12.05 is More Than the End of Prohibition

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This week’s blog is about a local hometown hero in Indy. It’s Vodka from 12.05 Distillery located on Virginia Avenue in downtown Indianapolis. The vodka gets its name from the date The Prohibition was repealed on December 5th, 1933. It’s a celebration of our right to legally drink whatever spirits we wish.

The Man Behind the Vodka

12.05 Distillery is man by experienced liquor distiller, Brad Clover. Originally from Indiana, Clover spent several years mastering his technique in Colorado at Breckenridge and Peach Street micro-distilleries. His system at 12.05 is made up of 20-plate copper which allows him to distill a wider variety of liquors including their two big products: vodka and gin.

12.05 & Repeal

Not only is 12.05 Vodka sold at Payless Liquors stores, but it will served at its neighboring restaurant, Repeal Restaurant in late April. The restaurant will serve small-plate entrees paired with signature cocktails made with spirits from 12.05. They are located right next to each other on 636 Virginia Avenue in a building that use to house the former Virginia Avenue State Bank. The inside of the establishment is appropriately decorated with the original terra cotta exterior from 1924. It’s also proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The perfect place for spirits that embody the rich history of America during The Prohibition.

The Vodka

12.05 Vodka is specially crafted from triple distilled non-GMO Indiana Corn. The corn is sourced from a farm located in Lebanon. Not only is the corn local, but the distillery also uses local materials and services, including artisanal water, grains, labels and cases. Each bottle is distilled and bottled right here in Indianapolis at 40% ALC by VOL. 

Celebrate your legal right to drink quality spirits by purchasing a bottle (or 2) or 12.05 Vodka at your local Payless Liquors or reserve here on our website.

Welcome Bourbon Women To Indy Part II

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In case you missed our last blog post, we had a big announcement. On March 7th we will be hosting the Bourbon Women organization’s inaugural Indy Sip & Shop Grand Bourbon tasting. The event will take place at the Greenwood Mall store from 2-5 pm. Over 30 distilleries will be present, along with a craft bourbon cocktail bar, food from local restaurants and Master Distillers from Garrison Brothers and Hobson Roberts.

In our last blog post we also introduced you to three bourbons that will be at Sip & Shop. And again this week we would like to introduce three more bourbon that will be available to sample.

Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon Whiskey

Featherbone Bourbon is an organic whiskey that hails from Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan. The mashbill is mainly made up of Midwest corn and additions of Michigan wheat, rye and malted barley. It’s bottled at 90 proof and embodies a light chestnut color. Featherbone offers unique tones of cracked pepper and a twist of citrus.

High West American Prairie Reserve Bourbon

Sweet like candy, this bourbon provides an explosion of flavors. Enjoy tastes of pecan pie and rye spice on the finish. High West Distillery is extremely passionate about preserving the American West’s culture and heritage. With the purchase of a bottle of Prairie Reserve Bourbon, High West will donate 10% of the profits to the American Prairie Reserve in northeastern Montana. 

Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon

Barreled at 125 proof and bottled as low as 80, Prichard’s bourbon undergoes a very expensive and labor intensive aging process. The result is sweet tones of vanilla and honey. Hints of caramel, butterscotch and toffee are plentiful on the palate. On the finish enjoy a nice spicy kick. Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon comes from Prichard’s Distillery in Kelso, Tennessee.

Remember, the Sip & Shop Grand Bourbon Tasting is open to all men and women 21+ and is also free. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to sample several great bourbons from across the country! 

Welcome Bourbon Women To Indy

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Bourbon Women in Indy.We are excited to announce that Payless Liquors will be a part of the Bourbon Women Indianapolis inaugural launch on March 7th. At our Greenwood Mall store we will be hosting a Grand Bourbon Tasting which will include bourbon samples from over 30 distilleries and breweries, the chance to meet Master Distillers from Garrison Brothers and Hobson Roberts, and food will be provided by the local restaurants Fireside Brewhouse and Between the Bun. Admission is free and open anyone who wishes to participate. This is a time to welcome Bourbon Women to Indy and celebrate everything bourbon.

