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.


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.

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 .

Review – Gin Rickey from Firestone Walker

Long time readers of the blog will know two things. One, that I am a fanboy for Firestone Walker and two, that I like me some gin. And when I saw that the barrel wizards of Paso Robles has a gin barrel-aged beer, I was on it opening weekend.

With a hearty barley wine base, I figured it would be a knockout. The base is fine, offering a nice, almost creamy texture. But the lime is not there, overcome by an Indian spicing that is new to my beer drinking experience but is too heavy handed to let anything else shine. I would add though that this might, if handled with care, be an interesting dessert pairing due to the alcohol level.

Gin Rickey

Three letters is all it took for me to want to drive to the Firestone Walker Propagator to pick up beer. G I N. I love beers that use gin barrels but they are hard to come by and temperamental as tequila barrels can be. But this latest cocktail beer sounds perfect for summer.


I dabble in spirits. I know that I prefer Southern whiskey and gin above all, though I dabble in tequila and other drinks. Thanks to the L.A. Times Food Section, I found a Torrance based canned cocktail maker that delivers with the name of Drnxmyth. And they have bartenders creating some interesting spins on classic cocktails. The recipe makers get a cut too, which I think is great. So I ordered up a pair to be delivered and here is my verdict…

First up was the Margarita, at first I had a hard time twisting the bottom. You see, these drinks have two separate compartments. When you are ready to drink, you twist to mix the two together. Quite ingenious. The aroma was really nice and it tasted fancy. It had nuanced flavors and wasn’t just a tequila hit. The Gin drink was a little too out there for me. It tasted fine, it just wasn’t to my taste. I wished there had been more cucumber and mint notes. It just tasted a bit herbaceous to me.

They have a whiskey and a rum drink and I would not hesitate to try either. The 10 price point for what is essentially two cocktails is a steal.

Pilot House Distilling

When in Astoria, I also made a side trip, well, not a long one since, it was across the street from Reach Break Brewing. Pilot House Distilling creates vodka, whiskey, canned cocktails and for me, gin. I had three different versions. A bar version which was my favorite as well as The Painted Lady and a Barrel-aged Painted Lady. The last two had a kick to them but they were very unique and shows how different gin can be.

Christmas Gin

We can’t let beer have all the seasonal fun, can we?

I don’t want to know beforehand what F&M adds to a gin amidst the other botanicals but this would certainly be a fun gin to taste and find out.

33 Jigger-Watts

As a gin appreciator with a tiny bit of experience, this recent brand extension from the 33 Books group is right up my alley because I really need to figure out which gins I like and why I don’t like others (looking at you St. George). Plus it will keep me thinking while drinking which will carry-over to beer as well.