Category Archives: News

Drinkhacker Reads – 12.18.2013 – On The Matter Of Festivus Poles, Fashion and Alligators

We have seven days until the whole gift-giving thing commences. If you’re without a clue as to what to bring to that holiday party to make that all important impression, why not stop on over at our full color gift guide for some suggestions and solutions? We’re here to help!

Also in keeping with the spirits of the holiday season, a man in Flordia has constructed a Festivus tree in the state capitol building made out of cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Needing a brief primer on the origins of Festivus? We’ve got you covered. [NPR]

Festivus has come early for some of us: Shanken News Daily is reporting that Stoli is planning on realigning its product line in 2014, which includes phasing out several of their not-so-in-demand flavored vodkas. Stoli reps are planning on rebranding as a luxury line, which is kind of hard to do when your product line includes salted caramel, chocolate coconut, and jalapeno vodkas. [Shanken News Daily]

Ardbeg inspires multi award winning fashion designer Judy R Clark in n... 300x199 Drinkhacker Reads   12.18.2013   On The Matter Of Festivus Poles, Fashion and AlligatorsHere’s one with a twist: award winning Scottish fashion designer Judy R. Clark has been commissioned by Ardbeg to create a clothing line inspired by the Scotch whisky. The collection will include waistcoats for men and shorts for women, along with matching trousers. Clark also incorporated proprietary Ardbeg tweed into the designs, as well as triple lapels on the waist coats and gold rivets along the collars to reflect the Ardbeg logo. The collection will be worn by lucky employees of the company worldwide at various events.

And finally today, a man in Flordia tries to buy beer by bartering a live alligator. There’s nothing much more we can really add to that. Story just sort of sells itself, really. [NBC News]

Drinkhacker Reads – 12.11.13 – Brit Boozer Boasts Bourbon Bests Barley

(Back to our regularly scheduled formatting…)

millerlite Drinkhacker Reads   12.11.13   Brit Boozer Boasts Bourbon Bests BarleyOld people and retro addicts rejoice! Miller Lite is bringing back its old packaging for a limited time. To help cross promote this historic occasion, several cans of the vintage design will be featured in Anchorman 2, which has seemingly attached itself to literally everything this holiday season. The can will be available on the market starting in January and throughout the spring of 2014.

Speaking of fossils, normally we don’t lend much credence to Jim Murray’s biblical decrees but this time he may be on to something: Bourbon might be surpassing Scottish whisky in quality. Of course this news comes from the Washington Times, and we’re told by incredibly reliable sources (namely: awesome readers of this daily feature) that said paper isn’t exactly a reliable source, so he might have said the opposite. Either way, we wouldn’t be surprised if he actually said both at some point. [Washington Times]

Becky Paskin is no stranger to awesome booze writing, and her profile for the Spirits Business on the insanely astronomical prices folks are paying for Scotch is one of the more engaging reads of the year. Definitely worth the time to read through and daydream about affording some of the beauties profiled. [The Spirits Business]

Whisky Advocate is starting to announce their best picks of 2013, starting today with Few Spirits Rye taking home its Craft Whiskey Of The Year. More selections are on their way this week, none of which will probably as expensive as those in the Spirits Business profile, and (hopefully) in a store near you. [Whisky Advocate]

And finally today, Shanken News is reporting that Four Roses is scaling back production due to a barrel shortage. Industry barrel supplier Independent Stave Company is having problems sourcing American white oak lumber. Instead of enacting company layoffs and a distillery shutdown, Four Roses made the smart move to reduce production for the time being. Stay tuned… [Shanken News Daily]

Drinkhacker Reads – 12.09.2013 – Absurd Upworthy Headline Edition

With the inpouring of luxury goods and spirits into the nation, the Chinese are also slowly developing their own class of whisky connoisseurs. Financial Times examines the emergence of this new class of savvy and sophisticated drinkers. You won’t believe what happens next. Also in the Financial Times: a discussion of rare releases and the constant demand they bring. [Financial Times]

Jason Barber spent years developing a vodka made from cow’s milk. What happens next may blow your mind. [The Guardian UK]

Here is what happens when a man seeks crowd-sourced funding to bring another rum into existence. [Newsday]

Find out what happens when a large tequila company partners with a Russian distribution company to increase profits and market share. The answer may astound and stun your sensibilities. [Beverage Daily]

A Kentucky distiller makes only 273 bottles of its sour mash. Find out the astronomical price these bottles are fetching on the inflated spirits market. [Poughkeepsie Journal]