At this event you will be able to sample several popular bourbons on the market today. For this week’s blog we would like to highlight those bourbons you might taste at the Grand Bourbon Tasting and give you a little insight into their flavor profiles. So sit back and turn your taste buds on.

Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at Sea

Taste Jefferson's Ocean.Featured several times on our blog and social media, Jefferon’s Ocean by Jefferson’s Bourbon has an incredible story behind it. Each batch contains bourbon that was literally aged at sea in bourbon barrels where they traveled around the world stopping at five different continents and crossing the equator four times. The theory behind aging at sea is that the constant movement of the liquid in the barrels speeds up the aging process and comes into contact with the wood more often, which provides stronger flavors. A seriously tasty bourbon, Ocean is rich and deep is character with notes of dark fruit, all spice and vanilla. The finish is a well-balanced, medium-long and filled with caramel, wood, salt and vanilla.

Barrel Chested Barleywine

Taste Barrel Chested.Created by local brewery, Upland Brewing Company this barelywine ale will be tasted at the event because it’s aged in Willet Distillery bourbon barrels. This isn’t necessarily a new trend. Before metal kegs, beer was fermented and stored in oak barrels similar to those used to age bourbon whiskey. This process adds an added vanilla flavor to beer. Barrel Chested provides similar flavors with rich notes of toffee, warm vanilla and sweet caramel. You will also notice the undertones of toasted oak and sweet bourbon. Barleywine will certainly please and unite those craft beer and bourbon lovers.

Backbone Bourbon Uncut

Taste Backbone Bourbon.Another local favorite, Backbone Bourbon is distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and then bottled in small batched in Bardstown, Kentucky. Uncut gives bourbon enthusiasts a taste of the real flavors by not “cutting” the bourbon with water; a very common practice with other bourbons on the market. Backbone feels their customers shouldn’t miss out on the characteristic flavors that are lost during their practice. One can now enjoy the originality and purity of bourbon, while also giving them the option to choose how strong they would like to sip their bourbon. With the addition of water or ice cubes your ideal strength can be acquired.

Save the Date!

These three products are simply just a preview of what will be sampled on March 7th. We encourage to save the date and join us at our Greenwood Mall store for a great night. Learn more about the bourbons we will sample by following us on Twitter and Facebook.


3 Wines for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it! Payless Liquors is the perfect spot to find top rated wines that won’t break the bank. This year we have complied a list of wines to help you find a bottle for celebrating with the love of your life or with your closet girlfriends.

Fifty Shades of Grey Collection

The much anticipated movie adaptation of the ever popular, Fifty Shades of Grey book series now has a collection of wines inspired after the phenomenon. The first bottle in the collection is White Silk. It’s a balanced, easy to drink white wine with an intense floral scent. On the palate, enjoy rich notes of crisp grapefruit, lush pear.

The second wine in the collection, Red Satin is a blend of Petit Sirah and Syrah. It has intense flavors of smoke, oak and eucalyptus. Hot on the nose and the palate, subtle black cherry and caramel flavors cool down the heat.

Enjoy this collection of wines with your gal pals on a dinner and move night to see the premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey on February 14th. .

1,000 Stories Zinfandel

Produced in small batches, 1,000 Stories is sourced from Mendocino County. Each lot is started with a traditional aging process in American and French wine barrels. The next step I its aging process is the introduction of the wine to bourbon barrels. The bourbon barrel aging creates a new flavor profile of warm vanilla, spices and caramel. In the final step of the process, the blend is transferred to old bourbon barrels from Four Roses and Heaven Hill to complete the aging process. It’s a wine like you’ve never had before! It’s represented as a dark plum color with hints of vanilla, berry and smoke in the aroma. The taste is similar to jam with strong notes of plum. This wine is perfect to enjoy with your love paired with a quiet night in on Valentine’s Day. He will certainly appreciate notes of bourbon.

