All posts in “Gear”

This Legendary Brewer Is Brewing Beer Again After 10 Years

Greg Hall happens to be the only person in the world who has sold two different craft alcohol companies to Anheuser-Busch InBev. For this, he’s not the most popular with craft beer purists, who see him as the ultimate sell-out, sitting in an ivory tower counting his blood money. But if you’ve had a 10-minute conversation with Hall, it’s evident that he is someone who cares about what he brews and lives solely for that purpose.

Hall of course is that Greg Hall, whose dad John founded Goose Island Brewery. Who was the brewmaster at said brewery for 20 years. Who pioneered bourbon barrel-aged stouts. Who then left Goose Island in 2011, shortly after his family sold it to Anheuser-Busch, for a jaunt in Europe for a few months. Who then founded Virtue Cider (which is the second alcohol company he sold to ABI). And who is now brewing a Nordic-style lager at Virtue after brewing strictly cider for the past 10 years.

“Well, you know, I never really got away from thinking about beer,” Hall tells me over the phone. “Ironically today is actually the tenth anniversary of my last day at Goose Island.”

I first met Hall a couple of years back during a press tasting of that year’s Goose Island Bourbon County Stout lineup. It was a brisk fall evening in New York City and Hall, in tow from rural Michigan, was donning overalls, a flannel shirt jacket and the standard craft beer beard.

After leaving Goose Island, Hall traveled to France and England to visit with some of the premier cider makers of Europe. And he was immediately struck by the similarities of cider to one of his favorite beer styles.

“One of the things that really intrigued me [was] local fruit,” Hall says. “They’re all using fruit they grow or buy from the neighbors that everybody’s making cider on a farm. And it just reminded me so much like the farmhouse ales of Belgium and Northern France. And I think that those have always been some of my favorite beers.”

This of course coming from a man who loves Saisons so much that he named one after his daughter at Goose Island (Sofie). This compelled Hall to really dive into the world of cider, which he has arguably broken a lot of ground in during the past 10 years. He’s aging in oak (including spent bourbon barrels) and focusing on the acidity and tannins of the apples he’s sourcing from farmers. But it’s also about the apples he’s putting into those barrels, as well as other fruits to get the delicate and complex ciders he’s after. That’s where Vestland, Virtue’s new Nordic-style Lager comes in — which Hall feels is a perfect first beer for Virtue that coincides with the complexity of cider.

Vestland starts with a lager base very similar to a Helles-style lager with a solid malt profile. Some rye malt also was added to produce that nice spiciness and creamy mouthfeel.

As Hall continues, “And then instead of hopping it we kind of go with some of these botanicals. Caraway adds a little bit of nuttiness and complexity into the beer. And then we put juniper in very much like we would with a hop at the end of the boil but then we hit it again post-fermentation. So it’s like dry-hopping but like dry-berrying.”

vestland

Courtesy

As for the taste? Hall describes it as “A beer-flavored beer with juniper notes. It’s kind of floral — you get spicy and fruity all in one. I think if you’re not looking too hard, it just kind of tastes like a new hop variety, but as you dig deeper into the palate it really, to me, what it tastes like more than anything else is the outside.”

Which makes sense, because Virtue has a very similar climate to the Nordic countries and Hall’s whole reason for starting Virtue was to be more in touch with his ingredients.

Vestland releases today, May 12, in Chicago and Michigan and will be available for some time after that. Whether it gets distributed to Virtue’s wider distribution remains to be seen. But Hall’s triumphant return to beer making is not fleeting, as he intends to continue brewing farmhouse style beers that he feels are perfect complements to the complex ciders he’s making.

As Hall says, “We’re trying to make beer that is just like with our cider both refreshing at the end of the day but also serves its place at the table. With cider that’s the same thing we’ve wanted to do, make ciders that were really suitable for the table, and take the place of something like a white wine.”

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Ford CEO Hints the Blue Oval May Build an Electric Bronco

Last year, Ford (finally) launched the all-new Bronco. It has been a boffo hit with potential buyers, with more than 125,000 pre-orders already racked up before the SUV has even entered production. That said, it didn’t receive universal acclaim; some critics felt launching an all-new SUV without even a hybrid option in 2020 didn’t meet the moment. One, a bit theatrically, called the Bronco’s release “an obscene monument to climate denialism.” (And, notably, Jeep’s counter-offensive to the Bronco has involved both putting the hybrid 4xe Wrangler into production and a Wrangler EV concept.)

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But Ford appears to have plans to address the powertrain efficiency issue moving forward. Confronted by a “Tesla-powered” Ford shareholder on Twitter about the lack of EV plans for the Bronco, Ford CEO Jim Farley responded leadingly — all but confirming Ford has something in store for us on the electrification front.

That said, we’d bet a hybrid Bronco will arrive first. Hybrid Bronco rumblings have been persistent; a Bronco gauge cluster leak showed an “EV Coaching” mode, which would only make sense in a hybrid. A hybrid would also be a markedly lower technical lift than an EV, and besides, having one may become a competitive necessity. The Jeep Wrangler has a plug-in hybrid powertrain, and the Toyota 4Runner should get one soon as well. And early returns suggest the hybrids will be the better-performing versions of those vehicles.

Expect a pure electric Bronco to take at least a few years, however — potentially not arriving until the next model cycle. The technological challenge is massive: the Bronco currently runs on the aging Ranger platform, and Ford doesn’t yet have a new dedicated EV platform to swap it with. There’s also not much competitive incentive for one just yet; after all, Jeep’s Magneto concept — literally a stock Wrangler with a crude powerplant swap — only showed how far the competition is away from building one.

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These Headphones Are the Most Affordable Alternatives to AirPods Pro

Wyze has just announced its first pair of truly wireless earbuds, the Wyze Buds Pro — and the big news is that they look almost exactly like Apple’s AirPods Pro, just in black. They also have many of the same features, such as active noise cancellation and wireless charging.

The big difference, however, is price. While Apple’s AirPods Pro cost $249 (although they’re often on sale for around $200), the Wyze Buds Pro are priced at just $60.

Of course the Wyze Buds Pro will come with a lot of tradeoffs, at least as it relates to AirPods Pro. They don’t have Apple’s H1 chip, so they won’t be able to fast-pair to your iPhone. They don’t support for spatial audio or Dolby Atmos, either. And, if we’re being honest, we don’t expect them sound nearly as good or have as excellent noise-canceling and transparency modes. But that’s to be expected in a pair of $60 wireless earbuds.

That said, the Wyze Buds Pro look poised to be the AirPods Pro alternative to beat. They look (and will probably feel) almost identical to Apple’s premium wireless earbuds. And they’re some of the most affordable noise-canceling wireless earbuds you can buy; Amazon’s second-generation Echo Buds and 1More’s ComfortBuds Pro both cost $100.

Additionally, Wyze is an audio company that you can trust. It released the Wyze Headphones last year, after all, and they’re still some of the best budget noise-canceling headphones you can buy.

As for other specs, each Wyze Buds Pro earbud will pack a 10mm high amplitude audio driver, which the company says will deliver “rich treble and strong bass.” They’ll get 4.5 hours of battery life with ANC turned on, and six hours with it turned off. The charging case can give them up to 18 hours of battery life (with ANC turned on); a 15-minute quick charge via its USB-C charging port will give you an hour of playtime. They also have a 6-microphone voice system (three mics in each earbud) so they should deliver good call quality.

The Wyze Buds Pro are available for preorder right now. Wyze expects them to start shipping in late July.