Click here to discover which famous Will Ferrell character is slated to receive his own expression of Scotch. The answer will not surprise you. At all. [Huffington Post]

Drinkhacker Reads -12.04.2013 – U.S. State Department Spends $180,000 On Alcohol

1 Glenmorangie fans are able to choose from these three label and box designs for Taghta Tuh ta1 525x177 Drinkhacker Reads  12.04.2013   U.S. State Department Spends $180,000 On Alcohol

We’re not big on the compiling of slideshow based listicles, as is the trend these days. However, we’ve come across two that would fit quite snugly under the header of “Weird Whiskey Ideas of 2013.” The first, from Glenmorangie, invites users to decide on the label for its latest in the Cask Masters series, Taghta (Gaelic for “chosen”). Fans can hop on over to the website and vote on their favorite label, all bold and risky choices: yellow and brown, brown and orange, or purplish! [Glenmorangie]

In Beamland, the new “I’m Beam” application also is a bit of a charming headscratcher. Users can download the app to create woodcut-styled portraits similar to those found on the side label of Beam bottles, amongst other knicknacks, including something ambiguously entitled “Beam Family Surprises.” Mmmmmmm… [Jim Beam]

image001 143x300 Drinkhacker Reads  12.04.2013   U.S. State Department Spends $180,000 On Alcohol Coming in January/February to a white dog shelf near you: Dickel No.1, which serves as the base juice for it Nos.8, 12, and Barrel Select editions. It’ll be bottled at about 91 proof and will retail for $21.99 for a 750ml bottle. Look for our review shortly. [Dickel]

Faced with the shutdown this past fall, the State Department racked up a liquor bill of $180,000 in anticipation of its inability to purchase spirits during the brief hiatus. This included a nearly $16,000 whiskey tab in Moscow. Why weren’t we invited? [Washington Times]

Elsewhere in the political/alcohol narrative, Sen. Charles Schumer continues his crusade to cut excise taxes on smaller microbreweries in an effort to… wait for it… help “job creators.” [WSJ]

And finally today, the New Republic asks: Do smart people drink more? We’d like to think so, but that’s just opinion. NR backs that up with the results of several recently published studies. [New Republic]

Drinkhacker Reads – 12.02.2013 – Drinkhacker Gift Guide Goes Color + Sriracha Vodka

No doubt you saw the 2013 edition of our Gift Guide posted last week in between stuffing your faces or fighting the crowds during Whack Friday. But did you know our guide also comes as a full color PDF, complete with full reviews and all the previous years’ winners. Dig in!

Despite an overall slowdown in the amount of what we’re consuming in restaurants, a report issued today by Technomic suggests that we’re drinking less, but we’re also being more discerning about our choices. While the overall gains were modest (0.7% overall), categories such as Irish whiskey (+21.6%) and craft/microbrewed beer (+13%) saw double digit growth. [Technomic]

While we were on Thanksgiving break, Diageo announced via press release an initiative it’s The Orphan Barrel Project, which sounds suspiciously close to another project near and dear to our hearts. The project will “rescue” old and rare barrels of whiskey from their warehouses, including Kentucky Bourbons, to be bottled… in Tennessee (…not cool, Diageo). The first of the “expressions” – a 20 year old called Barterhouse and a 26 year old called Old Blowhard will be arriving in early 2014, and not everyone is thrilled with the concept or presentation. Charles Cowdery offers up an excellent editorial on the whole business.

bottlelarge sriracha2 77x300 Drinkhacker Reads   12.02.2013   Drinkhacker Gift Guide Goes Color +  Sriracha VodkaAnd finally today: just when you thought it was safe to go down the vodka aisle and not be assaulted by hideous flavors, UV has announced the arrival of its Sriracha Vodka expression. No doubt an attempt to cash in on the Sriracha craze sweeping the nation, Philips Distilling Company is proud to present the world’s first Sriracha-flavored vodka. We’re kind of hoping it’s the only version, but hey… maybe it’ll sell well in upscale restaurants. [UV Vodka]

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.25.2013 – Dennis Rodman Solves North Korea Problem With Vodka

rodman goodlooks 300x200 Drinkhacker Reads   11.25.2013   Dennis Rodman Solves North Korea Problem With Vodka

Dennis Rodman, 21st Century International Diplomat

Not satisfied with being one of the most brilliantly insane basketball players of all time, Dennis Rodman has decided to travel down roads blazed by Jimmy Carter and numerous others in an idealistic effort to become a peace broker for humanity.

