Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Brian Kaufenberg, Editor-in-Chief
J. Rieger & Co Kansas City Whiskey
This whiskey’s got something for everybody: it’s a blend of straight bourbon whiskey, light corn whiskey, and straight rye whiskey, all aged at least four years, with a small amount of 15-year-old oloroso sherry added for good measure. It starts smooth with candied orange, ginger, and round oloroso depth before unfurling with a raw character defined by stout malt body, bracing rye spice, and a moderate warming alcohol burn on the finish. A damn fine sipper.
Zach McCormick, Social Media Coordinator
3 Floyds Brewing Co. Gumballhead
It’s always a delightful surprise when a long-coveted national name in the beer scene finally makes inroads to the Twin Cities, so imagine my joy upon seeing a rack of 3 Floyds during my weekly liquor run. 3 Floyds has been cranking out superlative beers since the mid-‘90s, and while they’re known for their IPAs, they make a lovely wheat ale called Gumballhead that’s perfect for summer evenings around the fire pit. Crisp and drinkable with a slight hop bristle on the back, it’s the first wheat beer I ever really liked.
Lauren Sauer, Associate Editor
Lake Superior Kayak Kölsch
We Minnesotans love to wax poetic about our summers, but sometimes that sweaty midsummer heat can be tough to love. Thankfully, we’re blessed with tens of thousands of bodies of freshwater to cool off in—it’s simply a matter of picking one and getting out there. This Kölsch-style beer, brewed in the Köln tradition, is the perfect partner for a day spent afloat on the lake, medium-bodied with a soft mouthfeel and graininess up front and a fruity, refreshingly crisp finish. At 5.1% ABV, it won’t leave you feeling too woozy in the summer sun.
John Garland, Deputy Editor
Bumbu Rum, The Original
My fiance loves tiki drinks, which means I’m always looking for interesting rums, and Bumbu fits that bill. It’s made in Barbados from cane sourced throughout the Caribbean and South America, a blend of up-to-15-year rums flavored with spices. At 35% ABV, purists might balk and call it a spiced rum liqueur, and it is no doubt on the sweet side. But when it tastes like bananas Foster on vanilla ice cream, I could care less how it’s classified. Blending in a small measure of Bumbu with my standard Plantation 3-star makes for one delicious daiquiri.