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Staff Selections • Liquor

HOLIDAY SELECTIONS - 2021


AMARO NONINO QUINTESSENTIA

Before the decades-long bourbon boom that still shows no sign of waning, Maker’s Mark was the very definition of a premium bourbon. But as the frenzy over high-quality American whiskeys intensified, Maker’s seemed at times to get lost in the shuffle, even though it boasts a wheat-accented mash bill like some of the most sought-after trophy bourbons (namely, Pappy and Weller). Then, with the introduction seven years ago of their cask-strength bottling, Maker’s proudly proclaimed: Game on! As robust as regular Maker’s is mild-mannered, this is a fabulously full-flavored bourbon that can stand up to a little water or ice without backing down. If it’s been a while since you’ve tried Maker’s Mark, now is the perfect time to get reacquainted.

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WILLETT 4 YEAR RYE

The Willett family has been distilling whiskey for generations. However, it isn’t until recently that they have come to be known as a serious whiskey maker. In the early 2000s, they finally started distilling their whiskey on-site versus sourcing whiskey and blending, for the first time in about 30 years. This 4-year-old rye is a blend of two different mashbills, both of which are heavy on the rye. The nose is powerful and leaps from the glass – driven by caramel and toffee, then backed up by notes of green apple and baking spices. With a splash of water (or an ice cube), the nose
changes and becomes a little more biscuity, and you get more of
the spicy rye character and floral notes emerge. The palate to a
degree mimics the nose but with the addition of some raisin, dried
cherry, and a slight minty-ness, again, backed up by that delightful
baking spice. The wonderful, long, evolving finish shows great rye
character and a lingering heat. Toasted grain and black pepper
linger long after the glass is empty. A wonderful whiskey to sit and
sip on with friends and loved ones.

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