At a recent press conference, the former Piston/Bull/Laker/Maverick/Cross Dresser promoted his upcoming basketball game in North Korea — where his 6-foot-7 frame will be valiantly taking the court in country where the average height for men is 5’8″ — and also took a few moments to promote his new vodka brand, humbly named Dennis Rodman: The Original Badass Premium Vodka.

From AP/Detroit Free Press:

“Everyone knows (President Barack) Obama drinks beer (…) But you know what? I’m pretty sure he does have a cocktail here or there. I’d love to see him with a ‘Bad Ass Vodka’ shot in his hand, toasting to Kim Jong (Un) and me.

“That would be awesome.”

Indeed, Worm. Indeed.

In related news, both Rodman and Obama make an appearance on the 2013 edition of GQ Magazine’s Least Influential Celebrities list.

Equally as amusing today, a Fort Meyers, Florida man was arrested for attempting to hide 13 bottles of liquor down his pants. When approached by security, he was asked if that was twelve bottles of Hennessy and one bottle of Grey Goose in his pants, or if he was just happy to see them. [UPI]

Finally in science news: the Daily Mail is reporting alcohol is good for preventing cancer, improving your sex life, and when drunk in moderation won’t make a person fat. The world’s oldest wine cellar has been discovered in Israel. Physics researchers explain foaming beer bottles, Gizmodo drinks a Samuel Adams Utopias in the name of research [Drinkhacker's take coming soon!], and a British researcher busts the myth of the beer belly.

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.21.2013 – The End Of Flavored Vodka?

Good news everyone! Restaurant Sciences LLC is reporting that sales for flavored vodkas fell almost 12% over last year’s 3rd quarter reports! Hooray! This means no more “innovative” flavors like grass clippings, musty fall leaves, or leather in our neutral spirits! Further from the report:

Restaurant Sciences tracks more than 600 flavored vodka brands, with the Top 50 flavored vodkas accounting for 73 percent of sales. Among the larger brands, Absolut Citron, the flavored vodka category leader, saw a 1.8 percent year-over-year sales decline. While Grey Goose Cherry Noir flavored vodka is enjoying increased on-premise sales, all other Grey Goose flavored vodkas on-premise sales are off between eight to 20 percent. Other category leaders, such as Stolichnaya and Three Olives, are down more than 20 percent.

Hooray! [Market Wired]

Elsewhere in other “innovative” news: Amsterdam is paying alcoholics to clean their streets. The can-do spirit of keeping the areas neat and tidy caused by their equally inebriated countrymen will result in a compensation of 10 euros, a half packet of rolling tobacco, and five cans of beer distributed throughout the day. While some people think the move a genius one, others are a bit more vociferous about the new initiative. Of course, the public forum Reddit is engaging in a lively discussion over the article. [Elite Daily]

The Wall Street Journal reports on the latest findings on why hangovers hit people harder after 40 than they did in their youth. [WSJ]

The final release in A. Smith Bowman’s 2013 line will be available nationwide beginning late November/early December. The Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Port Finished Bourbon is aged 12 years, and unlike last year’s Port-finished expression, was aged four more years in oak while spending less time in Port casks. The limited edition is 100 proof and will retail for about $69.99. [A Smith Bowman]

And finally today, rye fans rejoice! After much consternation about its disappearance over a year ago, Wild Turkey is bringing its rye bottling back at its original proof of 101. However, due to the minimal amount of stock available, the 101 proof version will be made available to targeted markets in limited quantities. Of course, the 81 proof version will still be available en masse to those who love it.

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.18.2013 – Wine Spectator Releases Top 100 Wines of 2013

Wine Spectator‘s Top 100 Wines List of 2013 was unveiled this morning to much fanfare, with the Cune Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva taking top honors. The site also has a feature where users can trace the entire history of the list dating back to 1988. Congrats to all making this distinctive list. [Wine Spectator]

Bacardi rum has unveiled its new, expansive global media campaign. “Untameable” will include several new television and digital ads and expansive print layouts highlighting the company’s 150+ year history. The brand’s packaging will also be redesigned and unified with a new aesthetic. [Bacardi]

Glenfiddich has unveiled the final details of its Spirit Of A Nation expression, aged 29 years in a single sherry cask before finishing in an American oak cask. The edition is limited to just 250 bottles, with only 200 being available to the general public at price tag of $1,600. The launch coincides with the beginning of an expedition to the South Pole by veterans in order to raise awareness for Walking With The Wounded, a charity for injured veterans. [Glenfiddich]

And finally today, in science news: Fred Minnick and Scientific American take on the debate about vodka being labeled “gluten-free”, the NHTSA wants automakers to speed up an alcohol-detection device which would prevent cars from starting, and NPR explains “wine tears.”

