Story by Eric Riley & Greg Bitney

T

he Glass

The right glass can make all the difference in your whisk(e)y drinking experience. 

The Appearance

Color, clarity and viscosity (legs) all tell a story that varies by bottle. Partake with your eyes to begin and enjoy the unique look of your dram before you tuck in for the first sip. 

The ABV (Proof)

Whisk(e)y has to be more than 40% ABV (alcohol by volume). In America, the commonly used term “proof” has stuck around, and 50% ABV is known as 100 proof.

The Finish

The wonderful thing about great whisk(e)y is that as the flavor lingers, you’ll experience new and different expressions in the finish.

The Nose

It takes some practice to smell the unique qualities offered in your whisk(e)y of choice. 

The Taste

Smoky, spicy, caramel, floral, toasty, vanilla, citrus and so on. Whisk(e)y offers a bouquet of flavors for your palate. Each whisk(e)y is different and packed with distinct notes that offer a variety of expressions to explore.

Drink Responsibly

Sip it, don’t shoot it. This is not a race to finish, but a dram to be savored. Stay classy. Stay safe. Enjoy the holiday’s with moderation. Cheers!

Glassware:

Serve up your whisk(e)y in the right glass to ensure you unlock the quality experience the distiller imagined when making the spirit. Here are our recommended glasses for your next whisk(e)y dram.

Cigar Sizes:

The standard cigar size gauge is based on 1/64″ increments. A cigar diameter of 64 = 1″. Anything hitting close to a 34 will probably be sold as a cigarillo. 

Uncle Nearest

1856, $56

This whiskey has a beautiful story that’s recently been rediscovered. It tells of the original distiller, formerly a slave, Nathan Green and his prominence as “the Godfather” of Tenessee whiskey.

Type: Tennessee Whiskey

Color: Light caramel

Nose: Bale of hay, dried grass, ripe peach and caramel corn

Palate: Spicy caramel, hints of maple with dried fruit and floral notes

Romeo y Julieta

$14.50

1875 Reserve – Toro Habano

A full-bodied, long, enjoyable smoke that delivers hints of chocolate and coffee. For a special treat, get the box of 27, lift the lid, and experience the concentrated aromas.

Compass Box

Hedonism, $120

The first whisky created by Compass Box in 2000, and a signature whisky for the company. A unique and award-winning Blended Grain Scotch Whisky. Rare and old, this is a whisky that will appeal to both the ardent enthusiast and newcomers alike.

Type: Blended Scotch

Color: Natural — straw

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, fruity

Palate: Vanilla cream, toffee and coconut

Macanudo

$16.95

Cafe – Hyde Park

Hyde Park offers a creamy Connecticut Shade wrapper from Macanudo’s special private crop. The flavor is incredibly mellow and smooth, which is great for beginners and connoisseurs alike. When it comes to consistently subtle and pleasant offerings with exceptional pricing, Macanudo is just what the doctor ordered.

Ardbeg

Wee Beastie, $48

Ardbeg Wee Beastie is the latest permanent expression to join the Distillery’s Ultimate Range. At just five years old, Wee Beastie is a feisty young creature with a formidable taste. This thing is big and smoky.

Type: Single Malt Scotch – Islay

Color: Glint of bright gold.

Nose: Sharp and fresh. Vanilla, black pepper, wood sap, and espresso. 

Palate: Chocolate, tar, eucalyptus, smoked bacon and salty cocoa

C.A.O.

$15.50

Flathead – Carb V660

With size names like Big Block, Carb, Camshaft and Sparkplug, this line has to be a favorite of gearheads and bikers. Make no mistake, it’s not a gimmick to push mediocre product. If you’re looking for a long, full-bodied, flavorful smoke, try a Flathead. Box pressing makes an otherwise jaw-breaking 60-gauge stick fit comfortably between the teeth, and it won’t roll off the workbench.

Larceny

Barrel Proof, $50

Released three times per year in January, May, and September, each offering is a bold yet balanced special Small Batch Bourbon, rich with depth and distinction. Larceny Barrel Proof is a welcome reminder of just how good wheated Bourbons can be.

Type: Wheated Bourbon

Color: Dark sepia

Nose: Toasted bread, maple, cinnamon.

Palate: Molasses, fig, hazelnut.

My Father’s Cigar

$12.75

Flor de las Antillas

The My Father’s Cigar line is an established winner, earning eight 90+ ratings over the years. In 2013, its Toro size cigar received a 96, earning it Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year. They’ve taken a variety of exceptional, Cuban-seed tobaccos and packed them in an oily, dark brown Sun Grown wrapper leaf, resulting in a rich, flavorful smoke. An exceptional value.

Paired for the Holidays

‘Tis the season for festivities and celebrating. Whisk(e)y and Cigar pairings can make the season brighter for your next gathering, or used as a great gift idea. Celebrate this Holiday season with some of our favorites. Enjoy responsibly.