To purchase these wines, stop by a Payless Liquors store near you, or reserve a bottle on our website.

Cheers to a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Put On Your “Bib and Tucker”

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The wait is finally over for a certain small batch bourbon. 35 Maple Street, which brings you Masterson’s Whiskey has released their bourbon and it goes by the name Bib and Tucker. Best known for its Canadian Whiskeys, 35 Maple Street offers a bourbon worthy of acclamation and comparison to the greats.

The name “bib & tucker dates back to early America. The term was used to describe your finest attire that one would wear to a special dance or wedding. 35 Maple Street was thinking along those lines when creating their finest bourbon product. The bourbon comes from an undisclosed Tennessee distillery. The bottle is a one-of-a-kind amber colored glass with custom embossing.

Just like your finest dress, Bib & Tucker is hand-crafted from the best of the best. Its smooth bourbon flavors are a combination of chestnut and warm vanilla. The makers ensure that you will feel a sense of dedication with each bottle and know that it’s something truly special.

The Nose

Scents are earthy tones with notes of leather-bound books, barley, fresh cut grass and chestnuts. There are also strong tones of vanilla that lead the aroma.

The Palate

Similar to the nose, the taste has an earthy base. It’s definitely a smooth first sip and well balanced with a lingering sweet tip. Some notes of cinnamon, dried apricots, caramel, black liquorice and again the warm vanilla bean from the nose. All these flavors are complimented by a subtle touch of ginger spice.

The Finish

Overall the finish is very similar to most bourbon. Again the earthy tones of grass, leather and pine dominate. The medium-length finish is semi-dry and leaves a lasting chestnut taste.

Bib and Tucker will the make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your bourbon enthusiast. Send us a request via our Contact Us page to reserve a bottle.

The Rarest of Them All: Macallan Rare Cask

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Rare products like this come every few times in a lifetime. Macallan Rare Cask Single Malt Whisky is one for the books. To some the quality for a whisky is all about the age on the bottle, but for this product Macallan defies those standards and lets the whisky speak for itself.

Macallan Rare Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the newest addition to 1824 Masters Series. Each bottle was handpicked by Master Blender, Bob Dalgarno from only Spanish sherry seasoned oak casks. These casks are some of the rarest and most precious of all. Only barrels from the top 1% at the distillery are used to make Rare Cask. You’ll also notice that there is no-age-statement present on each bottle. There is speculation on this age, but the true age remains unknown.

The combination created by Macallan can be described as a richer, darker and more chocolately version compared to their other products. It represents an aggressive and more modern approach from the typically conservative whisky. By taking age out of the equation, Macallan choose to focus more on the wood aspect of the Rare Cask. Each bottle also comes in a swanky gatefold box. Perfect to display in your collection.

From the start Rare Cask is an intensely deep-amber color, which pays homage to the classic Macallan whisky. At 43% alcohol by volume, it opens with a nose that is very rich in citrus, with notes of chocolate, nut, and wood and warm spice. From your first sip, you will taste notes of baking spice, dark fruits like plum, apricots, walnuts and milk chocolate. Sweet and smooth on the finish. Also note the full-bodied and oak flavors on the finish.

The name Rare Casks says it all. This limited supply product is one you won’t want to miss out. This product won’t be sold in our stores, but rather send us a request on the Contact Us page on our website and we will hook you up.

Swift as a Shadow, Short as a Dream: A Midwinter Night Dram

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“Are you sure we’re awake? It seems to me like we’re still sleeping, still dreaming.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare.

Brought to you by High West Distiller, a Midwinter Nights Dram is the perfect whiskey to keep you warm through the coldest of nights. Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the makers guarantee one taste will transport you to a dreamlike state.