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.14.2013 – Science Thursday Edition

Science has possibly found a way to mimic the pleasant effects of inebriation without alcohol by taking one one pill, and then sober a person up by taking a second pill. While we’re all for science and discovery around here, unless there’s a pill that can recreate the incredible sensation of drinking an A+ rated spirit without coughing up the dough, we’ll stick with the joy of what we know for now. [Huffington Post]

In other science news, MiiR has introduced a new growler that keeps beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. They’re raising money to start things up and have surpassed their goal with almost two weeks to go. On top of all this, every growler purchased will result in a donation of clean drinking water to a person for a year. A great idea and a great cause. Head on over to their website and check it out. [MiiR]

Popular Science isn’t jumping on the pill bandwagon this issue, but it does feature an incredible and indepth look at how evolution determines the flavor of our beer and whiskey. [Popular Science]

Buffalo Trace is getting ready to unveil the eleventh round of its Single Oak project in time for the upcoming holiday, with this round focusing on the maturation process in two separate warehouses and the effects of flooring: a brick warehouse with wooden floors vs. a brick warehouse with concrete floors. As always, we’ll have complete coverage as we head toward the conclusion of this most ambitious experiment. [Buffalo Trace]

In beer news, it looks as if Miller’s lime-flavored Miller Chill will be put on ice later this year. Originally slated to compete with Bud Light Lime, the product received the cold shoulder from consumers and will be frozen in its tracks in order to make room for newer, sunnier brands. [Beer Pulse]

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.11.2013 – Patriotic Dispatch Edition

First and foremost, a raising of the glass to the men and women who have proudly served in our country’s military branches. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

In true patriot form, Bostonians are once again taking it to the streets and marching towards the halls of politics. Members of the Massachusetts Beer Guild (which includes Samuel Adams and Harpoon) will be testifying at a hearing with state legislators tomorrow afternoon, claiming that four-decade-old laws and legislation regarding wholesalers and distribution are curbing growth and impacting 1,300 existing jobs in the commonwealth. We’re in the process of trying to find out if the hearing will be simulcasted, and if so we’ll post a link tomorrow. [Boston.com]

Jack Daniel’s is back in court again, this time suing a restaurant over the use of the phrase “No. 7″. Last week it was against Popcorn Sutton for the use of a similar bottle shape. We can’t wait to see them in court over the use of black and white as a color scheme. (Note: This is a joke. Please don’t sue us.) [Law 360]

In wine news: Bloomberg is reporting that France is already down on the rot-ridden 2013 vintage, already prompting an increase in wine prices, The Wall Street Journal reports that New York had a great year for its crop, and a new system in Germany can identify grape varietals and sugar content through optical techniques.

And finally today, the world’s oldest living veteran Richard Overton credits his 107 years of longevity to 12 cigars a day and whiskey in his coffee. “Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender.” Overton said in an interview with an LA Times reporter. While not many doctors may agree with that assessment, we’ll drink to it. Cheers, sir. Tender cheers. [LA Times]

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.07.2013 – Canadians Save the Economy by Drinking Beer

It’s quite well known that Canadians love their beer almost as much as they love their hockey, Tim Horton’s, and Celine Dion. However, our northern neighbors have also supported their economic growth and stability by consuming a massive amount of the national beverage. In a new report issued by the Conference Board of Canada, we find out that:

  • The beer economy supports 1 out of every 100 jobs in Canada, generating $5.8 billion in government revenues in the form of product, income, and corporate taxes.
  • The brewing industry is over three times larger than the wineries and distilleries industries in Canada combined.
  • Beer’s supply chain stretches across the country. Beer consumption in one province supports jobs in many other provinces along its supply chain.
  • The industries that support the beer industry generate multiplier effects. For every $1 spent on beer in Canada, $1.12 in GDP is generated across the country.
  • Increasing Canadian beer exports by $10 million would result in a $10.54 million boost to GDP and would support 70 jobs.

