Named “Best American Whisky” in 2010 by Whisky Magazine, this straight rye consoles while it enlivens like chili-infused hot cocoa. Having been kept under government lockdown for four years, its spiced tangerine character is engaging on its own, but given the price, you can feel okay about mixing it too. Just measure carefully.
This is a blend that doesn’t overwhelm like many costly and overly peaty single malts do. This scotch glides pleasantly onto the palate with a subtle smokiness later balanced out by its raw sugar sweetness, awarding it 94 out of 100 points in Jim Murray’s noted Whisky Bible.
Bulleit Bourbon, $32
The hefty rye grain content in this Kentucky straight bourbon results in a robust and arresting heart belied by an enticing floral nose. Made from a 150-year-old family recipe and aged at least six years, this small-batch bourbon has gained an ever-growing base of devotees.
The main characteristics of an Islay malt—depth of smokiness that smacks of sea salt—is pronounced from first whiff to delightful finish. 10 years has given this single malt a lot of vigor, expressed by 43% alcohol content. This is intensity you’ll want to sit down for.
From a British distillery known for its bold new approaches to whiskey maturation, this is a well-traveled scotch, aged in American white oak casks for a decade, then in Portuguese ruby Port casks for two years. The scent and flavor of dried citrus and dark chocolate especially stand out.