This page is an ever-evolving list of the best drinks I have encountered. It’s mostly beer because that’s mostly what I drink.
Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog — Smuttynose makes some terrific beers; I’ve never had anything from them that I didn’t like. This happens to be the best brown ale I’ve ever had (although it’s an imperial brown ale, which means it’s much stronger). If you want a brown ale that isn’t as strong, go with the Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, which is my second favorite.
Ballast Point Victory at Sea — This is a vanilla imperial porter from the best brewery in California. It’s only available once a year, so get it when it’s out. It’s smooth and flavorful, but it also packs a punch with a high ABV. However, it does not taste as strong its alcohol content.
Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron — Wow, just wow. If you can get your hands on this beer, buy it.
Founders KBS — The greatest stout I have ever tasted–it is utter perfection. This is a rare find, though not as rare as it was when I first tasted it (the bar was one of two places in New Jersey with a single keg of it). Think of a pint of Guinness and make it more flavorful and stronger. Then, add a glass of your favorite bourbon to it. It’s just that good.
Stone Xocoveza — The beer version of Mexican hot chocolate. This is a winter beer from Stone Brewing. This has become one of my favorite winter brews.
Great Divide Espresso Yeti — My favorite of the Yeti series. It’s like a cold alcoholic Turkish coffee.
Coedo Coedonado — A rich malty strong ale from Japan. This is the most consistent (and widely available) craft brewery in Japan, and this was my favorite of their beer. They also make some good IPAs.
Mikkeller Beer Geek Bacon and Beer Geek Vanilla Shake — These are both amazing beers. I had been told about the Beer Geek series, but these are the two that I tried. Bacon is a smooth imperial stout with hints of coffee and bacon. The Vanilla Shake pours like motor oil, but is amazing. Be warned that the latter is 13% ABV, while the former is only 9%.
Boxing Cat Brewery Winter Weight Stout (Shanghai) — This is an amazing winter stout. Unlike other winter beers, it doesn’t have a lot of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or other spices. Instead, this beer is full of peppermint, like a candy cane, which fortunately is not overpowering.
Bluejacket Favorite Things (Washington, DC) — This is a fantastic imperial stout. It’s milky smooth and flavorful, with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. It’s a little on the sweet side, but delicious.
886 Brewing Magnum P.I.P.A. (Taiwan) — This was one of my favorite beers in Taiwan. This would be considered a solid IPA in the US.
Icarus Vlad to Be Here — This is a delicious, strong imperial Russian stout from one of my favorite New Jersey Breweries. This one gets better as it warms up a little, and it packs a wallop at 14.5%.
Troon Brewing — Pretty much everything I’ve had from this little brewery in Hopewell, NJ, is amazing. When getting tastes of multiple beers, I can rank them, and the “worst” of the bunch is still great.
LiV — Long Island potato vodka. This was the first vodka I actually liked. The owners are very friendly too.
High West Whiskey — Campfire and Double Rye are amazing. Unfortunately, they’re a bit too expensive for my whiskey budget.
Old Pulteney — This replaced my writing scotch. It’s affordable and delicious.
Tito’s Vodka — Vodka from Texas!? No, seriously. It’s better than Grey Goose and almost half the price.
Reyka Vodka — Icelandic vodka like no other. Must be something with the lava rock filtration; this vodka has a light flavor with no bite, but comes with a pleasant mellow burn similar to whiskey.
Jim Barry Lodge Hill Shiraz — Probably the most expensive wine I’ve ever bought at about $20 per bottle. It is the best wine I’ve tasted.
Loxarel OPS — I haven’t seen this wine in a long time, but it was great and relatively inexpensive. I told my uncle to buy this (he usually buys much more expensive wines) and he loved it.
Polidori Rosso — Organic wine from Umbria, Italy.
Aperol Spritz — A refreshing Italian cocktail of Aperol, prosecco, and tonic.
War & Pisco — A refreshing literary cocktail at Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Washington, DC.