Impressive numbers for any country, even for one that generates such awful pop music. Looking right at you, Bieber. [Yahoo! Canada]

In weird news, beer is losing ground to wine and spirits as the alcoholic beverage of choice among men ages 21-27, but is mysteriously gaining ground among women the same age. Marketers are attributing the switch to folks branching out, refining their taste palates, and trying new things. Good news for spirits manufacturers, which are about to see a global growth decline, according to a report from the Spirits Business. [Restaurant News]

Law360 is reporting on legislation in the Senate which would update the definition of a “hard cider” within the Internal Revenue Code, in order to reduce taxes and classifying the beverage as a beer. Previously it was classified as a wine. [Law 360]

And finally, today is National Nacho Day. While we normally only salute National [Beverage] Day, the included recipe for a Bacon Bloody Mary was just too good not to pass along. [LA Times]

Drinkhacker Reads – 11.04.2013 – Founder’s Finds Ford Pale Ale For Ship Christening

Microbrewer Founder’s is fashioning a special pale ale to be served at the christening of a new aircraft carrier named after their fellow hometown friend, former President Gerald Ford (both hail from Grand Rapids, Michigan). The beer will be on sale at select stores this week and President Ford’s daughter, Susan, will serve as the ship’s sponsor Saturday, performing the traditional honor of breaking a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship’s bow during the ceremony. [Founder's]

In a year where demand for its other products have spawned such ballyhoo as lowering proofs and creating new ways to drain every last drop from its barrels, it’s surprising to hear that Beam Global’s profit dropped 12% last quarter. However, it seems that this is due largely to a major dip in the Skinnygirl product line, which lost 29% of its sales in the period. Don’t be surprised if an aggressive rebrand with a (bigger) celebrity spokesperson is right around the corner.[Wall Street Journal]

In science news: The Guardian tackles the art and science behind wine making, alcohol may not be the social lubricant everyone thinks it is, we’re still talking about Chinese hangover cures, a machine that can chill one’s beer in a minute, and a biochemist does research into the optimum ice for one’s drink.

And finally, in less than pleasant news, The Drinks Business is reporting that counterfeit wine now accounts for 20% of all global wine sales, according to unofficial industry estimates. That would never happen in other spirits industries. Never. No Sir. [The Drinks Business]

Drinkhacker Reads – 10.30.2013 – Miller and AnheuserInBev to $100 Billion Merge

In a surprise move to absolutely no one, there’s talk that the mega beer titans Miller and AB InBev could be forming one giant mega corporation set on dominating the beer world. The price for SAB/Miller would be right around $100 billion, which includes the lifetime stipend given to former spokesperson Bob Uecker. [Reuters]

Only a few days after its Buffalo Trace article, The Atlantic is buying into the “sky is falling” mentality that there’s a great global wine shortage afoot, and it will only get worse. Time to start stocking up! [The Atlantic]

The Buffalo Trace Experimental Collection adds to its Entry Proof and Heavy Char experiments of 2013 with a new line slated for release at the end of this month. This time around Harlan and company are focusing on barrel stave drying times; with one bottled at the standard Buffalo Trace stave drying time of six months, and the other with a 13 month stave drying time. Reviews forthcoming, stay tuned! [Buffalo Trace]

And finally today, Panagiotis Giovanis from the Venezia bar in Greece has been crowned the winner in the EU final of Angostura’s Global Cocktail Challenge. 12 competitors battled it out in Stockholm, but Giovanis’ cocktails, Scarlet Ibis and Safe House, were said to embody the versatility of Angostura. He will go on to compete in the global final in Trinidad & Tobago in March. Here’s the recipe for his award-winning Scarlet Ibis. It’s pretty elaborate and takes 40 days to make properly (………), so if anyone wants to take a stab and report back on the quality, let us know.

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Drinkhacker Reads – 10.28.2013 – Australia Dumps Six Million Bottles of Wine

popcorn 199x300 Drinkhacker Reads   10.28.2013   Australia Dumps Six Million Bottles of WineIn this seasons’s edition of “Let’s Go To Court Over Aesthetics”: in the blue corner, we have whiskey titan Jack Daniel’s. And in the red corner, young Nashville upstarts Popcorn Sutton, whose square bottled packaging has started a Hatfield-McCoy styled brawl in the foothills of Tennessee. The square bottles are claimed to cause confusion even for the most sober of consumers, and therefore Daniel’s has requested the product be removed from shelves and replaced with different packaging. We’ll be ringside to see how this one ends up. [Times Dispatch] (photo courtesy of Ann Richardson, Ann Richardson Photography)

Elsewhere in the world’s courts, Treasury Wine Estates is currently enjoying a class action lawsuit after a massive oversupply situation forced roughly six million bottles of wine to be poured down the drain. The continent faced a similar situation in the 1990s, when six million unpurchased Silverchair CDs had to be buried in the outback, and in the late ’80s when the Bee Gees attempted their first of many comebacks. [France 24]

