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3 Pumpkin Beers To Try This Year

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Pumpkin Beers

Fall is just around the corner, and everyone is bracing for another wave of pumpkin-flavored … everything. While pumpkin flavors help create enjoyable fall-themed variations of many popular foods and beverages, pumpkin-infused beers gained a bad reputation. Every autumn, breweries across the nation attempt to cash in on the pumpkin craze that takes hold. The reason behind pumpkin beer’s bad reputation may be due to too many breweries jumping on the pumpkin-flavored bandwagon. Additionally, they are not devoting the proper time and care to develop robust, flavorful, and enjoyable pumpkin beers.

That trend has shifted now, and many different pumpkin beers are both enjoyable and perfect for fall weather. Respected online beer review hubs like Beer Advocate have even developed their rating categories for pumpkin beers thanks to the innovation of the breweries behind these brews. As you prepare for fall, the following top-shelf pumpkin beers could change your mind.

Cigar City Brewing Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Pumpkin Beers
Cigar City Brewing

This product of Ft. Collins, CO, has earned a world-class rating of 95 on Beer Advocate. It is the perfect addition to your October costume parties. Beer lovers have rated Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale as a well-spiced and full-bodied pumpkin beer with notes of Jamaican allspice, Ceylon cinnamon, nutmeg, and Zanzibar cloves. It’s a well-balanced beer that clocks in at 8.5% ABV. If you like a full complement of robust fall spices to accompany the flavor, this is the pumpkin beer for you.

Elysian Brewing Company Punkaccino

Pumpkin-spiced lattes have inspired a wave of food and beverage products aiming to capture the unmistakable blend of pumpkin and coffee. In the race for the best pumpkin coffee-infused beer, Punkaccino is a strong contender. It’s earned an outstanding rating of 92 on Beer Advocate, with drinkers reporting a pumpkin pie and spice aroma and subtle coffee undertones in a creamy, smooth body. Punkaccino has an ABV of about 6%, and it’s perfect for pumpkin and coffee lovers alike this fall.

Saint Arnold Brewing Company Pumpkinator

Pumpkin Beers
Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Pumpkinator from the Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Texas is a must-try. If you are interested in trying yet another world-class pumpkin beer, this one’s for you. With a rating of 95 on Beer Advocate, Pumpkinator is 10% ABV, making it one of the strongest pumpkin beers on the market with a complex and enjoyable flavor profile. Some reviewers think it is pumpkin pie in liquid form. Others report aromas and flavors reminiscent of roasted pumpkin and autumn spices. One thing they can all agree on is that Pumpkinator is one of, if not the best pumpkin beers made in the US.

These three are just a couple of the most highly rated pumpkin beers on the market. With the explosive popularity of microbrews today, you’re sure to see a slew of new pumpkin beers. As the fall season rolls in, Payless Liquors can help you get the pumpkin beers you want. Contact Payless Liquors today to learn more about our beer services and the pumpkin beers we have available.

Sparkling Reds

Sparkling Reds – the Ultimate Late Summer Wine

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As the end of summer looms ever closer, you may be quickly tiring of the sparkling wines you found appealing earlier in the summer. If that prosecco or moscato d’asti just isn’t doing it for you as the weather cools, we have an alternative. With their light body but slightly more substantial taste, sparkling reds are a great choice for late summer.

The Old Sparkling Reds

Sparkling red wine in and of itself is far from a new idea. Sparkling reds were big a few decades ago – mostly in the late 70s and 80s. Varieties such as lambrusco and sparkling shiraz found their place in many American wine glasses; however, they eventually suffered a terrible reputation. Viewed by wine critics as fruity, sticky-sweet, and a dime a dozen, the once-beloved sparkling red slowly fell out of favor in America. It was replaced by a variety of other imports and locally produced reds. Meanwhile, multiple varieties of sparkling reds continued to undergo their natural evolution in the areas of the world that had been producing them for centuries. The unfortunate result? Nearly an entire wine-drinking generation lost their taste for sparkling reds – even the high-quality varieties produced in Europe – entirely.

