One of the most trusted blenders in the scotch whiskey game is switching things up again this winter, with the introduction of Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve ($87). The scotch itself isn't brand new, but the limited edition, reflective gold bottle certainly is. Of course, it's what is inside the bottle that ultimately matters, and Johnnie Walker delivers again with a fruity nose, plenty of oak flavors and some subtle smoke to round things out. An addition to your collection that even King Midas would be proud of.
We love it when great design teams up with great whiskey, so that's why Lock Stock and Barrel Rye Whiskey ($120) is easy to recommend. It's aged for 13 years in American oak barrels, and is modeled after something even older, the Prohibition era. Before Prohibition, rye was king, and thanks to a new group of great ryes like Lock Stock and Barrel, it's experiencing a renaissance. At barrel strength, 101.3 proof, it sounds quite aggressive, but for something this robust, it's actually quite mellow and easy to sip. A limited, rare, high quality whiskey that could help push rye to the forefront again.
If you're looking to dip your toes into the world of Japanese Whiskey, we suggest starting with Yamazaki, the first distillery in the country, which began production in 1924. And if you are looking to dive in headfirst with a premium offering, Yamazaki 25 Single Malt Whiskey ($1,600) should fit the bill. This complex whisky was aged for over 25 years in sherry casks, giving it an unusually dark color and huge amount of flavor. It's available in limited quantities of only around 12,000 bottles every year.