Wyze

Wyze Buds Pro

Wyze wyze.com

$59.99

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The Best Gear to Make Your Garage the Ultimate Workshop

The home garage, for those lucky enough to have one, can be the sanctuary of the at-home mechanic — and provide valuable space to a dedicated DIYer. The importance of having the right tools at the right time cannot be overstated…but what about the garage itself? After all, the space you do all your work could use a little gear love, too.

Sure, the tools are the main protagonist, but there are a handful of big-picture items that any garage needs to be operating at maximum potential (and, of course, give you a place to keep your beer). Here are a few items that every garage needs in order to help turn it into the productivity cave you always wanted it to be.

A Garage Floor Seal

Courtesy

Epoxy-Seal Concrete & Garage Floor Paint

Seal Krete amazon.com

$46.68

Above all else, laying down an epoxy-seal on the garage floor should take precedence. Not only will it help protect the concrete from wear and tear, but it makes cleaning up oil and other liquid spills exponentially easier.

Garage Flooring Tile

Courtesy

GarageTrac Diamond Durable Interlocking Modular Garage Flooring Tile

Big Floors amazon.com

$128.99

Interlocking floor tiles go one step further in protecting your garage floor and making cleanups easier. The added diamond pattern adds crucial grip – and classic styling – too.

A Garage Tool Chest

Heavy-Duty 15-Drawer Tool Chest

Husky homedepot.com

$898.00

No garage is complete without a tool chest. A 15-drawer example from Husky will do nicely — it’s durable, supports up to 120 pounds and has power strips and a bottle opener built in.

A Garage Light

Lithonia Lighting Adjustable Indoor LED Garage Light

Lithonia Lighting amazon.com

$114.98

Lighting is crucial in any work space; it’s important you can see what you’re doing and see it well. 5000 Lumens from this Lithonia Lighting LED light will absolutely do the job.

An Auto Lift

Triumph 10,000-LB 2-Post Clear Floor Overhead Auto Lift Hoist Car Lift

Triumph amazon.com

$2,395.00

An auto lift is aimed more at the at-home mechanics, but having one makes working on a car exponentially easier. Imagine a world in which you don’t have to slither your way under your car to tighten a bolt at an awkward angle? Sounds like garage heaven.

Good Garage Storage

NewAge 18-Gauge Welded Steel Garage Cabinet Set

NewAge Products homedepot.com

$1,699.99

Having a tool chest is one thing, but proper storage and — specifically, wall cabinets – is is another necessity. New Age Garage Storage offers different sizes as well as modular units that keep all the extra clutter in your garage neat, organized and out of the way.

A Garage Refrigerator

Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

Unique homedepot.com

$1,019.32

Installing a fridge in your garage sounds like a luxury, but when you’re covered in oil, grease and sawdust, the last thing you want to do is track that mess through your house. Besides… beer.

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Save Hundreds on Allen Edmonds Shoes and Boots with This Factory Seconds Sale

Looking for even more great savings? Head over to Today’s Best Deals page to see all our top deals from today.


Looking for a deal on quality American-made leather footwear? Now at Allen Edmonds, you can save hundreds on factory seconds. The options span the breadth of the brand’s catalog and offer the same quality you’ve come to expect. A prime example is the Higgins Mill boot ($299), which normally retails for $445. It features Chromexcel leather, a Dainite all-weather sole, Goodyear welt construction and a stacked leather heel.

All of the factory seconds offered last just as long as any other Allen Edmonds products and they’re also resoleable — they just have an inconsequential blemish incurred in the handmade process.

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The 6 Best Beers to Drink This Summer

All beers are summer beers when you drink it in the summer. But when we talk about the best beers to drink in the summer, we have a few styles in mind. The ideal summer beer is easy to drink — and easy to drink a lot of. Think: crispy lagers, juicy IPAs and soda-like sours. These are the beers you reach for over a tall glass of water, not because they’re any more hydrating, but because they just go down so damn easy. So while the kids are grabbing their juice boxes, reach for one of these great summer beers.

Jack’s Abby House Lager

Courtesy

House Lager

Jack’s Abby totalwine.com

$9.99

Style: Helles Lager
ABV: 5.2%
Brewery Location: Framingham, MA

Jack’s Abby manages to be nearly everywhere, but doesn’t get the credit it deserves for making one of the best lager-style beers ever. Its House Lager, styled after a landbier, is as golden as golden can be. It has a comforting malty backbone with a nice bread-like sweetness and mild, pleasant bitterness.

Sierra Nevada Summer Break

Courtesy

Summer Break

Sierra Nevada totalwine.com

$20.99

Style: Session Hazy IPA
ABV: 4.6%
Brewery Location: Chico, CA

Just like summer breaks in school, you’ll hope this beer never ends. Sierra Nevada has yet to disappoint in its 40-year lifetime. This session IPA retains the tropical flavors and haziness of a full-on IPA, but manages to bring it down to a crushable 4.6 percent ABV.

Hopewell Brewing Scenic Route

Courtesy

Scenic Route

Hopewell Brewing Co. hopewellbrewing.com

Style: Witbier
ABV: 5.0
Brewery Location: Chicago, IL

Ditch the frat bro Blue Moons, and discover what a witbier should really taste like. Samantha Lee’s Hopewell Brewing makes a seasonal wheat beer, Scenic Route, that’s zesty and hazy thanks to the addition of orange peel, coriander and both raw and malted wheat.

Brooklyn Brewery Pulp Art

Courtesy

Pulp Art

Brooklyn Brewery totalwine.com

$7.49

Style: Hazy IPA
ABV: 6.5%
Brewery Location: Brooklyn, NY

Somehow Brooklyn Brewery managed to capture a taste of the tropics in a 12-ounce can. The brewery’s latest release, Pulp Art, holds its own against the flagship Brooklyn Lager, and provides a nice hazy alternative to the East IPA. Take a sip and get notes of all your favorite tropical fruits, like mango and pineapple, minus the mosquitoes.

Dogfish Head SeaQuench Ale

Courtesy

SeaQuench Ale

Dogfish Head totalwine.com

$10.99

Style: Session Sour
ABV: 4.9%
Brewery Location: Milton, DE

SeaQuench is a bunch of beer styles in one, but all you need to know is it’s damn good. It’s also sort of like a beer, wine and margarita got really drunk together and ended up in a can together. It’s highly drinkable like a Kölsch, slightly salty and sour like a gose and tart like a Berliner Weisse.

New Belgium Sour IPA

Courtesy

Sour IPA

New Belgium totalwine.com

$11.99

Style: Sour IPA
ABV: 7.0%
Brewery Location: Fort Collins, CO2

This is a shockingly easy-to-drink IPA considering its high ABV. It probably has to do with its bright, zippy acidity. New Belgium crafts its Sour IPA by brewing its base IPA, that’s then blended with a bit of its Foeder-Aged Golden Sour. The beer gives notes of lychee and peaches, and if you drink too many, you might think you’re actually eating those fruits.

This Jacket Is a Spring and Summer Necessity

Talking Points:

AETHER Nevada Jacket

If your wardrobe is lacking a lightweight but durable jacket for spring and summer, then look no further than the Nevada Jacket from AETHER. Fully water- and wind-resistant with a clean design, this jacket is the refresh your windbreaker collection needs. It’s up for whatever you have planned this season, thanks to its woven fabric that is not only water-resistant, but also offers plenty of breathability. Plus, with AETHER’s Lifetime Manufacturing Guarantee, you can adventure in this jacket for life.


aether nevada wind breaker

Aether

aether nevada wind breaker

Aether


Thoughtfully Designed

This elevated windbreaker was designed to take an ordinary wardrobe staple and produce an upgraded sophisticated look. Plus, with its flat-felled construction at the seams, this jacket is as sleek as it is durable.

