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.
George Dickel Bottled-in-Bond
In order to qualify for Bottled-in-Bond status, a whiskey needs to be 100 proof, the product of a single distillation season by a single distiller at a single distillery and aged in a bonded warehouse under federal government supervision for at least four years. This means that most Bottled-in-Bond offerings don’t typically advertise age statements, as most aren’t pushing far beyond that 4-year minimum.
George Dickel’s new bottle overachieves to the tune of a 13-year-old age statement and a strangely reasonable $36 retail price. If you like Dickel, you’ll like this bottle a lot — the added years in the barrel mellow its infamous mineral-heavy finish and lets its low-rye mashbill do most of the heavy lifting. It’s not going to be the best bourbon you drink all year, but it might be the best under $40. It’s rolling out to specific markets now.
Haus Citrus + Flower Aperitif
New apéritif label Haus wants to undercut Aperol in the casual, low-alcohol, easy-drinking cocktail game. Citrus + Flower, its first flavor, is an all-natural blend of chardonnay grapes, meyer lemon, grapefruit, elderflower, hibiscus, cinnamon and low amounts of cane sugar (its sugar content is effectively one-seventh that of Aperol’s).
Substitute it in for your usual fare in a range of more complex cocktails, or just pour it over ice with a lime wedge and let the herbs and aromatics do the work. Through a weird loophole in alcohol sales law, Haus is able to be sold directly to you online, which will the first time true direct-to-consumer booze has ever cropped up in the states. If you want a bottle, you’ll need to drop your email on the brand’s site to get in line.
Wolves Whiskey First Run
The first expression from this nascent whiskey label is intentionally weird. A blend of whiskey distilled from stout beer aged in French oak barrels for 8 years, whiskey distilled from Pilsner beer aged in classic American oak for 5 years and an especially spicy rye, Wolves “First Run” hits classic whiskey notes with an atypical body. Marko Karakasevic and his family’s hyper-unique alambic still — only five exist in the States — are to thank for that.
The distillate is made slowly over a 10-day period with plenty of cuts in between. And because it’s distilled from beer, it exudes a hoppiness on the nose that is completely unique to it. Less than 900 bottles of the First Run are available and retails at a heavy $150, but it’s likely one of the most unique bottles of whiskey you can get your hands on.
Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.