The making of A Midwinter Night’s Dram starts with Rendezvous Rye. The rye offers a sweet base of vanilla, caramel and cinnamon. Then the whiskey is aged in port and French oak barrels. The process of aging in the port barrels enhance the whiskey with flavors of plum and dried fruit. The French oak barrels then offer the hint of warm spice. Midwinter also embodies a deep red mahogany color.

The Nose

Smells of rich red wine on the nose. There are also subtle hints of raspberry and orange.

The Palate

A velvety smooth taste, enjoy bursts of raspberry and cherries. Notes of ginger, vanilla cream, fruitcake and rhubarb are also present. The taste evokes similar flavors of the holidays with nutmeg and allspice.

The Finish

A soft fade on the finish. A medium length with less spice, yet warming.

Midwinter Nights Dram can be described as similar to that of a Christmas plum pudding with the flavors of mulling spices, dried fruit and cream. We recommend sipping it neat by the fire alongside friends and family. Christmas may have come and gone this past year, but don’t that let that stop you from enjoying the rich taste of this rye whiskey.

“Well, then, we’re awake. Let’s follow him. We can tell one another our dreams along the way…”

A limited supply product, Midwinter Nights Dram can be found in our Closet Collection with other exclusive products. If you are interested in purchasing a bottle, send a request here on the Payless Liquors website.

Return to Downton Abbey with This Wine Collection

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Attention all avid Downton Abbey fans! The Downton Abbey Wine Collection has expanded their portfolio with the Countess of Grantham Collection, and just in time for the show’s fifth season. The collection features a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay. These wines were inspired by Lady Cora Crawley, the American-born wife of a British aristocrat, Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham.

The Downton Abbey duo of wines are crafted with premium fruit from the prominent Entre-Ceux-Mers region of Bordeaux, France by the Dulong Grand Vins. The family-owned vineyard has well more than 130 years of winemaking experience. It is quite possible that the Dulong ancestors might have very well made the wines enjoyed at Downton.

Downton Abbet Claret

Claret is an elegant, dry red blend made with the finest grapes from the Entre-Ceux-Mers region of France. Each bottle of Claret was made using the traditional vinification process, which includes aging in temperature-controlled environments for 4 to 5 weeks for the ideal color and flavor. Then, the wine goes through another nine months of aging prior to the final blend. The result of this process is a deep purple color that embodies sweet scents of blackberries, raspberries, and black currants. Hints of spice are also present due to the Malbec blend. On the palate, you will notice a well-rounded taste of ripe fruits from the Merlot. And finally, the Cab aspects give an added freshness to the overall tone, and a silky finish.

Blend: 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Malbec

Downton Abbey Blanc

A Muscadelle and Semillon Blanc blend, Blanc is a classic white wine also made with grapes from Entre-Ceux-Mers in Bordeaux, France. To ensure the best flavor, the grapes were harvested at the best time, when they were ripe and full of flavor.

Blanc is a lovely pale yellow color with a sweet aroma. On the palate, there are notes of tangerine, orange, and apricots. All the citrusy fruits meld together for a delightful flavor. This is a perfectly balanced wine that offers a refreshing, lingering finish.

Blend: 70% Muscadelle, 30% Semillon Blanc

This Downton Abbey Wine duo, Claret and Blanc, are available at most of our Payless Liquors locations. To ensure you get your hands on a bottle, reserve on our website.


The Lost Prophet is Found

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You’ve heard of Barterhouse, Old Blowhard and Rhetoric. Now we welcome the fourth edition to Orphan Barrel’s collection, Lost Prophet. We suggest you judge this book by its cover.

A 22 year old rye whiskey, Lost Prophet was distilled in 1991 at the old George T. Stagg Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Then the whiskey further aged in the Sitzel-Weller Warehouses in Louisville. This extensive aging process adds sharp varying tones to Lost Prophet. After 22 years of aging in charred barrels, this whiskey certainly has a robust and enjoyable smoky flavor.

