2013 Holiday Gift Guide: Booze
Walk into any liquor store and you’ll see hundreds of options. You can zero in on someone’s favorite drink when picking a gift, or you can get creative and choose something they wouldn’t buy for themselves. Also, remember that you don’t want to come to a party empty-handed, so get in the habit of at least bringing a bottle.
And for more gift ideas, check out the other categories in our Holiday Gift Guide.
Craft Beer Club
If you have a beer lover on your list, you can give him or her the gift that keeps on giving. The Craft Beer Club discovers exceptional craft brews from around the country and delivers them each month direct to you or your gift recipient. Every selection is produced by small-production, independent brewers who use only traditional brewing ingredients and time-honored brewing methods. In addition to traditional bottled beers, they also embrace the hundreds of small craft brewers around the country that offer their hand-crafted beers in cans. It’s a great way to enjoy craft beers and it’s ideal for the holiday season.
Laphroaig 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
If dad, your buddy, your tomboyish gal pal or anyone else on your holiday list loves a very good bottle of Scotch, then consider this rather dandy, unusually enjoyable single malt. Outstanding on the rocks, with a splash of water or soda, or neat for you purists, the Laphroaig 10 Year Old is also more mixable than you might assume; on the other hand, it’s good enough that many will consider even the finest cocktail made with it a crime against nature. The website tells us that it’s got traces of salt and seaweed along with the usual peat and smoke flavors, but we don’t completely agree. It’s definitely got smoke – indeed, you might get hungry for barbecue after you take a good whiff and, yeah, that’s some salt in there, but that’s not all. Every good Scotch has its share of several indescribable tastes and smells of nature. We haven’t been to Scotland, but we wouldn’t be one bit surprised to find ourselves tasting the essence of this concoction in the clear cool air of the highlands. Cheaper than super-duper premium single malts but nearly double what you’ll likely pay for Chivas Regal, this is an outstanding gift for a true blue Scotch enthusiast.
Brugal 1888 Dominican Rum
If you’re in search of a bottle for the man or woman who’s drunk everything, Brugal 1888 is something genuinely new under the sun and it’s completely remarkable. An aged Dominican rum that thinks it’s a premium Scotch or Bourbon, it has the tantalizing, woody and astringent flavor you might get in very a high-end single malt, plus a hint of something that somehow reminds us of our dad’s old fake-leather chair. (That’s a good thing, believe it or not.) At the exact same time, it has a boldly sugary undertone that goes well beyond what you’re likely to find in the sweetest bourbon. We tasted more than a hint of maple syrup or maybe turbinado. Regardless, it’s delicious and probably not like anything you’ve had before. You can drink this on the rocks, with a bit of water, or neat. You can also put on your mixologist hat and go to town as this is a flexible beverage that won’t be out of place in an Old Fashioned, especially if you use real maple syrup in place of the usual sugar or simple syrup. High priced for rum but worth every gosh darn penny, this is one boozy gift that won’t be forgotten.
This is the best new spirit we’ve tried in a long time. Cabo Wabo is known now just as much for its excellent tequilas as it is for its founder Sammy Hagar, and this new Cabo Diablo should attract many more fans. Cabo Diablo features a delicious coffee flavor and tastes amazing when you drink it straight. It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and it’s not think and syrupy like some liqueurs. So it’s a fantastic sipping drink that men and women should both enjoy. But better yet, it’s a tequila, so it’s also a great way to get a party going, as tequila makes everyone a little nuts at times. It is made with 100% blue agave Cabo Wabo Silver tequila, then kicks in notes of fresh roasted coffee, vanilla and chocolate for a striking combination. It’s excellent served chilled or on the rocks. With the holidays around the corner, this makes for a great gift for men and women, and it’s a great bottle to bring to a gathering to get the party started!
