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.
One of the great things about small distilleries is their ability to try out new flavors that the bigger outfits can't. Take Kings County Distillery Chocolate Whiskey ($20) for example. This unique, limited edition spirit is made by infusing Kings County Distillery Moonshine with the leftover cocoa husks from Mast Brothers Chocolate, craft chocolate company that's not too far from Kings County's own distillery in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The resulting drink is rich, with a nice mix of sweet and savory flavors, and at 40% ABV, quite stout, as well. [Scouted by Kenneth]
What do The Rolling Stones do to celebrate their 50th anniversary? They drink some booze, of course! Actually, they release booze, in the form of The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Whisky ($TBA). Crafted by legendary Japanese distillers Suntory, this special blend contains malts distilled and casked in milestone years throughout the band's history, giving it a very rich, complex flavor. If you want one of the commemorative bottles, which are designed around the iconic lips and tongue logo, you'd best hurry — only 150 will be produced.
In case you didn't know, Frank Sinatra was known to drink Jack Daniel's. A lot of Jack Daniel's. Now Jack is returning the favor by honoring the man who was such a loyal fan. Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select ($TBA) arrives at 90 proof inside a specially-designed one-liter bottle and gift box that both feature accents of orange — Frank's favorite color — and a distinct "hat" logo. The whiskey is made from barrels that are hand-selected by Master Distiller Jeff Arnett for a fuller flavor and darker color, then mingled with classic Old No. 7 to result in a drink with a smooth, bold character — just like the man himself. [Scouted by Tom]
How better to celebrate the upcoming holiday than by a sampling of booze? The Whisky Advent Calendar ($245) is just the traditional advent calendar you've come to know, only behind each of the 24 doors lies a different 3cl sample of whisky. For added fun, one of the doors contains a sample of 50 year old single malt Scotch, a full bottle of which would run you over $550. Happy holidays indeed.
Call it white whiskey, call it moonshine, but don't dare call it ordinary. Jack Daniel's Unaged Rye Whiskey ($50) is the first new mashbill to come out of Lynchburg in over 100 years, and surprises drinkers with a sweet and fruity smell, plenty of rye bite, and a crisp, dry finish. Available in Tennessee in December, and arriving elsewhere early next year.
Given the no-nonsense label and clear color, House Spirits White Dog Whiskey ($34) looks more like something from a doctor's office than a liquor store. This unusually clear whiskey is made from 100% malted barley, and aged in a barrel for only three hours to round out any harsh notes without taking on any unwanted brownish color. Beyond the obvious flavor of malt, you'll find some nice spicy notes, a dry body, and a long finish. If you're thinking about picking up a bottle, you'd best hurry — it's an extremely limited release.
If you're the type of person who enjoys a shot of whiskey in the morning, Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye Whisky ($30) should be right up your alley. This Canadian rye whisky features a rich hint of maple from trees tapped at the very beginning of spring, as well as the natural oak flavors that come from a blend of 3-, 5-, and 7-year-old rye whiskies, which are blended and matured further to create a one-of-a-kind flavor that may or may not go great with your flapjacks.
Add a bit of spice to your bar with Knob Creek Rye Whiskey ($36). Made with a blend of high-quality rye, Knob Creek's latest creation is stout — 100 proof — and features a spicy, woody aroma with an equally spicy flavor that also incorporates rich oak and vanilla. Coming to select markets this month, and available nationwide this summer.
Unless you sip on single malts exclusively, odds are you've run into a blended whiskey somewhere along the way. Whisky Blender (£35 and up; roughly $55+) lets you create your own specialized blend from a selection of seven different whiskys, each available for adding in amounts as small as 10ml. Once you're done, you can give the blend its own name, which will be handwritten on the label that adorns the 70cl corked decanter bottle, and save the mixture for future refills should the mixture be to your liking. While the wisdom of order booze you've never tasted before is always questionable, there's no doubt that it'll be far more interesting than your average bottle of Old Crow. [Scouted by Andrew]