Unsatisfied with brewing the world’s strongest beer at 65% ABV, Scottish brewery Brewmeister has topped itself with its new Snake Venom, coming in at 67.5% abv. Unlike “that other beer” Armageddon, Snake Venom isn’t supposed to mask the taste of the high alcohol content, which uses smoked peat malt and yeasts from beer and Champagne. It’ll be available for about $81 and available for sale at The Real Ale Company. [Brewmeister]

This month’s issue of The Atlantic features a pretty swell article on Buffalo Trace’s experimentation and scientific approach to bourbon making. We’ve been championing their commitment to doing weird and interesting stuff for years now, and it’s been well documented elsewhere. However, it’s nice to see major media outlets finally catching on to what Harlan and company are doing over in Frankfort. [The Atlantic]

Screen shot 2013 10 28 at 12.18.49 PM Drinkhacker Reads   10.28.2013   Australia Dumps Six Million Bottles of WineJust in time for the holiday season, Master of Malt has unveiled the 2013 edition of its Advent calendar. However, this year there’s a twist: there’s a regular edition clocking in at $242 and a premium edition for $404 bucks. So you’ll know whether you’ve been good or extra good this year depending on the quality of your calendar. [Master of Malt]

Drinkhacker Reads – 10.23.2013 – Johnnie Walker Completes the Trade Route Trilogy

 Drinkhacker Reads   10.23.2013   Johnnie Walker Completes the Trade Route TrilogyJohnnie Walker is wrapping up the trio of whiskys in its Explorers’ Club Collection. The Royal Route is now readily available in duty-free retail outlets at about a cost of $159. We haven’t reviewed them, but if you’re had a dram, drop us a tasting note in the comments. [Johnnie Walker]

And speaking of explorers: We’ve received an update from Doug Stone over at the Whiskey Explorers Club regarding the company’s latest shipments. As we all know, they’ve been hindered by several obstacles with shipping and customs. Thankfully they’ve remedied this with a solution to set everything up stateside, but starting up the new operation has introduced some new delays. Look for packages to arrive around mid-November, with hopefully little to no service interruption from here on out. [For Whiskey Lovers]

The New York Times takes a look at another trend happening in the bourbon world, the increased phenomenon of blending bourbon and rye. Whether or not this proves to be yet another passing fad, author Chuck Cowdery sums it up best at the end of the article: “Overall, I think the producers are driven to make news and get attention.” Indeed, sir. [New York Times]

Just in time for the arrival of Anchorman 2, Ben and Jerry’s is rolling out its latest ice cream in tribute to legendary anchorman Ron Burgundy. The limited edition Scotchy Scotch Scotch will be arriving in stores shortly, and will be butterscotch ice cream with butterscotch swirls. Mmmm. Nonetheless, we’re all still patiently waiting the arrival of the Brick Tamland Chocolate Squirrel Swirl. [Ben and Jerry's]

Time Out Chicago recently sampled 22 gins from the midwest, picking the best for martinis, the best with tonics, and the best just for straight sipping. In related news, there are 22 gins being made in the midwest. [Time Out Chicago]

A new campaign and phone app from Amstel Light is challenging people in Bulgaria to put down their smartphones in exchange for free beer. [Fast Company]

And finally today, the geniuses at MIT are at it again. DrinkIn is a delivery service for Cambridge/MIT residents to get alcohol delivered right from the store to their door via a mobile app. The company is reporting early success and brisk utilization of the service, which will no doubt be extra useful for those who like their beers chilled courtesy of wintry Boston winds. Kudos for making that degree pay off. [Boston Magazine]

Drinkhacker Reads – 10.21.13 – The Great Pappy Van Winkle Saga Continues

Pappywatch continues: While no definitive leads made their way into the public, officers are still investigating possible suspects and those who may have had access to the large quantity of Pappy Van Winkle stolen last week. Bourbon Blog has been doing the excellent heavy lifting while the rest of us sinners took it easy this weekend, and its coverage is giving folks possible clues as to whether or not their newly acquired Pappy is the black market or legitimate version. [Bourbon Blog]

Good news for wine drinkers: Amazon’s wine service is expanding to New York, Michigan, Arizona and Louisiana. Mashable reports that Amazon’s revamped wine marketplace is growing in popularity and size, and allows more wine merchants an accessible marketplace from which to sell their wares. [Mashable]