One of the most intriguing parts of this whiskey, besides its strong flavors, is the packaging. Lost Prophet’s label is meant to reflect its divine and intricate personality by mixing line illustrations, embellished typography and gaudy borders. An embossed gold design on the primary label showcases the symbolism of the “lost lamb.” The rich amber colors of the whiskey offer a beautiful backdrop behind the black designs.

On the nose, Lost Prophet’s aroma is filled with sweet notes of honey, summer fruit and clove.  At first sip, you will taste flavors of spice cake, warm vanilla and leather and ends with a sweet, sweet smoky finish.

In an effort to produce the most quality product, Orphan Barrel has only distributed a small quantity of Lost Prophet, making it a great buy.

Look forward to Orphan Barrel’s fifth release, Forged Oak to make its appearance in early February for this year. It’s a 15 year old bourbon from the Bernheim Distillery, before it was sold to Heaven Hill. It has a much sweeter finish compared to Lost Prophet.

If you are interested in purchasing Lost Prophet, please reserve on our website today. Beware- this product is selling fast, so get your hands on a bottle today!

Celebrating the Craft Whiskey of the Year

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The beginning of a new year calls for celebrating those things that were standouts in the past year. Today we would like to celebrate a renowned whiskey product that is now available at Payless Liquors stores. That product would be none other than St. George Single Malt, Lot 14.

Named “Craft Whiskey of the Year” by Whiskey Advocate Magazine, St. George Single Malt will surely not disappoint. Hailing from Alameda, California, this whiskey is as American as they get. The finished product comes from a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-Tennessee, French and American oak sherry and port, St. George apple brandy and Blacksmith Cellars white wine barrels. As you can tell, this combination of barrels certainly adds to the complex of flavor Lot 14 provides. The 100% barley whiskeys is aged between 4 to 15 years and bottled at 86 proof. 

Explore the tasting notes of this most balanced American Single Malt on the market, below:

The Nose

Aroma is a combination of all spice, chocolate, ripe mango and a refreshing floral scents. The heavy chocolate aroma offers a decedent introduction.

The Palate

On the palate, enjoy an overwhelming taste of grain and sweet honeysuckle, with hints of dark chocolate. Notes of spice and creamy vanilla are also present at the first sip. A bit dry, but don’t let that discourage you.

The Finish

A hauntingly sweet finish leaves note of spice and delicate fruit. One glass won’t be enough.

Get your hands on this year’s “Craft Whiskey of the Year” by requesting a bottler per our website. Hurry and reserve, because these bottles won’t last!

Cheers to a new year, and great new spirits!

Resonate with Hibiki Whisky for the Holidays

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From the deep Japanese forests arises a blended whisky that embodies the craftsmanship and soul of the people. The legendary Hibiki Whisky represents true harmony. Some even consider if to be the ideal of perfection. Here at Payless Liquors, we are fortunate to be one of the few carriers of this sophisticated seventeen-year-old whisky.

In Japanese, Hibiki means resonance. This is fitting because it speaks to the soul and emotions of the most perceptive whisky lover. Hibiki echoes all 24 seasons of the Japanese lunar calendar. This aging process is noticed in the earthy tones one can taste throughout the whisky.

We like to describe Hibiki in three words: elegant, poised and balanced. Coming from the Suntory Distillery, Hibiki provides a fantastic blend of aged malt and grain whiskies. The barrels used for aging are made from extremely rare oak. This offers a more complex flavor to the blended whisky. Hibiki is bottled at 86 proof and is jam packed with sweet oak flavors.

The Nose

Quite full, with notes of honey, wax and oak. Hints of gentle rolling smoke, cocoa, and cooked, dark fruits. The whisky is light amber in coloring.

On The Palate

The palate is sweet and rich. Flavors of toffee, black cherry, and warm vanilla are present throughout the first sip. You might also taste notes of crisp apple, raisin, citrus peels, and the notorious Mizunara, a Japanese oak varietal.

The Finish

A long sweet finish with lingering notes of oak, cocoa, and a lychee aftertaste.

