release one you'll want to scoop up. Basil Hayden toasts and chars a secondary barrel where sitting bourbon is infused with smoke flavor through the use of hickory-smoked chips, which have their smoke pumped into the secondary barrel. This is an excellent addition to the Basil Hayden lineup, and one that continues Booker Noe’s legacy. – Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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Slane Special Edition

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Slane Irish Whiskey has been putting on concerts at its estate for the past 40 years. In celebration of its anniversary, the distillery put out its Slane Special Edition bottling. The distillery has become famous for its castle, where legendary artists — like Metallica, U2 and Guns N' Roses — have played concerts and recorded albums. Special Edition is a 45 percent ABV whiskey that takes the brand's signature triple-casked blend, and gives it extra time in virgin casks. The result is a whiskey that tastes of toasted marshmallows and stone fruit with a light vanilla finish. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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