Better news for beer drinkers, specifically those in the New Jersey area: 15 new microbreweries are slated to open within the next year. [Philly.com]

Worse news for Anheuser-Busch/INBev: another lawsuit has emerged for the mega-conglomerate, this time courtesy of a Florida man who states the company’s Beck’s beer line is misleading consumers into thinking the beer is brewed in Germany. [St Louis Post-Dispatch]

NPR reports on a new book which helps folks scratch and sniff their way into becoming a wine expert. While nothing could possibly beat the education one receives from sampling glass after glass, this could prove to be an interesting trend in the drinking world. Elsewhere on NPR, Scott Simon writes with great romanticism and whimsy about the new Absolut Chicago offering. [NPR]

Elsewhere in science news: Gizmodo’s Steve Savage makes the case on why GMO grapes could potentially make for great wine. [Gizmodo]

And finally today, Bloomberg TV has a roundtable discussion about current trends in bourbon including flavored bourbon, white whiskey, and microdistilleries. Nothing groundbreaking or earth-shattering revealed here, but it does reveal an interesting portrayal of how whiskey is being portrayed in mainstream media. [Bloomberg TV]

Drinkhacker Reads – 10.16.2013 – PAPPYGATE!

As if the Van Winkle brand needed any more press, hype or mythology surrounding it, now we have this: roughly 65 cases of Pappy Van Winkle 20 year old were stolen from the back of a “secure” truck and was reported to authorities on Tuesday night. Apparently an inside job, there is now an investigation pending. While some folks are lamenting such a tragic loss and what it will mean for Pappymania ’13, others have taken to social media to start #pappygate, with conspiracy theories abounding. Bourbonblog has a podcast with the sheriff, who is now on a personal mission to find the Pappy 20. By coincidence, we were at Buffalo Trace today for an unrelated matter and the mood seemed quite somber. No doubt we’re just getting warmed up with this story, which could be one of the best of year. Our take? Perhaps the NSA can track the thieves down with all of the information they’ve been gathering on everyone.

In equally bewildering news: Japan has now made wine for cats. We were lucky to score some and had a guest reviewer take it for a test spin:

Wine 300x168 Drinkhacker Reads   10.16.2013   PAPPYGATE!

Scientists delve deep into the question of whether or not Guinness really does taste better in Ireland than everywhere else. It’s a myth that has been volleyed about for ages now, so it’s great that someone’s finally getting down to brass tacks and trying to find an answer. [Discover Magazine]

And finally today, in non-scientific news NewYork.com tries to make the case for why wine tasting is great for career advancement. If this were the actual case, someone needs to pour a vineyard’s worth for the Yankees and Mets for next season. [New York]

UPDATE: The folks at Van Winkle have hired a private detective agency and it’s currently en route to Kentucky to apprehend the thieves. Stay tuned for updates!

mystery machine3 300x200 Drinkhacker Reads   10.16.2013   PAPPYGATE!

Drinkhacker Reads – 10.14.2013 – Wemyss Readies Largest Ever Offering

Wemyss 300x199 Drinkhacker Reads   10.14.2013   Wemyss Readies Largest Ever OfferingHarper’s UK is reporting that Wemyss Malts is readying its largest offering in the company’s eight year’s history. Named after each expression’s taste profile, each bottle will be available in an incredibly limited run of a few hundred bottles each and will represent every major region of Scotland. Just in time for the holidays. [Harper's UK]

Craft Writing: Beer, The Digital and Craft Culture will be a one-day symposium held at the University of Kentucky this upcoming February. Several brewmaster and microbrewery CEOs will be in attendance for the day-long event, held February 15th, 2014, and will feature a keynote address from Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster and author Garrett Oliver. Unlike most events of this nature, this is absolutely free of charge to attend (but advance reservations are suggested). We’ll be there providing full coverage of the day’s events. [Craft Writing]

In science news: a compound found in red wine may make cancer treatment more effective, food and wine pairings may be just “bunk”, and a man from Milnsbridge is currently attempting to develop a “beer diet.” Which is different from your diet, we assume.