The New Sparkling Reds

Today’s modern sparkling reds have an opportunity to win back the favors of the American wine drinker. Significantly less syrupy, effervescent instead of cloyingly carbonated, and available in a much broader range from dry to sweet. Sparkling reds are better than ever. If you’re looking for an ideal, late summer wine, start with one of these varieties:

Late Summer Wines

● Lambrusco. Lambrusco was once the epitome of the sweet, syrupy sparkling red in America. It has a long and storied history in Italy. Made entirely of any one of four varieties of lambrusco grapes produced in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. The modern Lambrusco has managed to keep many of its original qualities, while also undergoing a transformation of sorts. The result is a wide range of Lambruscos, from the sweet fizzy reds perfect for an after-dinner drink to the dry, secco Lambruscos that pair well with most appetizers.

● Sparkling Shiraz. Shiraz is the signature grape of Australia and results in wines of all colors and flavor profiles. Sparkling reds crafted from the shiraz have always been a tradition in the country, but the style is undergoing a renaissance similar to Lambrusco. More and more sparkling shiraz’s are being aged in oak barrels or produced in ways that give them a bit more body than other sparkling wines – a perfect complement to their black fruit-forward flavor.

● Red Moscato. If you enjoyed the sweet sparkling reds of the 70s and 80s, there’s no need to fret- many quality wines continue to be produced that capture that essence with a nod to a finer flavor profile. One example is the Red Moscato produced by Risata, maker of America’s most popular Moscato D’Asti. Similarly light and sweet, but with a good deal more depth of flavor, Red Moscato is perfect to sip with food or as an aperitif.

If you’re on the hunt for a more satisfying late summer wine, these sparkling reds could be just the ticket. Stop by your local Payless Liquors to see what’s in stock, or reserve a bottle of one of these new favorites for pickup. Start your late summer tradition with Payless Liquors.

seltzers

5 Interesting Facts About the Hard Seltzer Craze

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Most people have seen popular advertisements for the many hard seltzer products available today. These canned drinks have grown incredibly popular in a very short time, and this trend may be much more than just a passing fad. If you haven’t tried any hard seltzers yet, you should know a few interesting facts about this new drink craze.

One: Seltzers Appeal to the Health-Conscious

It’s no secret that Americans have grown steadily more health-conscious over the last several years. Clean organic eating has become the norm for many Americans of all walks of life, and the search for healthier ways to live, eat, and have fun continues to expand for many. Hard seltzers have significant appeal to the health-conscious due to the fact that they are very low in carbs, lower in calories than most beers, and have a very low sugar content.

Two: The Market Says Seltzer Isn’t Going Anywhere

White Claw, a brand owned by Mike’s Hard Lemonade, kicked off the hard seltzer craze in the summer of 2019, which quickly became known as “White Claw Summer” thanks to clever marketing and savvy use of social media. White Claw sales increased more than 250% over previous year sales in 2019, and promoters predict that the hard seltzer market will triple by 2023.

Three: People Are Passing on Beer for Seltzer

While the craft beer boom of recent years hasn’t seemed to lose much traction, many people are passing on beer in favor of hard seltzers due to the lower nutritional impact and the variety of flavors now available. The number of major beer brands launching hard seltzer products could indicate that these brands fear a public shift toward hard seltzer over beer.

Four: Major Beverage Companies Are Jumping Into the Hard Seltzer Market

Major beer brands including Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch, and the Boston Beer Company have taken note and launched their own hard seltzer products in response to this growing trend. While White Claw continues to enjoy tremendous sales thanks to the steam generated by its 2019 marketing campaigns, countless other brands have appeared, even generating something of a craft hard seltzer market.

Five: The Variety Available Speaks to a Much Wider Potential Audience

One of the most appealing aspects of the hard seltzer craze for many people is the sheer amount of variety available. People who aren’t big beer drinkers may love the chance to try a wider selection of hard seltzers, especially since they aren’t as negatively impactful on their health as most beers can be. Companies that have launched hard seltzer products have generally offered large flavor selections, creating more opportunities for people to find hard seltzer flavors they love.

Hard seltzer hit the alcoholic beverage market hard, and the impact seems to have lots of momentum. We’re sure to see a wide variety of new hard seltzer products appearing soon, and more and more people are turning to this beverage option as an alternative to beer. As major beverage companies shift their focus toward the changing market, you can expect to see many new varieties of hard seltzer available very soon. If you haven’t tried hard seltzer yet and want to see what all the fuss is about, contact Payless Liquors today and see which hard seltzer sample packs we have available.