Pockets

With patch chest pockets and in-seam hand pockets with hidden snaps, this jacket has a pocket for everything. You will have a place to store your phone, keys and wallet whether you are riding the trail or running errands in the city.

Versatile

When mother nature is at its worst, there’s a hood with adjustable Cohaesive® cord locks. And when the sun comes out mid-hike, pack it into the standing collar with a concealed zipper for a super-clean look.


Price: $350

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Gear Patrol Studios

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The Bit Bar Inline Is the Screwdriver That Tackles All Your Daily Tasks

We’ve been following the work of Chadwick Parker & Joe Huang–aka BigiDesign–since the very beginning. The brand has grown from just pens to an impressive catalog of EDC tools over the course of more than…

The post The Bit Bar Inline Is the Screwdriver That Tackles All Your Daily Tasks first appeared on Cool Material.

The Man Behind Some of the World’s Best Eyewear

A version of this story first appeared in Gear Patrol Magazine. Subscribe today for more stories like this one, plus receive a $15 gift card to the Gear Patrol Store.


All I see on the tiny screen are a bearded smile, a wool hat and a pair of handmade sunglasses. Some 7,000 miles away, Tommy O’Gara walks me through a small factory in western Japan, where he and half a dozen craftspeople turn out some of the world’s finest eyewear. O’Gara is a boyish 62, and even over FaceTime, he oozes the kind of energy that only comes from finding great success in something you love. His accent is hard to place, as if it has become unmoored by four decades of living in Japan and isn’t quite sure where it belongs. The son of a steel erector, O’Gara grew up in South Sioux City, Nebraska. And he strikes me as the most improbable Nebraskan since Marlon Brando.

issue 16 mag to web tommy o gara

O’Gara went straight from The University of Nebraska to Japan for graduate school in 1982. “The same year The Clash started their Japanese tour,” he likes to say. O’Gara has since earned legendary status as an eyewear designer through his dynamic creative force and fearless integrity: he was the creative director of both Freshjive Japan and Dita Eyewear, and launched Thom Browne Asia. His own company, The Light Co. Ltd., produces eyewear for Sauvage, Native Sons, Visvim, Supreme, Neighborhood, Deus Ex Machina, Max Pittion — a brand owned by none other than John Mayer — Julius Tart, Shady Character, El Solitario and others.

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The single-story manufacturing facility where O’Gara creates his frames was once an outbuilding that stored tracftors and tools on a rice farm. These days, it’s buzzing with creativity.

Gui Martinez

“The art, the history, architecture and craftsmanship of Japan has always piqued my interest,” says O’Gara, whose fascination with Japanese culture stretches back to his teens. In college, he practiced Kendo and Karate, studied Asian military history and took Japanese language classes, all in preparation for going to Japan. “I feel that it was always in the cards for me to go,” O’Gara says.

issue 16 mag to web ogara

While studying in Nagoya, he became one of only two non-Japanese students ever to be accepted into the centuries-old Yagyu Shinkage Ryu sword school, and after grad school, he moved to Tokyo and began his design career as the creative director for a skate- and snowboard brand. Later, while developing eyewear for Dita, he got to know the ins and outs of Japan’s handmade-eyewear traditions. But the quality-over-all mentality he connected with eventually clashed with the profit-over-all mentality of the fashion industry, where he says the businesspeople treated their brands like ATMs. So he made the bold decision to run his own show. “The only way to control your own destiny in this type of hardware fashion is to do it with your own team, directly, and not through a third party,” he says.

issue 16 mag to web ogara

To that end, O’Gara’s frames offer a rare blend of avant garde design and timeless lines. They are known globally for their classic and elegant shapes, their impeccable craftsmanship and, most of all, the subtle embellishments found on every pair.

Where these little wearable works of art originate from may come as a surprise. The single-story factory was once an outbuilding that stored tractors and tools for a rice farm. Everyone else who works here is Japanese, and they bow and nod to my image on FaceTime politely as he walks by with his phone. He speaks to them in fluent Japanese, sounding more comfortable in his adopted language than he does in English. He jokes that depending on how his last name is pronounced, it either sounds Irish-American, “oh-GAIR-ah,” or Japanese, “OH-gur-ah.”

issue 16 mag to web ogara
Tommy O’Gara

Gui Martinez

The machines that occupy the factory are big, mechanical, greasy, turquoise-colored and old. They read “Sabae,” (pronounced “sa-BYE”), the name of both the region where they operate and the company that made them half a century earlier. “Those things are fifty years old at least,” O’Gara says. “But we had them fully refurbished.”

He shows me the machine that cuts the brass jigs to make the frames. Each design requires a custom solid-brass jig, and no jig will work for more than one or two models. To make the temples for a pair of frames, there are two nearly identical sets of machines for the right and left sides: machines for cutting the temples, machines for milling them out, machines for bending the temples, machines for drilling holes in them, machines for cutting the angled joints where the temples meets the frames, and machines for embedding the hinges. I ask him to clarify the bit about having two copies of every machine. “That’s some handmade-eyewear shit,” he laughs. To the uninitiated, the sequence of machines is both immediately intuitive and unbelievably complex.

issue 16 mag to web tommy o gara
O’Gara’s operation uses specialized machines, many of which are 50 years old and have been fully refurbished.

Gui Martinez

After the final polish stage, frames are hung to dry on a rack called a tree. “It’s not super complex but you have to have everything ready and in line,” O’Gara says. With six employees, this facility produces 2,000 high-end acetate frames per month.

O’Gara comes by his manufacturing discipline honestly. “My dad was an amazing builder,” he says. He even built the high school O’Gara went to. “I grew up sitting on the floor of the site trailers with my dad, figuring out how to set steel from a very young age,” he says. And his early interest in building didn’t stop when he moved to Japan — he merely switched industries. “Once I started in eyewear,” says O’Gara, “I spent more and more time in Sabae with the owners and engineers of these factories, and I learned how to do this.”

issue 16 mag to web ogara
The machines that occupy O’Gara’s factory are big, mechanical, greasy, turquoise-colored and old. They read “Sabae,” (pronounced “sa-BYE”), the name of both the region where they operate and the company that made them half a century earlier.

Gui Martinez

Business has never been better for The Light Co. Their domestic Japanese business alone has grown 40 percent since the onset of COVID-19. “People not going out to the office don’t wear contacts, so they just want some frames,” he says. His is one of the only local businesses that didn’t cut jobs because of the pandemic. He kept buying advertising in Japanese fashion magazines throughout the shut-down, even though people weren’t going out to shops, just to help keep these publications afloat.

issue 16 mag to web ogara

After a tour of the factory, O’Gara steps outside. Suddenly, we’re surrounded by rice fields. “The freeze will end soon,” he says. “The rice farmers will be out here working every day.” I spot a black AMG 1998 V6 G-Wagon behind him. It’s his. Four-wheel-drive is a requirement in Sabae because “it snows a shit-ton here,” he says.

It was this heavy snow, and the threat it posed to a local economy based on rice farming, which inspired a pioneering local at the turn of the 19th century to develop an eyewear industry as a way to diversify their economy. World War II led to advancements in eyewear and manufacturing in general, and Sabae was the only major Japanese production site that survived the war. The post-war economic expansion provided a growing market for Sabae’s signature product, and the town that once had to import its experts from Tokyo now makes over 90 percent of the eyewear produced in Japan. In the early 1980s, Sabae’s engineers were the first in the world to make eyeglass frames out of titanium. This legacy and culture of cutting-edge eyewear expertise, the tight-knit community of engineers and suppliers, and the deep expertise of local craftspeople all combine to make eyewear from Sabae the finest in the world.

issue 16 mag to web ogara
“We can go from design to the prototype in twenty days.”

