Four Must-Sip Spirits for this Holiday Season


The holidays are a time to celebrate to the fullest. That means great company, great food, and great drink. In addition to sticking to entertaining traditions, consider adding a new libation to your repertoire. Here are five bottles that will elevate your entertaining or gift-giving experience.  

The QuintEssential by Cedar Ridge is one of the leaders in a booming American single-malt scene. This whiskey begins with 100% malted barley and ends with a vast array of finishing techniques that come together to create everything a single-malt whiskey should be. The Quintessential is aged for 3-5 years in ex-bourbon casks before being divided and transferred to rum, brandy, sherry, wine, port, and rye casks for finishing. After an additional two years, all are married together for a whiskey that hits every note. Bottled at 46% ABV, The QuintEssential is perfectly balanced with a unique, rich flavor, burly character, and unwavering malt backbone. At a retail price of $59.99, The QuintEssential is more than a bargain for a complex, well-rounded, and celebrated whiskey.

The QuintEssential by Cedar Ridge is one of the leaders in a booming American single-malt scene

Another leader in the booming American single-malt space is The Macklowe Kentucky Gold Edition. The brand was founded by designer and whiskey collector Julie Macklowe who wanted to bring the first luxury American single-malt to market. She did just that by using the very best resources Kentucky has to offer, such as organic grain and natural spring water, as well as an elegant design that exudes class. This single malt is among the finest in the American category and can be the best gift you can give to a whiskey-lover at $250.

Another leader in the booming American single-malt space is The Macklowe Kentucky Gold Edition

Brown (or dark) spirits go beyond whiskey, particularly in the realm of agave-based liquors. There is a common misconception that these only include tequila and mezcal though, and the ancient spirit of bacanora goes overlooked. Kilinga is a brand preserving the tradition of Sonora, Mexico, and its reposado expression is a perfect new discovery to help you and others celebrate the holidays.  

The main difference-maker in bacanora is the type of agave used to produce it. Adhering to strict regulations, Kilinga crafts its reposado with 100% agave angustifolia, which gives the spirit a more citrus-forward profile. This bright character is enhanced and complimented by a smooth 80-proof and barrel notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak, from up to three years of aging in American oak casks. If you have never had bacanora before, Kilinga Reposado may be the best place to start, and it’s only $64.99.

Kilinga’s Reposado is a perfect new discovery for celebrating the holidays

The delightful spice of rye whiskey is perfectly fit for holiday sipping, and Filibuster’s rye expression is no different. This Virginia-based whiskey maker is new to the scene of distilling, but its team’s decades of industry experience are helping to make a name for itself early. Drawing inspiration from Scottish distilling techniques and the innovative spirit of American life, Fillibuster sets itself apart with its creative finishing and blending program, which is showcased beautifully in this rye.

After 3-4 years of aging in traditional oak, Filibuster Dual Cask Rye is then finished in French French Oak barrels, which impart a pleasant and subtle white wine aroma. This neutralizes the typical and sometimes harsh grassy notes found in other ryes, therefore boosting the more favorable peppery and baking spice notes we all crave in the winter months. At $42.99, this rye is an absolute steal and well suited for any level of whiskey drinker, expert or novice.

Fillibuster’s creative finishing and blending program is showcased beautifully in this rye

For the whisky collector, Ardbeg Rollercoaster is something of a holy grail. This new, limited release from the legendary scotch brand is among the rarest whiskies ever to hit the market. The set of two expressions comes from a time of instability for Ardbeg before its doors closed indefinitely and reopened briefly before its full resurrection in the late 1990s.  

The first is bottled from the last remaining cask of Arbdeg’s 1981 stock, making it a 42-year-old whisky and a living milestone in the brand’s lifespan. After that year, the Ardbeg Distillery closed, which brings us to the other half of Ardbeg Rollercoaster, 1989, which is a bottling from the year Ardbeg reopened. These two ultra-exclusive bottles come in a box handcrafted from Scottish Oak, adorned with copper accents to symbolize the Ardbeg Distillery’s stills. Ardbeg Rollercoaster is a piece of whisky history that only a select few will have the pleasure of enjoying. 

For the whisky collector, Ardbeg Rollercoaster is something of a holy grail

Try one; try all. Happy Holidays!

Photos courtesy of each distillery


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