Notable Mentions

In 2012, Hibiki was recognized as the “Best Japanese Blend 13 to 20 Years” by the World Whiskies Awards. Also in 2010, it was given a Gold “Editor’s Choice” award from Whiskey Magazine, and also received the award in its category.

This holiday season we invite you to purchase Hibiki, either as a gift for a loved one, or to share amongst friends and family. To get your hands on one our most sought-after products, reserve a bottle of Hibiki on our website.

Bourbon By Land and Bourbon By Sea

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The latest thing in bourbon has hit Payless Liquors stores all around Indianapolis. Ocean: Aged At Sea is the new release from Jefferson’s Bourbon out of Louisville, KY. The Ocean edition was inspired by the original Jefferson’s Ocean, which were bourbon barrels that traveled around the world. These filled barrels stopped at five different continents and crossed the equator four times. Nowhere will you find a more well-traveled bourbon.

Ocean: Aged at Sea is very specific in its metrics of aging. For an estimated 7 to 8 years, the bourbon was aged in barrels on land. Then for an additional 5 to 10 months, it was aged in the same barrels at sea. The constant rocking of the ocean water, inconsistent temperatures and saline-rich air help mature the whiskey and add depth to the flavor. Barrels were stored aboard the OCEARCH 126-foot vessel. OCEARCH is a nonprofit organization that reaches great white sharks and other large apex predators that live in our oceans.

This second edition of Ocean bourbon consists of approximately 66 barrels, but only 62 of those barrels have been released to the public for purchasing. The four remaining barrels have been auctioned off, with the proceeds going to benefit OCEARCH foundation. Master Distiller of Jefferson’s Bourbon, Trey Zoeller and Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader of OCEARCH, Chris Fisher, are close friends who banded together for the cause.

Tasting notes of Ocean: Aged at Sea include:

The Nose

The aroma embodies scents of warm vanilla, sweet caramel and burnt wood.

On the Palate

Enjoy a savory taste with sweet elements of butterscotch, vanilla, crisp brown sugar and spice. You might also taste a bitter, yet warm balance. Hints of cinnamon and plum are also present.

The Finish

The finish is a medium length followed by a strong bitter bite. There is also a lingering sweetness from the palate.

Whether you are passionate about animal rights and philanthropy or just looking for a great bourbon, Ocean: Aged at Sea is what you need. These bottles also make great holiday gifts for loved ones. You can find Ocean: Aged at Sea in select stores or reserve here on our website.

Celebrate the Holidays with Something French

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Nothing says the holidays like a fantastic bottle of champagne. This year, we invite you to enjoy a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2006 sparkling wine from Champagne, France. Louis Roederer embodies all the exciting elements the season brings!

The Making Of Cristal Brut

The Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2006 is an indicative blend of Chardonnay 40% and Pinot Noir 60%. The champagne is aged six years, then left for eight more months after dégorgement. The specific aging and blend is the key to creating an overall refreshing and
crisp flavor.

Cristal Brut Tasting Notes

When first popping the cork, you can expect a glistening light amber color with soft, timid bubbles. Cristal Brut flavors include zesty lemon and orange, lilies and toasted hazelnuts. The aroma gives off an intense fruit scent full of apricots, melons and mangos. At first sip, enjoy a juicy burst of summer fruits. The last notes leave an impression of slight bitterness, yet still remaining true to the fresh fruit flavors.

The Acclaims of Cristal Brut

Louis Roederer Cristal Brut 2006 is critically acclaimed, as well. It received a 95-point rating from Wine Enthusiast for its “impressive balance between ripe fruit and crisp acidity.” Wine Spectator also recognized Brut 2006 for its “sense of finesse, despite underlying power” and also gave it a 95-point rating. Lastly, Cristal Brut was unanimously named one of the top 5 Champagne Brut wines in the world.

Is a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Brut something you would enjoy with friends and family? Stop by one of our Payless Liquors locations, or you can easily reserve a bottle here on our website.

Happy Holidays and here’s to popping bottles this holiday season!

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