Blue Marble

Cocktail Hour: Introducing Blue Marble

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Looking for a new cocktail to delight your taste buds? Look no further than Blue Marble Cocktails! These award-winning cocktails are ready to show you why they are the best!

What are Blue Marble Cocktails?

Blue Marble Cocktails is the latest in pre-mixed cocktails and produces ultra-premium, all-natural, ready-to-drink, premixed cocktails in 9 flavors. Blue Marble is a family business with family values supporting global awareness, conservation and environmental initiatives through its “keep the blue marble blue” program and uses recyclable cans and SFI certified packaging. Every cocktail is made in house through Blue Marble’s state-of-the-art production facility located in Indianapolis, Ind. Blue Marble Cocktails has been awarded by WSWA the Double Gold medal, as well as Best of Show Pre-Mixed Cocktails, and just won World’s Best PreMixed Cocktail from the World PreMix Awards. Payless Liquors carries all nine Blue Marble Cocktails flavors:

  • Cosmo
  • Greyhound
  • Marble-Rita
  • Bloody Mary
  • Coconut Island
  • Screwdriver
  • Vodka Soda
  • Mojito
  • Moscow Mule

 

The best ingredients make the best cocktails

Why do Blue Marble Cocktails taste so good? It’s simple. They use real ingredients only found in nature. Each of Blue Marble’s delicious cocktails include the best fruits, vegetables, and ultra-premium distilled spirits. You have a choice about the type of products you consume and what they are made from. Blue Marble Cocktails is committed to providing a canned cocktail free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and dyes.

Blue Marble’s commitment to the environment

Take a sip of Blue Marble’s ultra-premium cocktails and feel good knowing they are committed to global conservation and environmental initiatives that will help keep the blue marble blue. Their goal is to also inspire other like-minded ambassadors of the world to get involved in local Earth focused organizations. Blue Marble cares as much about our packaging as the contents inside. Through recycling, their cans make it back to the shelf in as little as 60 days. It doesn’t stop there! Blue Marble’s packaging is SFI certified and contains 100% recycled paper, and within months of discarding one of their trays it is back in circulation as a new recycled item. Blue Marble’s 4 pack can toppers use HDPE post-consumer recycled plastic that is 100% recyclable. Blue Marble Cocktails is a company that is dedicated to reaching our sustainability goals.

Give it a try! These cocktails provide that refreshing taste of a true cocktail without the hassle of going to a bar and are convenient for so many activities and adventures wherever you go on our Blue Marble!

Keep in mind a few key facts: these drinks do contain alcohol. It is important that you drink responsibly and ensure you are in a safe environment. Do not drink and drive. Do not consume alcohol if you are underage.

Prophecy Wines – Captivating Tastes of the World in One Location

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With a slogan of ‘See the Unseen. Try the Untried,’ Prophecy is creating a line of wines that capture a taste of all the premier growing regions around the world. Each wine is crafted to showcase the defining characteristics of each region, giving wine aficionados the opportunity to experience what Prophecy is all about – a shared journey of discovery.

Currently, there are six wines available in the Prophecy family with more expecting to join. Prophecy’s journey will continue to be a life-long one as there are plenty of growing regions to explore. France alone has 11 regions that are known worldwide – Champagne, Alsace, Bordeaux, Provence, Corsica just to name a few. The wines Prophecy currently has available is Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and Red Blend.

Sauvignon Blanc

Showcasing the best of New Zealand’s renowned Marlborough region, Prophecy’s Sauvignon Blanc features aromas of grapefruit, lychee and lime zest that eventually lead to flavors of mandarin orange and green apple. The aftertaste is then met with notes of mineral and white tea.

Pinot Noir

Representing California, Pinot Noir hits the senses with flavors of toasted oak and ripe raspberry. This wine comes across smooth with deep layers of red cherry and strawberry that are complemented by notes of brown spice.

Pinot Grigio

Straight out of Italy’s high-altitude Delle Venezie region, Prophecy’s Pinot Grigio offers flavors of light citrus, tropical fruit, and mineral notes that bring a crisp, refreshing taste. All of these are then complemented by floral aromas.