Gui Martinez

What makes Tommy O’Gara’s position in Sabae so unique is how difficult it is for an outsider to develop a holistic understanding of Japanese eyewear’s complex production methods, acquired by local craftspeople over years, if not generations.

“There are so many steps in the production process — over two hundred and fifty steps to make metal frames,” says Hidemi Umeda, owner of a Sabae eyewear engineering company, Umeda Inc., who works with Tommy on metal and combination frames. “Tommy’s designs are very unique in that he creates a design from zero, instead of referring to other eyewear products like other designers,” says Umeda. “He wants them to look simple, but they are very difficult to produce, which is an inspiring challenge.”

O’Gara’s design process is effervescent and inspired. Hearing him talk about it — the cadence of his voice, the energy that animates him — I can tell this is the part of the process where he really slips into his flow state.

“I don’t work on two brands at once. And I start by packing my van or jumping on my bike, and just going somewhere for inspiration.” Recently that meant a solo drive on Japan’s snowy mountain roads. Sometimes it means surfing, or a ride on his 1982 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Street Tracker. When working on his Sauvage line — which was inspired by a blend of French and Japanese culture — it meant running around different Parisian flea markets, poster shops and paint stores. Next he builds up what he calls “vibe sheets” with images of objects, people, architecture, airplanes, cars, motorcycles — anything that inspires him. (A recent collection was inspired by ‘70s stereo equipment.) Then he writes about it longhand in notebooks and sketchbooks — what he likes, how these things move him, what inspires him. “Gathering the inspiration and the writing take twice as much time as the design, but that’s the fun part,” he says.

issue 16 mag to web ogara
Frames are polished in multiple stages from rough to fine in a mixture of pine chips and bamboo pieces.

Gui Martinez

issue 16 mag to web ogara
O’Gara holds clear cellulose acetate chips from Takiron that will be layered with other colors to create a speckled block of acetate. Frames are then cut and milled from this multi-color material.

Gui Martinez

From the writing, he picks out shapes — beginning with the lenses — before moving on to the frames. He scans his hand drawings into his computer, and then sits back and thinks about the lines. “After I choose the lines and dial in the fronts and the temple shapes, I hand them off to my assistant and he does all the spec sheets,” O’Gara says. “Every line delineates a carve, a cut, or an angle. Then we have to make tools, or bits, to cut that angle. Every line you see on a frame is done by a different bit.” So an engineer in his factory takes these specifications and turns them into blueprints, which drive the machines. These steps between design and fabrication are usually where things can become distorted, which is why his vertically integrated process is so important to maintaining design and manufacturing purity. It also shortens the process: “We can go from design to the prototype in twenty days.”

O’Gara doesn’t look at other eyewear for inspiration, nor is he satisfied with stock acetate colors. He happened to be wearing the Kowalski frames from his Native Sons brand, inspired by the film, Vanishing Point, when we spoke. “This color is called blood,” he says, pulling off his frames and holding them up to the computer camera, “Because one night in the studio, I poked my finger and bled onto A4 paper, and I photographed it as it was drying, just so I could get the right tone.” All the acetate colors he uses, except for black and clear, are custom colors that he creates with the scientists at Takiron.

“He’s a whirlwind,” says Carby Tuckwell, cofounder of the motorcycle and fashion brand Deus Ex Machina. “He talks a million miles an hour, always churning up ideas.” Tuckwell created an eyewear line with O’Gara that quickly sold out. The two are now developing a second collection called Deus Special Ops. “Eyewear is a small space [in which] to express something,” Tuckwell says. “Eyewear designers are big personalities, they’re gregarious, and even a little bit crazy — and Tommy fits into that.”

issue 16 mag to web ogara

Gui Martinez

issue 16 mag to web ogara

Shortly before we hang up, O’Gara pauses our conversation to greet one of his workers who was just showing up for work — late. He’s a widower who lives alone, O’Gara later tells me, and he needed time to take his dog on a morning walk. “He’s part of our ‘Silver Team,’” O’Gara explains. He, like the rest of the Silver Team, works on flex time. “They can come and go however works for them,” O’Gara says. And they repay his flexibility by working doubly hard during heavy production runs. “We are all pretty much linked together.”

O’Gara is looking to double his production by this time next year. “We are interviewing now. A lot of people lost jobs during COVID, so now is a good time for me to expand and help people out at the same time,” he says.

issue 16 mag to web ogara

Gui Martinez

issue 16 mag to web ogara

Gui Martinez

From factory to face, O’Gara is driven by the highest purposes of his craft. He likes to look at a person’s face to intuit what frames would best suit them, both physically and psychologically. Maybe it’s clear-lens frames for a female executive in a male-driven industry, or dark lenses for a jazz musician craving armor while he emotes through his instrument. “Eyewear is part of a person’s repertoire for representing their image,” O’Gara says. “And if that pair of frames fits the bone structure, the style, the hair, the skin tone… that person can be warm, they can be cool, they can be passionate, they can be anything they want to be. Because their eyewear gives them the confidence.”

As for the business side, he’s cemented his company’s reputation by doing things the hard way. “If you chase money, you’ll get to a certain level, but if you build something dynamic that has its own message, the money will follow.” The dark side of the fashion business — the ruthlessly commercial side — is what led him to the path he’s on, which is why he named his company, “The Light.”

“It’s been a lot of fun,” he says. “And I hope we can have more fun.”

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issue 16 mag to web ogara
issue 16 mag to web ogara

Infiniti’s CEO Talks About the Future of the Luxury Brand

Infiniti CEO Peyman Kargar knows his way around the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. Since starting at Renault in 1996, he’s worked his way up and around both the French carmaker and its dominant Japanese partner, taking responsibility for both myriad regions of the world — Africa, the Middle East, India — and many pieces of the companies, including quality, after-sales engineering and marketing.

On June 1 of last year, however, he climbed into the big chair at Infiniti. He took over command of the 31-year-old luxury brand during a time of both global and automotive upheaval, with the COVID-19 pandemic shifting paradigms up and down society and the seeming inevitability of electric mobility over internal combustion.

While the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is one of the biggest producers of electric cars on Earth, in the short term, Infiniti’s plans are tied to gas-powered crossovers; the QX55 that launched early this year brings a more design-forward entry to the company’s compact crossover line, while later on in 2021, a new QX60 will attempt to make a splash in the midsize luxury SUV arena.

While we weren’t able to sit down with Kargar directly, on account of the fact that he’s based in Japan and we’re located in New York City (plus, you know, that whole coronavirus thing), we were able to correspond with him electronically and ask him a few questions about the future of the luxury brand. Here’s what he had to say.

Gear Patrol: You’ve been CEO for almost a year now. How has the company culture changed since you started there?

Peyman Kargar: I’ve tried to institute a more common-sense approach to the business. I encourage our team to prioritize a healthier balance of performance metrics, to ensure we are a sustainable luxury brand for decades to come. I also am a big believer in promoting open debate and discussion among my leaders, and listening more to the market, since they really have the consumer’s pulse.

Does Infiniti plan to follow some of its competitors further into the off-road and overlanding spaces?

Our flagship QX80 has always been off-road-capable, and we will continue to nurture that capability in our flagship SUV. But we won’t be moving the whole lineup in that direction.

infiniti ceo peyman kargar
Infiniti CEO Peyman Kargar.

Infiniti

Many luxury brands are making big inroads into the electric vehicle market. You, however, have said you plans to roll out both a regular EV and ones using Nissan’s e-Power hybrid powertrain (which uses a gas-powered engine as an electric generator). Are you still sticking with your plan to push into electrification using e-Power, rather than go to full-blown EVs anytime soon?

