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.
Bell’s Double Two Hearted Ale
When nearly every brewery continues to double down on hazy and fruity New England IPAs, Bell’s decided it was time to double down on its flagship beer. Double Two Hearted Ale is a beefed-up, double IPA varietal of the standard Two Hearted Ale. Brewed with 100 percent Centennial hops (just two-and-a-half times more than normal), clocking in at 11 percent ABV (compared to 7 percent) and 91 IBUs (compared to 55 IBUs), it’s more like old school West Coast IPAs than what most other brewers are making. Be warned: the heightened bitterness will challenge your palate. That challenge is worth the reward for one of these, though.
Video: Taste-Testing Double Two Hearted
Maker’s Mark Limited Release RC6 Bourbon
For decades, Maker’s Mark remained devoted to being a one-bottle brand. Then, about five or so years back, it decided to hell with that and started releasing what Maker’s loyalists wanted. The brand released barrel proof bottles, smaller experimental expressions and expanded its barrel reserve program. Then, last month, it announced the release of its first annual, limited edition release, and it’s a doozy. Maker’s Mark RC6 is a $60 bottle of 108 Makers that spends the last nine weeks of aging with a number of very specific wood staves shoves in the barrel. The staves, developed by Independent Stave Company, were designed to bring out the fruity notes in Maker’s Mark’s base yeast. It worked. This whiskey tastes like apple pie in the best way possible.
Creature Comforts Dayspring
If you’re not drinking grisettes, take this as your notice that you should be. While there are plenty of regional breweries making attainable options of this old world beer, Creature Comforts has been perfecting Dayspring for four years. This 5.3 percent ABV cousin to saison is light, snappy and made with local Athens, Georgia wheat. Available in 750ml bottles at select locations where Creature Comforts can be found, it’s the ideal summer sendoff beer.
Tozai Night Swim Sake
I wouldn’t blame anyone for hesitating before picking up a sixer of canned sake. But Night Swim is legitimately satisfying, so long as you like your sake. It tastes a bit like banana and pear with a very slight hint of citrus, and it goes down easy despite its 14 percent ABV. Tozai’s Night Swim is not something I’d want to stock an entire fridge with, but it may be the perfect salve for those nights when you don’t really want a beer, wine or liquor.
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