Harry J. Shapira, the Executive Vice President of Heaven Hill distillery passed away yesterday after a ten-year battle with cancer, at age 66. Shapira was instrumental in the evolution of his family’s business, establishing the Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown and the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, which is slated to open in Louisville later this month. A noted local philanthropist and dedicated member of the Louisville community, he was often just as passionate about serving his fellow man as he was serving a glass of the distillery’s finest. Another major loss in a year which has already seen so much of it in the bourbon industry. Our condolences from the entire Drinkhacker staff to the Heaven Hill family during this tragic time. [Press Release]

Drinkhacker Reads – 10.09.2013 – Drink Me To The Moon, Part II

071311 space beer poll 300x200 Drinkhacker Reads   10.09.2013   Drink Me To The Moon, Part IIHe may not be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, but 11-year-old Michal Bodzianowski from Colorado has won a national competition to have his science project aboard the next space rocket heading to the international space station. His mission: to boldly go where no 11 year old gone before and brew beer in space. Can homebrewing work in the cosmos? Should Earth ever collapse as a sustainable planet, will we be able to take our lagers with us? We’ll hopefully have the answers in short order. Congrats, and uh…. a clink of the root beer mug, Michal! [The Register]

Meanwhile back on planet Earth, a different type of drama is, ahem, brewing. Apparently the folks at Old Overholt Whiskey have taken umbrage to the recent cult phenomenon of Pappy Van Winkle, and have taken their grievances to that public forum where we all can be heard loudly: the internet. Specifically, Twitter. No response as of yet from Overholt’s parent company, Beam, nor from Team Pappy — probably as they’re too busy promoting their new clothing line. [Hat tip to the always awesome Las Vegas Whisky for the excellent spot]

Meanwhile on planet Italy, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a court has ruled against Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and in favor of a Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar over the name “Budweiser.” InBev will be changing the name to “Bud” in short order. This is a major blow to the megaconglomerate in a very long battle which now includes 50 trademark lawsuits in over 20 countries. [Wall Street Journal]

And finally today in science news, Chinese researchers examined close to 60 drinks looking to find the ultimate hangover cure. Turns out Sprite is the leader of the pack. From the Daily Mail:

When we drink, our livers release an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which breaks down the ethanol in alcohol into a chemical called acetaldehyde (so less the alcohol enters the bloodstream). This is then broken down into another chemical called acetate by an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). While acetate is usually considered harmless – and has been linked with some of the health benefits of alcohol – being exposed to the more potent acetaldehyde is what causes hangover symptoms, the researchers found. With this in mind, the researchers at Sun Yat-Sen University, in Guangzhou, tested a range of drinks, from teas, hot herbal drinks and various fizzy drinks – and examined how they affected ADH and ALDH. They discovered that a herbal drink made with hemp seeds actually increased the length of the ADH process and inhibited the ALDH process, so a hangover would last for longer.

A drink which would make hangovers last longer? We’ll pass, thanks. [Daily Mail]

Drinkhacker Reads – 10.07.2013 – Drink Me To The Moon

moondust 300x224 Drinkhacker Reads – 10.07.2013 – Drink Me To The MoonThese days everything has a marketing gimmick: maple this, spice that, aged in barrels made from the Italian Renaissance and so forth. But this one’s kind of cool, and unfortunately limited: Dogfish Head’s Celest Jewel Ale is only available at its brewpub, and is made with a small bit of moondust in each bottle. That’s right, now you can have a wee piece of the moon in your digestive track. A small select group of 10 folks can also enjoy their moon beer in a space age koozie made from the same material as an astronaut suit. This is an extremely limited edition, so get yours quickly before it’s gone. [Dogfish]

One of the absolute “must-reads” on our daily list is the anonymous person writing over at The Bourbon Truth. Quite refreshingly, he/she often shoots straight from the hip while offering a complete and utter disregard to conventional grammar and spelling. He/she also has an excellent knowledge base and plenty of wisdom to back those opinions up. This time the site begins an investigation as to what’s going on at the legendary Stitzel-Weller plant. It’ll be interesting to see if these theories become fact. [Bourbon Truth]

This week in science news: wine drinkers by and large remain clueless about assessing the volume of a proper serving, a special champagne glass can increase the amount of fizz one may enjoy per glass, geeks have discovered the potentially perfect pour for a pint, and drones are now helping to make wine.

Cabo Diablo 210x300 Drinkhacker Reads – 10.07.2013 – Drink Me To The MoonAnd finally today, legendary rocker/multi-millionaire geriatric tequila proprietor Sammy Hagar is at again. No doubt unsatisfied with the over saturation of celebrity tequilas now available to the consumer, he’s (“he” being mutli-bev conglomerate Campari of course) decided to diversify and offer up Cabo Diablo, his variation on the time-tested “tequila and coffee” combo. If the photo released provides any clues, it also apparently has a nice glow of “Photoshop red” to it. It’s currently in limited release in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin at $22.99 a bottle.