Infiniti was founded on the principles of being human, daring and forward. The human, customer-centric side of our brand intends to listen to our customers and provide them choices regarding powertrains. In the future, Infiniti will offer a variety of powertrain options, from the traditional internal-combustion engines to our performance version of e-Power to full EVs. Our markets vary widely from the U.S. to Russia, to China and the Middle East. We believe choice for customers will be the key for our lineup going forward.

Does Infiniti plan to push further upmarket in the near future?

Yes. We are dedicated to matching luxury consumers’ needs, many of whom have moved upmarket and expect an authentic and unique experience from luxury brands. You will see that the upcoming lineup from Infiniti, which will blend beautiful Japanese craftsmanship, seamlessly integrated technology, and confident performance for our customers.

Turning to current models for a second. Infiniti helped pioneer the trendy “crossover coupe” segment with the FX models almost two decades ago; now you’ve come back to it with the QX55. How did the FX influence the new QX55?

In many ways, the FX really embodies what we stand for as a brand. It was daring and innovative and pioneered an entirely new automotive genre. Our design team looked to the iconic FX for inspiration in returning to the crossover coupe category with the QX55. The QX55’s silhouette, the dynamic arch treatment for the greenhouse, and the overarching bold design are all a nod to the FX and designed to capture the hearts of buyers looking for an expressive vehicle that stands out from the crowd.

infiniti fx
2003 Infiniti FX

Infiniti

infiniti qx 55
2022 Infiniti QX55

Infiniti

But the QX55 simply doesn’t repeat the FX formula; it pushes the category forward. It offers a beautiful balance of style and substance, with rear seat and cargo space that I am sure will surprise many, and it is equipped with a suite of advanced technology and connectivity to meet the needs of today’s premium segment customers.

Infiniti, and Nissan, have announced plans to begin the more widespread use of a nine-speed automatic transmission.Why isn’t the new nine-speed automatic available in the QX55? Will the new gearbox eventually replace the CVT through the lineup?

The QX55 is built alongside the QX50 and although it features a unique design to appeal to a very different buyer, it does share a selection of components, including the rigid platform and powertrain. Engineering a unique engine or transmission combination was not an option at launch. That said, our talented engineering and development teams in Japan and across North America have been working for some time to ensure the QX55 delivers an engaging drive to match its head-turning looks.

Our innovative VC-Turbo engine is paired to a transmission that has been improved to ensure it delivers greater response, especially when paired to the standard all-wheel drive and 20-inch wheels. Whether you might see certain engines or transmissions used in the future, I can’t go into that today.

How did the new QX60 change in response to customer input? What did they like (and dislike) about the old version, and how did you go about addressing that?

Our current QX60 is a cornerstone model for the brand, and we’ve sold more than 400,000 units globally. Buyers appreciate the dedicated three-row packaging, the powerful V-6 engine, and the interior versatility. We’ll carry these strengths into the all-new 2022 model while adding a more confident and engaging drive, more technology, and an interior designed to spoil both the driver and the passengers.

We’ve given you a good indication of the powerful yet sleek design direction we will take the exterior with the QX60 Monograph late last year. I can also confirm that overall, you’re going to see a decidedly more premium offering from Infiniti when we reveal the next-generation vehicle in just a few months.

infiniti qx60 concept
Infiniti QX60 Monograph concept

Infiniti

What’s the most rewarding part about working for Infiniti? The most challenging part?

The brand values of Infiniti really speak to who I am as a person. I love the brand philosophy of never giving up, daring to challenge conventions, and being your own person. That brand ethos, and the wonderfully international team we have put together here in Yokohama, are my favorite parts of the job.

The most challenging part is trying to predict the future of the luxury market. We are in such a dramatic time of change for the world, and it’s not always easy to look in your crystal ball and predict what will happen next. The luxury market and the needs of luxury customers are continually changing. The good news? When you stick to the DNA and your brand’s values, you will never disappoint your customers. And when you deploy all your passion and energies to be a brand that makes a deep emotional connection to your targeted customers, you will have a good chance to avoid failure. We are reconnecting with our roots and ensuring that we can connect with our customers in the future.

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The Best Watch Magazines, Zines and Journals

Don’t get us wrong: We think you should read Gear Patrol for all your watch-related news. And, of course, our friends at great sites like HODINKEE, Worn & Wound, etc, etc, etc. We read ’em all, personally.

But sometimes, you just want a good, ol’ fashioned, physical thing to read. You know, like a a magazine, or a zine, or a journal or something. One of those things that looks great on your coffee table. (Such as, you know, the print version of Gear Patrol.)

So here’s a short list of some of our favorite watch-related print media. Some of it’s from the established watch media, and some of it’s zines from watch brands, and some of it’s, well, other stuff. But it’s all fun stuff, and makes for great reading. Check it out!

MIIK

GP-1/0, Issue 1

mkiiwatches.com

$45.00

Guinea Pig One/Zero isn’t necessarily (only) about watches, but it does serve as an extension of American watch brand MK II’s ethos (read: experimental, experiential). Expect cool stories and explorations of the outdoors, entrepreneurship, history, and more.

Hodinkee Shop

HODINKEE Magazine, Volume 7

hodinkee.com

$38.00

If you love watches — and cars, and hi-fi, and nice shit in general — than this is the magazine for you. Beautifully designed and photographed, HODINKEE’s print publication is a must-read exploration of watches and the communities surrounding them.

Revolution

Revolution USA 2 Year Subscription

revolutionwatch.com

$145.00

Revolution is one of the best dedicated watch websites in the ‘biz — but their print magazine is worth shelling out the extra bucks for. If you’re into watches — especially stories about cool independent brands from all over the world — subscribe right meow.

Gear Patrol

Gear Patrol Annual Magazine Subscription

gearpatrol.com

$55.00

What, you thought we weren’t gonna plug our own magazine? LOL. If you like watches, we do watches. Like, in-depth, glossy, journalistic, inside-scoop sorta stuff. We also do tech, cars, style, food and drink, outdoors and fitness, homewares, and plenty more.

WatchTime

WatchTime All Access Subscription

Reviews watchtime-shop.com

$49.97

WatchTime has been producing some of the most compelling watch-related content since 1999. Their print magazine is perfect for those who crave in-depth reporting about everything from the big Swiss brands to independents and everything in between.

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A Pharrell-Approved Hot Sauce and 4 More Home and Design Releases

Welcome to Window Shopping, a weekly exercise in lusting over home products we want in our homes right the hell now. This week: beach towels you won’t want to lose, a product for better laundry days and more.

Jah Mama Hot Sauce

jah mama hot sauce

Simon Chasalow

This hot sauce made me tear up. Not because it was super hot, but because it was just so damn good — OK, its Scotch bonnet peppers did trigger the waterworks. Crafted by music producer Jahphet Landis, also known as Roofeeo, Jah Mama is Landis’ homage to his mother’s pepper sauce. It also happened to get Pharrell William’s nod of approval when he tried it on his Instagram Stories. The hot sauce gets its heat from Scotch bonnet peppers and fresno chilies, which provides a delayed, but lingering, heat. But Jah Mama isn’t just about providing fire — it’s full of flavor, too. To give the sauce its Caribbean flair, Roofeeo added ingredients culantro, shallot and turmeric, which make you want to drink the stuff straight from the bottle. Don’t though, unless you have a jar of Tums near by.

