Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Caring Spirits: Rogue Ale & Spirits' Hot Tub Scholarship Lager

Not to be Confused with Hot Tub Time Machine




You know those moments when you and your friends are throwing back a few beers, and one of you randomly muses that your group should create your own brew... maybe you even brainstorm names and can designs? Oh, that's strictly a Shoes N Booze Squad thing? Suuuuure. Well just in case you (or someone you know), has a change of mind, Rogue Ales & Spirits is making it easier for future fermenters to learn the art of brewing and distilling.

Rogue will donate 10% of sales from the newly released Hot Tub Scholarship Lager (a classic German pale lager beer with a crisp flavor) to the Jack Joyce Scholarship Fund, which was established in honor of the company's founder to help further the education of aspiring wine and spirits makers.

Since 2014, the Jack Joyce Scholarship has awarded $185, 000 to fifteen recipients at Oregon State University's Fermentation Sciences program (wait... where do we sign up?).

Looking to help spur the future of one of our favorite industries? Click here for Rogue's Beer Finder to see where Hot Tub Scholarship Lager is available near you. Curious about what else Rogue has to offer? Visit Rogue.com.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Booze Review: Cockspur Rums

Yes, We Cane


Rum having a bit of a renaissance at the moment, especially dark rums made for sipping. Not only are there more brands (from more countries) making their way to the shelves, but their distillers are taking more care with their flavor profiles. We must admit, our experience with rums made in Barbados has been limited. We were excited, then, when Bajan brand, Cockspur sent us a couple of bottles for review— The Old Gold and VSOR 12.

Bottles of Cockspur Old Gold and VSOR 12 rums

Cockspur was founded in 1884 by Valdemar Hanschel. It was later passed to the Stade brothers, who were able to create a consistent flavor profile by introducing the first continuous column still to Barbados. They now produce a Fine Rum, Old Gold, VSOR 12, Rum Punch, Spiced Rum, Falernum, Overproof, Pineapple Coconu Splash and Green Apple Splash (most of these are only available in the Caribbean and Bermuda). First, we tasted the Old Gold, an 80 proof blend of light-bodied rum and old, full-bodied pot still rum.

Cockspur Old Gold Rum

On the Nose:

Cockspur's website says it presents notes of vanilla, cream and honey. We agree, but we'd also add caramel, light oak and maybe a hint of orange peel.

On the Tongue:

The flavor is smooth deep and sweet with a spicy finish as it reaches the back of the tongue. There are also some grassy notes at the throat. It has a long finish, with a pleasant spice eventually coating the tongue. In laywoman's terms, it's tasty enough to sip on the rocks with (maybe) an orange peel garnish and would taste great in a cocktail or with a simple splash of ginger beer.

Cockspur VSOR 12 Rum


Moving on to the VSOR 12, the 80 proof Very Special Old Reserve—a premium rum blend of the oldest rums kept on reserve at Cockspur's distillery in Barbados.

On the Nose:

The website mentions notes of toffee, vanilla and oak. We also noticed aromas of apricot or peach and orange. Point blank... it's scent is smooth and sexy.

On the Tongue:

There's definitely a creamy mouthfeel and (which basically means the flavor smoothly coats your entire mouth and disperses smoothly, like cream). The flavor is reminiscent of a good bourbon with strong vanilla, oak and spiced fruit notes. This is definitely a rum for solo sipping or creating cocktails that usually contain bourbon. Also, when it gets cold out, this'll be perfect for hot buttered rum.

Overall thoughts:

These are pretty darn good rums. Both are smooth and flavorful with just the right amount of bite. While we enjoy the VSOR 12, we found the Old Gold a little more pleasant because of its lightness (but maybe blame that on the weather in the NY area finally warming up a bit). Would we keep it in our home bar? Yes! Would we bring it to a house party proudly? Totally! We hope you'll try it and let us know your thoughts.

As always, Indulge wisely and responsibly.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Get the Look: YSL Diamante Boots

Rock it like RiRi




Remember that time Anthony Vacarello stopped the world by sending a pair of mesmerizing silver, jeweled slouch boots down the YSL Fall 17 runway? Did you also seethe with envy swoon when Rihanna wore those exact boots less than a week later?

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

OK, us, too. While we had zero hopes of securing the $10,000 (yes, you read that right) phenoms of footwear, we have since been wondering who would be first to make a similar style available to the masses. (Because in addition to that price tag, there's also a crazy waiting list.) Well, it looks like British brand, Kandee, is among the leaders of that pack with its aptly named "Bad Girl" boot.

Kandee Jeweled Slouch Boot similar to YSL Diamante Boot
Courtesy Image

Though the $550 version doesn't have the structural cone heel (because, uh, hello trademarks), it does have the pointed toe, slouch silhouette and dazzling allover crystals. (That's what matters most, right?) If you're chasing this trend, you'll have to pre-order a pair HERE. They'll take 3-6 weeks to ship— according to Kandee, they're handmade to order. 

As always, indulge responsibly!



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sale Scoop: Ivy Kirzhner NYC Sample Sale

Ivy Kirzhner NYC Sample Sale

Ivy Kirzhner, one of our shoe muses, is having her first ever sample sale in NYC starting tomorrow (you may remember that time we shared our favorites from her Fall 16 collection). The sale will take place at the brand's showroom and flagship location at 750 Greenwich Street, West Village. Shoes will sell for $50- $120. Also, bags from Emm Kuo will be available for $300. Payment must be made by credit card, and all sales will be final (don't say we didnt warn you).

A few styles we hope to find available in our size:

Ivy Kirzhner Alpaca Boot

Ivy Kirzhner Starstruck Ankle Boot

Ivy Kirzhner Swiss Bootie