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.
Kentucky Owl Confiscated Bourbon Whiskey
This bottle carries no official age statement, no information on where the juice is sourced from and it costs $125 at retail. No surprise the bourbon-drinking public does not like the look of Kentucky Owl’s widest release to date. But Confiscated is not bad bourbon. The 96 proof mystery bourbon starts with notes of vanilla and cinnamon, and it finishes medium-long with loads of baking spice flavors. And for all the age statement-obsessives out there, a representative for Kentucky Owl told us the new bottle is a mix of 6-, 9-, 10- and 12-year-old bourbons.
Treaty Oak Distilling Antique Gin
Texas craft distillery Treaty Oak makes distinctly Texan whiskeys, but its gins stand out even more. The Antique gin, aged 18 to 24 in unused new charred oak barrels, is one of those things you put in your mouth and immediately need the person closest to you to try. It’s herbal and almost licorice-y on the nose and palate, but it rocks a far more robust mouthfeel than typical gins. The finish is long, warm and just a bit spicy. Basically, it’s gin on the front, whiskey on the back.
Four Roses Small Batch Select
Small Batch Select is the first addition to Four Roses’s permanent bourbon collection in 12 years, and it is the weirdest of the bunch. It’s the highest proof of the regular line, it’s non-chill-filtered and it shares DNA with one of the most sought-after bottles of Four Roses ever. At the end of the day, though, it’s just a stellar bourbon. Its ultra-creamy mouthfeel smooths out a sturdy 104 proofing, and a tidal wave of herbal, citrus and vanilla notes bleed into one another perfectly. Small Batch Select isn’t everywhere yet, but according to Four Roses, it will be soon enough. Look out.
Recess Sparking Water
Every can of Recess is made with 10 milligrams of cannabidiol from full-spectrum hemp extract and adaptogens. It was pitched as a chiller, but not-too-chill La Croix. We called bullshit. We were wrong. It’s difficult to make claims about the effects of a non-psychoactive substance in small amounts like this, but the claim stamped on the can, “not tired, not wired” puts it perfectly. Is that because of the CBD, adaptogens or the four to six grams of sugar per can? Who can say, but it’s pleasant all the same.