Hop Lark

I have an alternative to hard seltzers for you. How about a sparkling (N/A) water with hops. You can get the above variety pack and get those in demand Citra and Mosaic as well as new starlet Sabro and an un-named hop too. Check it out HERE.

Flaviar – Test Drive

I have been meaning to do a test subscription to Flaviar. And at the beginning of the month, I hopped onto the lowest price that I had seen. And I received…

An etched bottle of Islay (Scotland) gin that I had eyed for awhile, a magazine with short punchy articles that I thought were good plus QR codes aplenty. Finally, the centerpiece was a container with three rye whiskies.

This variety trio had Copper Fox, Rossville Union and Bender’s included. Very fancy packaging and a healthy sample of each plus note coasters with flavor profiles for you to help guide your tasting.

Bender’s was my winner with nutmeg and cinnamon spicing and Copper Fox my least favorite owing to its being a smoke bomb. Rossville Union was too smokey for my taste but at least had a balance as other flavors like chocolate and vanilla shone a bit as well.

I bought this myself so I am valuing this on my own dime. The packaging and information makes this worth it and the fact thar you can explore through many spirits and sub-styles is great. My suggestion is to by a big bottle of a spirit you need or of something you know you will use and then use the tasters to explore and find that bottle you want to go big on later.

Sazarac Style

Cognac barrels. Rye Whiskey barrels. Lemon peel and for a final touch some absinthe barrel action are part of the regimen for the upcoming cocktail beer from Firestone Walker.

You can also read about two tequila beers HERE.

Oak and Four Roses

One of the more approachable barrel-aged beers that I have had in the past is the New Belgium Oakspire. That beer started back in 2018 and last year was reimagined as a cocktail beer, Oakspire Old Fashioned.

Now it is returning with a new barrel….

Spires are steeped in Four Roses bourbon to create an under 10% barrel-aged beer,


Now here is where seltzer finally comes in handy! Zaddy’s has a new range of gin drinks that have a foot in both the canned cocktail realm and the world of seltzer. Meaning, low alcohol (4.5%) and low in the calories too.

They kindly sent me samples and here are my thoughts…

Gin Sonic – Neither the gin or the tonic shone through in the Zaddy’s take on the G&T. I get mint on the nose and a nice mojito-esque taste. This is quite refreshing but less mint and more tonic would have improved this for me.

Gin(ger) Fizz – Lovely ginger aroma to this one. A little balance of lemon to a big hit of ginger flavor is here. Again, this is a tasty drink but the gin is absent to me. I wish it would peek out a bit.

Corpse Reviver – This is my favorite of the trio. The aroma is heavenly. A smoothed fennel greets the nose. That spice with seltzer really works well. Also working in its favor is that I have never had this particular cocktail before so this is a new experience to me.

Those capsule reviews may seem harsh but that is only if you look at them as their cocktail analogues. On their own, without previous exposure to the drinks, these are solidly tasty. I would take these over a hard seltzer every day of the week.

Food Bowl 2021

It is Food Bowl time in Los Angeles and though, there again appears to be a paucity of beer centered events, it is a good time to see how other beverages are being covered and where trends are going in that and food.

A panel that I signed up for is all about Red Drink. Check out the details HERE. It looks to be an interesting discussion and while you are signing up, you can donate to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

12 Ounces Long

This new RTD is being promoted at the right time. Canned cocktails are a growing segment of beverages and one with a story and a Hollywood connection will certainly get more play. For me The Finnish Long Drink sounds like an interesting way to incorporate gin without going the staid G&T route .

Newly Distilled in Torrance

As is often the case with Strand Brewing, they tease a new venture in advance and then it gets a little lost before it comes to fruition.

I posted about their distilling a few months back and now, as you can see from the photo, whiskey and vodka under the Strand moniker has arrived.

Available at their taproom to go.

Start Designing Young

Every twice in a while, I have to toot the horn for my alma mater.

This time for having a cross disciplinary assignment. Art department meet the Wine Studies and design a wine label. You can read all about the winner right HERE. Readers of the blog know that I love a good design and am equally turned off by bad ones.

And I like this one. Very on point for wine and for classic college, sorry, University.

Your Whiskey is Arrogant

It kind and surprises me that Stone hadn’t licensed the Arrogant Bastard name to multiple spirits by now. A spicy whiskey or vodka probably would have been easy picks. But instead the have gone the whiskey route which I think is probably a better choice. Maybe a Dayfall Wit Gin is next?