When it comes to manly drinks, it's hard to find a spirit more macho than whiskey. A substantial glass and a generous splash on the rocks? We wouldn't be surprised if your testosterone rises with each clink of the ice cubes. And if there was ever a case to be made for shelling out for the good stuff, whiskey would be it. Better bottles ensure that you get a deep, rich, nuanced flavor with almost a complete lack of burn on the way down. And while Irish whiskey probably comes to mind this time of year, there are a handful of quality bottles to try from all over the globe.
Derived from a small batch of rare grain whiskey and aged for 12 years in flame-charred barrels, this retains Jameson's trademark woodiness but has a touch of vanilla sweetness and the spice of baked apples.
$44, at Astor Wines
Fine Oak 10yr
Matured in both European oak sherry casks and American oak barrels, this is a good Highland whiskey to try. It's dry, but delicious with touches of soft caramel that are balanced by some natural oak and malt.
$30, at K&L Wines
Distilled from a fermented mash of peat-malted Scottish barley, this single-malt from Portland, Oregon is only aged three years but it's as smoky as a campfire. Take note: You'll likely want to add some ice to this one.
$53, at Drink Up NY
Light and floral, this malty whiskey is distilled high in the Japanese alps. It starts out a little tangy and peppery in the mouth but develops into a honey sweetness with hints of pear and a woody finish.
$55, at K&L Wines