Red Blend

Combining two regions near the Pacific Northwest, the Red Blend brings together fruits from Washington state and California. This wine is medium bodied with layers of red fruit, aromas of spice and vanilla, and a feeling of an ultra-silky finish.

California Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine sources grapes from premier appellations across California. Smooth and approachable, the California Cab has layers of blackberry, plum, and raspberry with oaky notes of graham cracker.

French Rose

Prophecy’s Rose features the best of the South of France. This wine is delicate and bright with layers of fresh strawberries, raspberries and a hint of white peach. All of these flavors bring together a crisp and refreshing finish.

The Artwork

Victo Ngai is a New York-based, award-winning illustrator from Hong Kong. “Victo” is not a boy nor a typo, but a nickname derived from Victoria – a leftover from the British colonization.

Ngai’s work has appeared in books, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, and animations.

To embrace the spirit that each wine unearths a shared journey of discovery, the label designs are inspired by Tarot cards. Many classic Tarot symbolisms are preserved in the illustrations, but the overall design has been refreshed and tailored to fit the personality and varietal characteristics of the individual wine.

Stop by any of our stores and get a taste of Prophecy’s wines for $10.99

cointreau

Cointreau: Save The Date For Our Mixology Competition!

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Did you know that before World War I, Cointreau was selling 800,000 bottles a year? Or how about the fact that this liqueur was founded 168 cointreauyears ago! For those not familiar, Cointreau is a well-known orange flavored brand of triple sec used throughout cocktails in the industry.

The makers had a vision. He says, “I have searched passionately for the quintessential flavors of Cointreau. I wanted to combine crystal-clear purity with the subtlety of tastes made from the perfect blend of sweet and bitter orange peels.” The Cointreau family opened the doors to its distillery. Originally in the confectionary and cake-making business, the family sought to create premium, naturally flavored liqueurs that were unavailable at the time. So, they decided to produce it themselves. They had a vision and they fulfilled it!

Cointreau is now often used as an apértif, which is defined as an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Apértifs can be taken before or after meals. But its tangy orange flavor isn’t just good for a stimulating, it’s a sweet liqueur, perfect for cocktails. Spirit lovers everywhere understand the importance of using Cointreau in their premium cocktails. The tanginess of Cointreau with premium liquor creates a cocktail unlike any other. For years, Cointreau has been used in cocktails like margaritas, sidecars and cosmopolitans. It’s also known for being delicious near or over ice!

For those not familiar with this product, we will be hosting a Mixology challenge on Wednesday, June 14th featuring this delicious liqueur! Hosted by Marc Sievers,  you will have the opportunity to show off your best Cointreau cocktails and be named the champion of the mixology competition. Try this legendary liqueur, get your best recipes ready & get ready to mix! Mark your calendars for June 14th at our Adams Street store in Carmel. We can’t wait to see you there. Cheers!

Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey

Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey

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Minor Case’s mission in life was to craft only the finest whiskey. “He never settled for less.” Limestone Branch Distillery’s latest release, Minor Case Straight Rye Whiskey, is a tribute to Minor Case, SteveMinor Case Rye Whiskey and Paul Beam’s great-grandfather. Minor was a distiller prior to the Prohibition era, passing away shortly after the 18th amendment was repealed. Minor had once distilled her products prior to prohibition in the same location Limestone Branch Distillery reopened in 2011. Stephen Beam says the bourbon is their idea of what Minor might have produced if he had the opportunity distil again.

The bottle itself will catch your eye. Its antique, flash look resembles bottles that you would find 100 years ago.

The two-year-old Indiana Rye is finished in Sherry Casks and bottled at 45% ABV. The sherry cask finish gives it a “smooth mouth feel” with hints of dark fruit & spice. According to the bourbon guy, it takes some time for the full effects of the whiskey to develop on the nose. After about 20 minutes of breathing, you’ll find the smells brought on from the sherry cask finish: darker fruits, rich spices, cedar & brown sugar. These same flavors experienced on the palette and finish of the bourbon. The finish lingers, spicy and warm, with strong cider and rye spice flavors.

Interested in trying Limestone Branch Distillery’s latest release? Contact us today to reserve your bottle. You won’t regret trying this exquisite rye whiskey named after a truly legendary man. Raise a glass in tribute to Minor. Cheers!