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Posted in: Beer, Lifestyle, Stuff to Buy, Vices, Wine
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Captain Morgan Sherry Oak Finish
Here’s a new, limited edition spiced rum from our friends at Captain Morgan. I love their signature spiced rum product, but this Sherry Oak Finish offers a very nice twist on a classic. You can tell the difference right away when you open the bottle, as you can definitely sense dark cherry scents along with a hint of vanilla. The taste is excellent, with a hint of sherry wine to go along with the dark cherry flavor. Frankly it’s delicious on the rocks and should work great with many rum cocktails. We tried the classic rum and cola combination and loved it.
This special edition was inspired by the real-life Captain Henry Morgan’s 1671 victory in Panama aboard his flagship, The Satisfaction. The bottle design is slick as you can see, with a highly-detailed metallic label. It will definitely look good on your home bar and your guests will be happy to try something new.
Rum is a great option when the weather is nice, so you can break this out for your picnics and cookouts as well. Enjoy!
U.S. Scientist Vows to Find Captain Henry Morgan’s Lost Fleet
Most people associate Captain Morgan with the image on a rum bottle, but a team of leading U.S. archaeologists are on a mission to find the fleet of ships the iconic real-life privateer lost in the Caribbean in 1671. The search began in September 2010, when the team discovered six iron cannons belonging to Morgan off the coast of Panama, and continued last summer with the exciting discovery of a 17th century wooden shipwreck, potentially one of the five ships Morgan lost at the mouth of the Chagres River, including his flagship “Satisfaction.”
This summer, the team returned to Panama to excavate historic artifacts from the shipwreck in hopes of confirming its origin. Throughout the field season, the team recovered a sword, chests and wooden barrels, which are currently being preserved at the Patronato Panamá Viejo in Panama City.
Check out this link for an overview of the unprecedented project, the dive team and some amazing footage and photos of their discoveries.
Captain Morgan gets into social gaming with “Captain’s Conquest”
The makers of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum are setting sail on a brand new adventure, and this time, it involves a mobile device instead of a shot glass. The first of its kind for a spirits brand, “Captain’s Conquest” is a mobile social game that rewards players for real-life exploration, adventure and social influence by transforming cities into the open seas and encouraging players to navigate Captain Henry Morgan’s world.
The goal of the game is to rise through the ranks – from a Stowaway to the Captain of your own powerful fleet – ruling the high seas and reaping rewards through skilled digital gameplay and adventurous behavior in the real world. Players will earn points and gain status by mastering the in-game battle mode, conquering territory by checking in at real world locations and using the scope to scan Captain Morgan bottles.
At the onset of the game, players are given command of a ship, the initial size of which is determined by their influence on social platforms such as Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter. In the Captain’s world, size matters, as the magnitude of a player’s ship and the adornments acquired during their adventures influence their success in battle, and ultimately their rank. Using GPS and location-based technologies, the game populates the map screen with visual representations of other players’ ships in the area. Players have the option to interact with those around them by challenging enemy ships to battle.
The game is available for free in both Android Market and the Apple App Store.
Captain Morgan officially names Marisa Miller first mate
This past saturday, Las Vegas played host an evening of adventure, debauchery, and swashbuckling as Captain Morgan held his “Welcome to the Captain’s World” party. The purpose behind the bash was to unveil a new ad campaign for the world renowned rum, and to give the Captain a chance to introduce his new First Mate: Marisa Miller.
Set to launch nationwide this week, the campaign chronicles Miller’s new responsibilities as “First Mate,” including what it takes to protect the Captain’s world famous spiced rum – attitude and some serious sword-handling skills. Yeah, we said sword-handling skills. We normally try to avoid knife fights, but if Marisa Miller was bearing down on us with a sword, well, we’d be fools not to sit back and take whatever beating she’s willing to dish out.
As the clock moved past midnight and on to 10/10/10, Marisa Miller debuted her new video, aptly named “Welcome to the Captain’s World.” She and the Captain also announced the formation of the First Mate Fund, a non-profit fund established by the Captain Morgan brand to award grants to several charitable organizations that focus on responsible drinking awareness and education.
Starting this week, you’ll be able to catch the “First Mate” campaign in print and online advertising, billboards and bus wraps as well as in various social responsibility communications and event appearances. Additional information about the First Mate Fund and its beneficiaries will be announced in the coming weeks.