For those of you looking to explore a new area of the rye whiskey circuit, we present to you Angel's Envy Rye Whiskey ($70). This unique liquid is finished in Franco Caribbean Rum Casks which previously carried French cognac. The result is a rye whiskey that begins in a somewhat traditional fashion, but finishes like one you've never tasted before. The aroma is strong with brown sugar and spice, and the taste brings vanilla oak, maple sugar and a dry but sweet finish. It's as if a really great rye whiskey was made by rum runners in the Caribbean.
Our third president, Thomas Jefferson, played a big role in the repeal of an unpopular whiskey tax back in 1801, so it's no surprise that his face is emblazoned on bottles of bourbon and rye whiskey. Jefferson's Straight Rye Whiskey ($33) not only borrows his name and face, but boasts a taste that's impressive as well. It's aged longer than most Ryes at 10 years, and is one of only four that can claim to be 100% Rye. It also has dibs on a sweet but spicy taste with a very smooth finish. A presidential addition to any well rounded liquor collection.
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It's such a catchy name that we're surprised no one's using it commercially, but these two bottles of Shipwreck Whiskey ($TBA; auction) are actually very rare. They were among eight bottles recovered from the SS Politician, an 8,000-ton cargo ship that sank off the coast of Scotland in 1941, bound for Jamaica and New Orleans with 28,000 cases of whiskey. Bottled by W & A Gilbey with an original cork and wax sealed by Christies, you can be sure it'll be one of the more interesting drinks you can take.