Old Forester Single Barrel 750mL

Old Forester

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Every year bourbon enthusiast set out seeking to find one to the true “unicorns” of the bourbon world, a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique Collection, or an Old Forester Birthday Bourbon. These bottles are known to be the “Best of the Best” in bourbon. While most people are fixated on the name recognition of “Pappy”, true bourbon drinkers know that the Old Forester Birthday Bourbon is often considered a more preferred prize to acquire. Unfortunately, like the Pappy, it is very limited and only available (if you can find it) one month a year.

The good news is, and what the smartest bourbon drinkers realize, is that before a barrel of Old Forester is hand selected to be included in a bottle of Birthday Bourbon, it starts out as an Old Forester Single Barrel. This is where the magic starts, and this is where the smart bourbon drinkers go the other 11 months of the year!

Payless Liquors has built a reputation of having relationships with some of the best bourbon pallets in the state, and when combined with their great connections with the Old Forester team themselves, it allows them the opportunity to select some of the most sought out selections available on the market. This year’s selection no different. We’ll start off with some tasting notes of this distinct selection.

Nose: Oak, cherries, and rye spice quickly hit you up front. There is a prevalent smell of alcohol as well, but this is to be expected in a 90 proof, but it quickly fades off when allowed to sit, allowing all the true characteristics that Old Forester is known for. A subtle sweetness exists at the end that seems to invite you in to take a sip.

Taste: More of that oak and rye back up what you get off the nose. There is some heat, but not off-putting in any way, that bring in some oak char, then gives way to a beautiful mid pallet. Cherry and dried red fruits enter and blend with some vanilla, and baking spices. Lastly, oak and spice take back over, with hints of burnt sugar to add that needed sweetness to keep the rye spice in check.

Finish: A medium to long finish allows spice to quietly dance on the tongue for a bit before slowly fading into an almost chocolate-like finish. That signature Old Forester wood never steps away too far, from start to finish, but never takes over, and provides the perfect compliment to a beautiful pour of bourbon.

Interested in trying our most recent selection? Contact us today to reserve your bottle. Cheers!

High West Midwinter Night’s Dram

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High West Distillery is located in Park City, Utah. Nestles among rolling hills, it was founded in 2009 by a former biochemist. David Perkins went on a tour of the Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto, Kentucky when it dawned on him. The fermentation and distilling process are very similar to his own work as a biochemist. He and his family relocated to Utah in 2009 tolarge_midwinternightsdramtrimmed open the state’s first legal distillery since 1870. The distillery began small, with just a 250-gallon still in a historic livery stable and garage. Since then, High West won Whiskey Pioneer of the Year in 2011 from Whiskey Advocate America, and now operates out of a 1600-gallon copper pot still. They also opened an educational whiskey tasting, pairing, and tour portion of their distillery that is a must-visit.

The product we are highlighting from this particular distillery is their Midwinter Night’s Dram, a highly appropriate choice for this time of the year as winter is upon us in full force
at the moment. The name of course comes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. The best fix for a cold winter day is a hearty rye, of course! And even better is one that puts you in a dream like state.

The nose of this particular product is a very well balanced mix of spice and fruit. Swirling vanilla and plum are the most evident by far and provide a warm and welcoming aroma that makes you want to dive right in! The second whiff comes with hints of caramel, and cinnamon.

The taste is what one would describe as a “proper Christmas plum pudding with lovely mulling spices, dried fruits, and crème anglaise.” This is the perfect bottle to take off of the shelf for your holiday party. Even better though, it makes the perfect gift! Reserve yours today from one of our convenient locations.

Woodford Releases 2016 Master’s Collection Brandy Cask Finish

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Kentucky is the home of many famous distilleries but the topic of this week’s blog is one of its smallest and oldest. Nestled amongst rolling hills, the Woodford Reserve Distillery was founded in the early 1800s by Elijah Pepper. It was here that whiskey making practices, including the implementation of sour mash into fermentation, used today were actually developed. Master Distiller James Christopher Crow was the man behind the development of these practices, and we owe him many of the perfected products we so love today.

