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Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, it’s been a strange week for New Yorkers, and, we admit, one not lacking in alcohol consumption. From staying inside trying out new craft beers to drinking booze in the dark as we waited for the power to return, it’s fair to say that this is one habit that hasn’t been affected by weather, power outages and a transit system in chaos. 

Believe it or not though, you can actually taste things better in the dark. Partially stripped of one sense, we decided to make the most of our tippling and approach the tastes and flavors of our booze from a more studied angle. Of course, lest we forget the swig of Ommegang or the sip of Inchgower, we’ve taken to writing things down. Tasting notes, in other words, albeit scrawled ones.

Drinking for the sake of “research” too? Check out three of our favorite note-taking companions to have by your side.

Moleskine’s Passions Beer Journal ($20), lets you get as OCD as you want with your note-taking. Enfolded in the brand’s classic black cover, the 240-page journal includes five themed sections, as well as blank tabs for you to create your own, along with a glossary, a recipe section, a home-brewing log, and tips on pouring and glass types.

More fun for groups, thisBeer Tasting Tool Kit lets you experiment with blind tastings, while the accompanying booklet breaks down various beer categories and styles by flavor profiles, colors and aromas, and regional backgrounds (so novices can get in on the action too).

At $4 a pop (or 3 for $10), 33 Drams of Whiskey is by far the most affordable option in the bunch, which is worth noting as good whiskey doesn’t often come cheap. We were especially impressed by the flavor wheel, with components that included flavors (dark fruit, floral, herbal, spicy, malty, woody, etc), body, legs, balance, and linger.