Price: $13

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Five Two Fresh Start Laundry Bag

five two fresh start laundry bag

Food52

Anything to make laundry day easier is a Gear Patrol-approved purchase in my book. Five Two’s new Fresh Start laundry bag is one of those things. Fresh Start is essentially an extra-long backpack to easily schlep all your dirty clothes and laundry-related essentials to the laundry room. It has a slot to keep your extra laundry money, a pouch to hold your detergent and a drawstring opening for when your bag is overflowing with soiled clothing. Honestly there’s nothing holding you back from using this as an actual backpack since you could probably store a week’s worth of clothing in here for your next getaway,

Price: $59

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The Goods Mart x Peter Som Snack Box

the goods mart x peter som snack box

The Goods Mart

Fashion designer Peter Som partnered with The Goods Mart, a high-end NYC-based convenience store, on a snack box consisting of Peatos Crunchy Curls, Zest Thai Mushroom Jerky, Ancient Provisions Cheddar Cheezish Crackers, Good Fish Spicy BBQ Salmon Skin, Union Whole Earth Snacks Pepperoni Crisps, Good Crisps Classic Original, Little Secrets Crispy Wafers and Wholesome Delish Fish. For every purchase, $10 goes to Heart of Dinner, which provides meals to low-income Asian elders in New York City’s Chinatown.

Price: $60

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Kin Euphorics Lightwave

kin euphorics lightwave

Kin

Kin Euphorics makes non-alcoholic drinks that make you feel good instead of feeling good then crashing the next day with a gnarly hangover. Its new canned drink, Lightwave, is touted as providing a “grounded calm.” Lightwave is a combination of adaptogens, to help destress; nootropics, to boost cognitive function; and botanics, to actually make the drink taste good. It tastes of lavender and vanilla with a bit of smoked seat salt, and it’s equal parts delicious and functional.

Price: $27/four-pack

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Brooklinen Beach Towels

brooklinen beach towels

Brooklinen

Brooklinen is known for its bedding and bathroom products, but it also has beach towels. Like the brand’s bath towels, the beach towels are just as soft and absorbent. Brooklinen tapped Norway-based artist Isabelle Feliu to design its towels in Daybreak and Moonscape prints, both of which will be easy to spot on a sandy shore.

Price: $65+

SHOP NOW

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Today’s Best Deals: $1,000 off a BergHOFF Ceramic BBQ, 15% off Powerbeats Pro & More

Welcome to Deals of Note, where Gear Patrol captures all the best deals of the day. You can also visit GearPatrol.com/Deals for constant updates on the latest deals discovered by our team.

EDITOR’S PICKS

The most rare or exceptional deals picked by Gear Patrol’s product experts.

OUTDOOR DEALS

FITNESS DEALS

STYLE DEALS

TECH DEALS

HOME & KITCHEN DEALS

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Train With an Olympic Coach Wherever You Are

Talking Points:

Future Fitness

Getting in an effective and productive workout with nothing but your own knowledge to guide and motivate you can be a daunting task. Take the fear out of fitness with Future, a digital fitness platform that pairs you with your own elite personal trainer. All you need to do is tell them a little bit about your lifestyle and goals, and your Future coach takes it from there. With customized workout plans tailored to your schedule and set up, there is no reason you can’t get in your best shape wherever you plan to spend the summer.


future fitness app

Future Fitness


Elite Coaching

Over 80 percent of Future coaches have trained professional, collegiate or Olympic athletes, and over 95 percent have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science (the majority also have a master’s degree). Plus, you’ll be able to build a real relationship with your coach who will be constantly adjusting and fine-tuning your workouts based on your progress and goals.

Accountability

Sometimes the hardest part of a workout is actually getting yourself to start it. This won’t be an issue with Future coaches, who check in daily via text and calls, holding you accountable each day and encouraging you to complete your workout.

Flexibility

Have a busy summer planned? Not a problem, Future provides personal training at any time, whether you work out at the gym, outside, on the go or at home. They’ll adjust your plan to wherever you are that day or week — so, fortunately (or unfortunately), there won’t be any excuses to skip a workout.

Gear Patrol readers can take 50 perfect off their first month of Future, simply click through at the link below.

Learn More


Gear Patrol Studios

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The Latest Volume of Road & Track Is All About the Lost Art of Getting Lost

See what’s inside the latest edition of Road & Track, available now.

A little more than a year ago (a week or so after all our lives turned upside down), I had a conversation with Road & Track executive editor Dan Pund about a trip we both took in 2012 to a very remote, and very exquisite, hotel on the border of Utah and Arizona. It’s called Amangiri, and the trip has become a thing of lore in the car-magazine world. We were there for only a night, between road tests of the 2013 Range Rover, but we both have vivid memories of the breakfast, a practically divine interpretation of huevos rancheros. It was almost­—almost—beyond description.

Over the years, that single breakfast has come up in conversations in multiple cities with a variety of writers and editors. Dan and I decided that if we ever got the opportunity, we would work our way back to Amangiri, to that meal, and write about it. We would plan an off-roading journey that’s frivolous and demanding, on a lost track of road through some of America’s remotest territory­—all in the pursuit of returning to the country’s finest breakfast, at a hotel that charges $4000 a night.

This article originally appeared in Volume 5 of Road & Track.

SIGN UP FOR THE TRACK CLUB BY R&T FOR MORE EXCLUSIVE STORIES

Getting lost means different things to different people. I asked the staff and our favorite writers to think about ideas that stretch the definition. It’s going off-road, sure, but what else?

It’s not new that our world has become “connected” and that it’s nearly impossible to escape it. What’s new is that we’re always on Zoom, Teams, etc. Technology has zeroed in on us. So unplugging from all of that is what this issue is really about: the lost art of getting lost. We shut down the ubiquitous GPS devices suction-cupped to our dashboards and embedded in our phones. We depart the asphalt in search of silence, dirt, dust, and the occasional coyote. We check the map, but perhaps don’t take it too seriously. We’re recovering things we once cherished, reconnecting with lost strands of ourselves.

mike guy jeep wrangler rubicon

ben rasmussen

To do that we got our hands on the new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 (the model’s first V-8 in four decades) and drove it to the middle of the prehistoric Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, ending up at Amangiri (“Escape to the Valley of the Gods”). For the very cool cover shoot, we trucked the all-new full-size Ford Bronco­—in Area 51 blue­—out to a pristine parcel of desert in southeastern California, where photographer Reuben Wu lit it against the sandstone hills with strobe-equipped drones (“The Road to Nowhere”).

Contributing editor Elana Scherr reported on the heroic efforts of the Moab, Utah, search-and-rescue crews (“The Searchers”), whose ethos is based on people getting lost in all the wrong ways.

In “The Dot and the Map,” Andrew Blum went deep on how society has technologically set itself up to never get lost, with a look at the fascinating history and future of GPS and how it’s merged with our lives.

All this and much more. I urge you to get lost in the stories of this issue.

Want to check it all out? Sign up here to join The Track Club by Road & Track. More than just a magazine, we offer events (both live and virtual), curated drives, opportunities to connect with editors at automotive events around the world, and dozens of discounts, perks, and partner benefits.

The Best Cheap Bourbon Whiskey You Can Buy in 2021

Even when your bourbon budget is tight, the liquor store shelf beckons like a boozy vending machine. Bourbon, despite going off like a bomb this past decade, remains an affordable man’s game. But it’s also tough. If you have, say, a twenty and a fiver in your pocket, you are spoiled for choice. And while there are no right or wrong picks on the path to loving bourbon, some decisions might be wiser than others. Here are some of the best bourbons to reach for, all $25 or less.

Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whisky

drizly.com

Distillery: Maker’s Mark
Proof: 90
Price: $20-$30
King of the Affordable Wheaters: The red wax seal; the Scottish spelling of “whisky.” It’s easy to love Maker’s and its quirks. Particularly easy, since it’s an affordable wheated bourbon (mash bill: 14 percent malted barley, 16 percent red winter wheat, 70 percent corn). It’s got a big name, which sometimes pushes its price up — but in California, I find mine for $20 at Trader Joe’s. That’s hard to beat.

Courtesy

Wild Turkey 101

drizly.com

Distillery: Wild Turkey
Proof: 101
Price: $20-$25
Bang for Your Buck: Wild Turkey bourbon has been around for a long time, since the 1940s; its master distiller, Jimmy Russell, has too (his son Eddie Russell is a master distiller now too). Wild Turkey also makes an 80-proof bourbon, but the 101 is its true flagship. It has a mash bill that’s “high rye” (75 percent corn, 13 percent rye, 12 percent malted barley) and is aged in barrels with a deep char, then bottled at near barrel-proof. The result is a flavor bomb.

Old Forester Signature 100 Proof

Distillery: Old Forester Distilling Company
Proof: 100
Price: $25-$30
Classic Flavor Profile: Old Forester is indeed an old brand — at 150 years and going, it’s the longest-running bourbon brand. It’s so old that its big innovation was being sold only in sealed glass bottles. In the past few years the brand has gained some lost ground back in prestige, and the 100 proof is part of that. It’s a rich, flavorful bourbon with a mash bill that’s 70 percent corn, 18 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley. In his 2019 Bible, Jim Murray called the Old Forester 86 “criminally under-rated,” and the same thing can be said for the 100-proof.

Courtesy

Early Times Bottled-in-Bond

drizly.com

Distillery: Brown-Forman / Sazerac
Proof: 100
Price: $25 (1L bottle)
Party Bourbon: Early Times, recently acquired from Brown-Forman by Sazerac, is one of the best kept secrets on the bottom shelf. Firstly, it comes in a one-liter bottles that are perfect for keeping as your home bar’s well bourbon or, even better, a bourbon to pull out when a crowd comes over. It’s also a really balanced bourbon that weds price, proof, age and flavor profile nicely.

Larceny Small Batch

drizly.com

Distillery: Heaven Hill
Proof: 92
Price: $25-$30
The Alternative Wheater: Heaven Hill’s budget wheated bourbon took over for its Old Fitzgerald line of whiskies around 2012 (Old Fitz is available now in limited runs at high prices). The company won’t release its mash bill but claims it has “one third more wheat” than its competitors (Maker’s Mark), which is a big L in the transparency category. Still, it’s an excellently balanced wheater, with notes of baking spices and lemon peel; the bottle I bought in place of my $20 Maker’s Mark has been emptied quickly.

Buffalo Trace

drizly.com

Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Proof: 90
Price: $30
The Benchmark: Buffalo Trace’s flagship bottle is an industry standard — so much so that it often feels less exciting than its affordable competitors. But there’s much to be said for plain old quality. The juice in the buffalo bottle is aged at least eight years, according to BT, and it’s a younger version of some of the stuff that finds its way into some of bourbon’s most sought-after bottles. Its flavor isn’t as unique or punchy as some other bottles on this list, but it’s a great benchmark for simple, delicious “bourbony” flavors.

Old Grand-Dad 114

drizly.com

Distillery: Jim Beam
Proof: 114
Price: $25
Big Fat Bourbon: A quote from my editor, unedited: “OGD114 is the fullest, meatiest, fattiest cheap bourbon you can buy.” Don’t just take it from him: the stuff has a cult following. As it should. It’s cheap, it’s got huge flavors, and, if you sip it neat, it’ll get you drunk. With a mash bill of 63% corn, 23% rye, and 10% malted barley, it’s a study in the power of secondary grains.

Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage

drizly.com

Distillery: Heaven Hill
Proof: 87
Price: $25-$30
Single Barrel Beauty: Single barrel whiskey is fun. You’re not drinking the blender’s best shot at bourbon — you’re sampling the boozy fruit of a single tree, which tends to have distinct flavor characteristics. But then, that depends on the barrel you get, doesn’t it? The problem: that sort of delicacy costs you more money. Evan Williams must have a brilliant barrel program, because it does a solid job with this affordable version, with barrels that are usually between seven and eight years old. You can give it a taste and decide for yourself if you like what Evan Williams does with their whiskey.

Four Roses Yellow Label

drizly.com

Distillery: Four Roses
Proof: 80
Price: $20-$25
The Solid Blend: Bourbon dudes clamber for the small batch and single barrel versions from Four Roses. But this baseline bottle is made combining barrels from two high-rye mash bills, making it a balanced sipper or an excellent base for a cocktail.

Jim Beam Single Barrel

drizly.com

$35.00

Distillery: Jim Beam
Proof: 95
Price: $25-$30
The Beam Upgrade: It’s pulled from a single barrel of Jim Beam’s bourbon, which means you never know quite what you’re going to get. Overall though, it’s known as a steady-on whiskey, and a fun alternative version of your normal old black label Jim.

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Porsche Offers Up a Sneak Peek at Their Most Important New Car

When you think of Porsche, the first model you think of is probably the 911. But judging by the bottom line, Porsche is an SUV company — and the brand’s most important car is the Macan crossover, Porsche’s best-selling car by far. After all, Porsche sells more Macans than 911s, 718s, and Taycans combined.

We’ve known for some time that Porsche will launch the next-generation Macan as an electric car, a strong commitment to the EV future. That SUV is set to debut in 2023. And now, Porsche has announced that “highly camouflaged” test versions of it are leaving the carmaker’s facility for the first time.

porsche electric macan

Porsche

Details revealed about the new Macan are scarce, but Porsche did offer a few tidbits with these “spy photos.” Porsche says the electric Macan will be the first vehicle launched on VW Group’s PPE, or Premium Performance Electric, platform, which will underpin several mass-market EV cars and crossovers for Porsche and Audi. (The Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT use a seperate architecture, the high-performance J1 platform.)

The electric Macan, like the Taycan, will offer 800-volt electricals for faster charging. And Porsche says it will be the “sportiest model in the segment,” presumably referring to luxury compact crossovers, and offer “best-in-class performance.”

Porsche also confirmed that the Macan will not go entirely EV. The carmaker says it will launch an updated version of the current internal-combustion Macan later this year. That model will sell alongside the EV, to better suit all tastes.

That said, Porsche buyers’ tastes may be changing, and they are the sort of buyers who can and will pay a premium for EVs. In Q1 2021, Porsche sold 2,008 Taycans in the U.S., more units than the 718 and the Panamera combined. Give the market a couple more years. Add in that the electric Macan boasts a popular crossover body style and sits at the more affordable end of the luxury car market, and Porsche may have a major hit on its hands.

LEARN MORE

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Utility and comfort over style with the 2021 BEAMS x Crocs slip-ons

A certain foam clog brand has been the subject of ridicule for years which somehow also gives it the publicity to push sales. Still, many find it hard to justify its purchase unless they too become the subject of public mockery. Nonetheless, the 2021 BEAMS x Crocs will surely find its way into the hands or feet of collectors.

Crocs may be the last thing on your mind when you are about to purchase a new pair of footwear for your upcoming outdoor escapades. Yet, it seems the previous two collaborative projects with BEAMS were successful enough to warrant another capsule for this year.

We have to hand it to the team behind these designs because the latest models are notably functional. It’s somehow strange for anyone to choose these over hiking boots, trail runners, sports sandals, and others. Yet, those who seek the legendary comfort it brings to the table will likely find it with the 2021 BEAMS x Crocs

The collection features two configurations: MILITARY and OUTDOOR. True to its name, the former has a vamp with what appears to be a MOLLE attachment system. There’s no mention of it specifically, but that’s what we can gather from the photos. Also, it comes with a removable pouch that attaches via a strap with a plastic buckle.