The Woodford Reserve Distillery was also one of the first to utilize copper pot stills. You can see these and other iconic pieces of history (such as a 500-foot-long gravity-fed barrel run and 100-year-old cypress wood fermenters) on site today. In addition to these wrmc_2016_web-1-152x300founding pieces of the practices of distilling, you can see one of the only heated cycled barrelhouses in the world. This is particularly incredible because heated cycled barrelhouses ensure that “every drop seeps into the charred and toasted white oak, giving Woodford Reserve its color and signature flavor. Woodford Reserve distillery is standing history, and riddled with the culture of Kentucky distilling.

Now, onto the star of this post, the Woodford Release 2016 Master’s Collection Brandy Finish. This is the latest release of Woodford Distillery’s Master’s Collection series. As always, let’s start with the aroma. It’s sweet, the first notes to hit you are that of chocolate, followed by dried cranberries and spice. We’re already think this would be an incredible bottle for the holidays!

Next is the initial taste. The first sip is filled with toffee, hazelnut, and a little maple syrup. Its warmth matches its amber color and is everything we could have hoped for and more. The finish is even better, with long lasting notes of warm caramel and nutmeg. It had us reaching for our glass again immediately!

This bottle is nothing short of incredible, and truly upholds the Woodford Reserve name. The last item on our docket is to make sure you reserve your own bottle from your favorite Payless so you can get a chance to try it, too! Trust us, you will not regret it.

Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection Number 1

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This particular bottle that we are going to be talking about today is cognac at its best. I think Hennessy themselves said it best, “it is the first in a series of rare and limited offerings”. Yann Fillioux is a 7th generation Master Blender and the conductor behind this masterpiece, as well as many others from Hennessy. Unlike other cognacs, which strive for consistency, the Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection Number 1 is completely unique and a coveted rarity.

hennessy-master-blenders-selection-no1-cognac_1Hennessy is actually called Jas Hennessy & Co. and its headquarters are located in Cognac, France. They sell about 50 million bottles a year worldwide, which equates to 40 percent of the world’s cognac. Oddly enough, Hennessy was founded by an Irishman named Richard Hennessy in 1765. It is also the world’s largest luxury brand, as it is owned in part by Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. With nearly 30 products and many being limited edition, it’s no surprise that it’s such a popular and coveted cognac.

Now, let’s get down to business. This particular bottle is crafted to be particularly aromatic. It’s scent is bold, but with delicate notes to follow. The first wave is of strong oak and grilled almonds while the second of spicy undertones. The palate is alive with candied apricots, those same delicate spices like clove and cinnamon, followed by earthy oak as a strong finish that will leave you reaching for your glass again.

This limited edition product is unique and can never be duplicated. Its rarity is enough to provoke a collector to reach for their wallet, but the taste and aroma are even more enrapturing than the lore of Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection Number 1. Be sure to reserve your bottle at your favorite local Payless, and let us know what you think!

Lagavulin 8 Year

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Our subject for this week is the coveted Lagavulin 8 year Limited Edition.

This particular bottle is near and dear to my heart as I am an avid lover of my family’s Anglosaxon roots and the show Parks and Rec.
ron-swanson-lagavulin-300x223The Lagavulin distillery is located in Islay, Scotland and it is also the drink of choice for Ron Swanson of Parks and Rec. Any fans out there for either of those things? (If so, you must watch this video, it’s a great video even if you are not, actually.)

Even if you’re not and have had no idea what I was talking about up until now, Lagavulin 8 year is absolutely choice. Lagavulin is world renowned for more reasons than one, and completely deserving of the reputation is has received.

It was founded in 1816, and actually translates from the Gaelic (indigenous Celtic language of Scotland) to lag a’mhuilin, meaning “hollow by the mill”. Which perfectly represents the 1024px-lagavulin_-_entrancedistillery itself. It is a quaint and beautiful building located just a hop and a skip from Port Ellen, Laphroaig, and Ardberg, all of which are also incredible distilleries.

This particular bottle, Lagavulin 8 yr., is very rare. It is not even listed as a product 99% of the time due to its rarity. Which is where we come in, we want to provide you with an up close and personal experience with this coveted product.

We definitely suggest this be taken neat in a whiskey nosing glass.

lagavulin-8-year-oldFirst off, as always, lets start with the nose. This may seem strange to say, but it seems clear that it is from the beautiful coast of Scotland. Right off the bat, there are notes of clean, fresh milk and light tea. Followed by chocolate and lemon, like a fresh spring morning with breakfast by the ocean. It is romanticism and poetry in a glass.

