OK, we’ll just say it right off the bat: We here at Made Man are very partial to certain kinds of booze. Specifically, brown spirits like bourbon and Scotch, and rich, full-bodied beers. If those kinds of things aren’t your style, feel free to move along. But if you share our taste in libations, read on for a few we’ve sipped over the past year and highly recommend. Happy tippling.
Laphroaig Lore: We swear by pretty much all things Laphroaig, and this relatively new 48 percent ABV expression is no exception. It boasts the classic smokiness that defines most Laphroaigs, together with flavors that warm the soul: bitter chocolate, vanilla, roasted chestnuts, fudge. We can’t promise you’ll taste all those things yourself, but what you will taste is one damn good Scotch.
Basil Hayden’s: A spicy 80-proof bourbon that’s excellent neat or on the rocks, BH really shines in an Old Fashioned. You’ll have to fork over a little more for this base spirit, but the blending of flavors is hard to beat. Here’s our relatively simple take on the OF (plus a video showing how to make amazing ice cubes), and here’s the brand’s own six-ingredient interpretation. Take your pick, you can’t go wrong.
10 Barrel Brewing Joe IPA: Hailing from scenic Oregon, Joe IPA is one dangerously drinkable beer. The 6.9 percent ABV offering is suitably hoppy with hints of tropical fruit, tangerine, light pineapple and grapefruit. That makes for a crisp, pleasant punch in the mouth that won a 2016 Best of Oregon Gold Medal. Also keep an eye out for 10 Barrel’s new seasonal offering with a name we just love, Pray For Snow.
The Macallan Edition No. 2: The math on this one is pretty indisputable: four more-than-qualified makers and seven exceptional oak cask types from four different bodegas. But you don’t really need to concern yourself with numbers. All you need to know is that we sampled it recently and the combo of fruit, vanilla, wood, spice and brandy flavors goes down pretty smooth. We drank it neat and recommend you do as well.
Hudson Baby Bourbon: We have a lot of New York pride over here, so we’ve gotta give a shout out to the first New York aged whiskey since Prohibition—the Empire State’s first bourbon ever, in fact. This award-winning spirit has all the flavors we like—wood, smoke, vanilla, caramel—brought to life in small barrels together with “sonic maturation.” Try the Popcorn Fall cocktail shown above using this recipe.
Sixpoint C.R.E.A.M.: Thanks to a 7.2 percent ABV, this deceptively smooth beer ain’t for lightweights. But that’s what happens when the mad scientists at Sixpoint combine cream ale with Stumptown cold-brewed java. If you fancy coffee beer, start with this golden blonde ale and go no further. Oh and in case you’re wondering, the name stands for Craft Rules Everything About Me.