The OUTDOOR version of the slip-on goes for a more casual silhouette, but with elements that denote its more trail-ready nature. There is a pocket with a zipper and netting that can hold small items on the vamp. We can also spot a carabiner on the strap across the top. Both of the variants in the 2021 BEAMS x Crocs collection have textile uppers and a rugged outsole.

Buy – $80

Images courtesy of BEAMS/Crocs

The Bennett Winch S.C. Holdall Is ‘No Time To Die’ approved

The Bennett Winch S.C. Holdall takes you from country to suit-and-tie events in no time. It guarantees a crisp, wrinkle-free suit or tuxedo on the go so you never have to look for the ironing board when strapped for time.

This suit carrier is James Bond approved having made a cameo in “No Time To Die” and for all good reasons because it keeps you looking sharp sans the unsightly creases and folds in your suit. The carrier comes in a unique 2-piece design developed in collaboration with Permanent Style.

The Bennett Winch S.C. Holdall prevents hard, tight folds by letting a jacket and trouser wrapped around the spacious central cylindrical bag, which is secured afterward with magnets and straps. The suit carrier can function on its own or used around the holdall. Either component can be used separately.

Designed for travel, the exterior of the suit carrier uses 24oz British dyed, waterproof cotton canvas. Meanwhile, the holdall is from lightweight British dyed and proofed 180z canvas twill. It features solid brass hardware welded in London, YKK golden brass zippers, and premium vegetable-tanned Italian leather.

The Bennett Winch S.C. Holdall also features storage compartments including an external pocket for a passport, keys, or wallet. It also comes with a removable waterproof shoe bag and slimline coat hanger. For convenience, you can either carry it as a handbag or a  sling bag using its detachable shoulder strap made with military-grade webbing. It also has a storage capacity of 32 liters and is airline-compliant at a weight of just 2.2 kg.

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Images courtesy of Bennett Winch

9 Best Ideas for a Business Outfit

The way you look can affect a person’s opinion of you. A stylish yet elegant work outfit can get you the promotion you want – just because your business partner will see you as a highly professional person. On the other hand, a stained blouse can be the fastest way to leave the company. A business outfit can impact your career success, which is why it’s extremely important to choose clothes, accessories, and a hairstyle wisely. In this article, you’ll find the best ideas for professional attire.

Basics

The first thing to remember is that a business outfit should be classic. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear boring pieces. On the contrary, you can wear bright colors and unique patterns. But avoid prints with symbols like hearts or stars, as they can look a bit childish.

Black, grey, and navy are the best basic colors for a professional outfit. Avoid white and cream as they can look too casual. You can also choose blue, but only if you pair it with black accessories so you don’t look too casual.

Haircut & Hairstyle

Your hair is an essential part of your overall look. When choosing a haircut, make sure it suits your face shape and suits your profession. If you don’t have enough time to visit a professional hairstylist, then you can always trim your split ends at home.

There are plenty of tutorials online on how to do it, all you need is the right equipment. You’ll need a comb, hair clips, and some professional scissors.

We recommend the Matsui Scissors from Scissor Tech to do the job at home. As for styling your hair, you can choose a simple hairstyle, something that is easy to do at home like smooth straight hair or a ponytail.

Accessories

When it comes to accessories, always choose quality over quantity. A small bag made out of leather or a satin clutch, a watch, and earrings is more than enough. Do not wear too many rings, bracelets, or necklaces as they can look gaudy and cheap and that’s not very professional.

Men’s Business Outfit

It’s extremely important for men to have their clothes tailored. Buy shirts and pants in the right size, rather than choosing something too large, so the clothes will fit you perfectly. In terms of color combinations, dark colors look more formal than light ones. Try to avoid white, pale yellow, and black, as they can give off a strong informal vibe which is not appropriate for a business outfit.

Women’s Business Outfit

Women can wear skirts and dresses in the office, but keep in mind that they do need to be somewhat longer than the knee length. Of course, women can also opt to wear a suit to the office as well. The same rule applies to tops, they should fit perfectly on your body without showing too much skin. In terms of color combinations, try to stick to one main color (black, grey, or navy) combined with accessories in another color (white, cream, or blue).

Makeup

Make sure your makeup looks clean and fresh, but subtle at the same time. Avoid wearing too much makeup and going overboard with blusher and mascara otherwise, you’ll end up looking amateur and unprofessional. There is plenty of information out there on some of the best products out there that will look great all day.

Also, one small piece of advice to keep your makeup in good condition during the workday: you can use private car sharing instead of public transport, which will save your pretty makeup from unpredictable troubles.

Shoes & Socks

The shoes should be polished and clean at all times, this is crucial! If you wear heels for work, choose classy ones that are fine enough for the workplace. The same rule applies to men, choose elegant leather shoes that are the right height for your pants. As for socks, choose black ones that match your shoes, no matter how tempted you are to wear patterned socks with printed panda faces!

Blouses & Skirts

Blouses should be made out of natural fabrics like cotton or silk so they feel comfortable against your skin when you wear them for long hours in an air-conditioned office building. There is nothing worse than having to change because the fabric irritates your skin! If you are wearing a skirt, make sure it fits your hips perfectly otherwise, it will make you look larger than you actually are and thus unprofessional.

Colors That Look Professional In The Office
  • Black – Black is the most formal color of all and goes with any kind of shoes or accessories – it’s a safe bet for every business outfit. It can make you look more serious and authoritative in the office so if you want to appear both stylish and professional, it’s the best choice you have!
  • White – White looks great on women who have tan skin but avoid it when you’re fair-skinned because you might end up looking washed out in comparison with your white blouse or shirt. However, white is always a great choice for a skirt because it makes your legs look slimmer (which can be a great advantage if you’re self-conscious about them).
  • Navy – Navy goes well with everything from white shirts to bold accessories like hats – after all, the navy anchor was chosen by Coco Chanel as her favorite symbol. The reason navy looks so good in the office is that it makes you look more serious and professional without appearing too formal.
  • Grey – Grey is another great color for an elegant business outfit. It’s classy, subtle and it can make you look like a successful professional. This color is particularly good for women with fair skin because it will make you look more tanned than usual.
  • Blue – If you want to wear a color that’s striking but professional at the same time, then blue is your best choice. Navy blue looks especially good in the office, but you can also go for a light blue as well.
  • Dark Green – Dark green looks great on women with olive skin and dark hair. However, fair-skinned ladies can also wear this color if they choose a lighter shade – if they choose a deeper one, they might end up looking washed out by the contrast.
  • Bright Red – Bright red is one of the most striking colors for a professional outfit. It’s best worn by women who have tan skin and dark hair, but anyone else can wear it if they choose the right shade (the darker it is, the better). Choose a slightly darker shade of red for an evening event rather than wearing something bright during the day otherwise, you may end up looking unprofessional.
Summary

Putting together a professional-looking outfit can be hard if you have never done it before. You don’t want to walk into a new office somewhere looking like you just threw your outfit together. It can give the impression that you don’t care about how you look, which is not the impression you want to leave, especially if it is a new job you just started.

If you give this impression, your boss might also think you don’t care about your job, and that’s not a good start for anyone. Try to build a work wardrobe that is filled with classic items such as suits and dress shoes. Stick to minimal accessories and colors that work well together. If you can get your outfits tailored, do so! Stick to classic hair and makeup styles that look refined and polished. If you follow all the tips in this article, you will look like a million bucks!