Next is the palate. Lagavulin never disappoints but, if it’s possible, this one was even more bold and beautiful than usual. It is a full on Lagavulin taste with a mix of charred chocolate and maritime flavors.

We definitely suggest ordering a bottle of this at your favorite local Payless and be sure to check back next week for our newest feature! Slán go fóill! (Goodbye in Gaelic)

Seasonal Favorites

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We have a very special treat for you this week! We will be highlighting not one, not two, but THREE items! The first of these is the Black Forest Decadent Red Wine by Cupcake, followed by the Captain Morgan Jack O Blast, and last but not least, Ballast Point Pumpkin Down.

That’s right, we’re going seasonal people.

With temperatures dropping and the days growing shorter, we must turn to alcohol. KIDDING! But it does help to have something delicious to focus out attention on. From pairings to drink recipes, the avenues are endless when these three items get together. I know you’re all getting antsy for me to get to our products for this week, so let’s get down to it!

Wine, oh sweet, delicious, red wine. There is no better time for this (in my very biased opinion) than during these chilly months. We say goodbye to the summer days of zinfandel and sunrises, and hello to cozy sweaters, crackling fires, and savory red wine. Now that is an evening that I’d be fine spending snowed in!

This particular wine is sweeter than most reds, I mean, the label is Cupcake so we can’t expect anything too dry. I personally welcome this sweetness, I mean we’re approaching Halloween for goodness sakes. Adults can have a sweet tooth too, right? Well I say adults deserve to have fun, and if that means pouring a tall glass of liquid sunsets then sign me up! Especially if the dark crimson color matches your vampire lipstick on October first, hello, no need to reapply!! I can definitely get behind that one.

Let’s stay on topic, we have THREE products to get through.

The color, like I said, is a perfect inky, crimson. Deep and inviting at first sight, its scent is even better (hard to believe, I know!). This wine is a blend, and when I say blend, I mean BLEND. It is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel (hey summer), Petite Verdot, and Petite Sirah. See? Told you it was a blend. It may sound like someone got mad at their liquor cabinet and blender at the same time, but I promise that Cupcake is genius for this combination.

Now, back to our senses. The smell is dark berry, perfect for a chilly October night. The blackberries and rich raspberries provide a luscious cushion in your first sip between the Zinfandel and Cabernet. The floral aroma is evident on your second whiff, it is easy to miss so be sure to pay attention to this siren’s call. She pulls you in with nothing short of a drowning devotion to her smooth and smoky power.

Captain Jack O Blast on the other hand provides the friendly and familiar smell and taste of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. This limited edition treat is filled to the brim with every delicious part that rum has to offer, mixed in with just the right amount of seasonal sweetness we all crave during fall. The taste lies somewhere between the spices of cinnamon in a pumpkin drink and the spices of rum we all know and love. The smell is pungent in the best way possible, imagine a liquefied pumpkin pie. A heavy mahogany laced with the sweet and delicate aroma of vanilla and nutmeg. With its amber, honey color, the taste is reflective of that warmth which makes it a welcome addition to any liquor cabinet. Mix it with a little coffee for a perfect cozy treat for any chilly night.

Now, beer and pumpkin, that isn’t a combination as easy to make successful. But, Ballast 02-beers-primary-image-pumpkindownPoint’s Pumpkin Down knocked this one out of the park. “A pumpkin ale that bucks the trend” is what they had to say on this product and it could not be more accurate. This is no attempt at a pumpkin pie beer, no no no. This is roasted pumpkin with a caramel and toffee backsplash. It feels like they made it for those who would rather spend their October nights by the bonfire instead of the fireplace. You can taste the malt and earth in it, softened with the slightest hint of spice that you would want in any good beer. You taste ale with every sip, but this heavy flavor is brought up in the most loving way to reflect the romance of the fall season by culminating a trusting relationship between the hops, cinnamon, and roasted pumpkin flavor. We want to recommend to you that you save this one for a night of risotto with butternut squash or a French onion soup with French bread. Don’t waste this ale, friends, savor it.

All three of these products are available at your favorite Payless. Be sure to reserve yours soon or your fall will be a bit less magical without these liquid autumn concoctions!