Bottles at the Tuthilltown distillery are sealed with wax.
Cooler weather usually means stiffer drinks, but what about more seasonal flavors? After all, flavored bourbons and whiskeys have been popping up on shelves and in bars over the past few years, but they can be something of a gamble—seen by connoisseurs as diluting a true spirit's integrity. Nobody wants some pumpkin spice whiskey, but what about a more natural, nuanced direction? The key, it seems, is to find a flavor that echoes a whiskey's natural notes and then punch it up for added dimension. Like the sudden onslaught of maple-tinged whiskeys and bourbons. Some makers simply add the flavor to the finished liquor while others, like Tuthilltown's Hudson distillers, impart a natural maple-ness by aging the rye in barrels that were previously used for aging maple syrup. The end result is sweet yet spiced. Mrs. Butterworth with a serious kick. And while they'd of course make a mean hot toddy, we liked how they took the edge off a simple glass on the rocks.
The lightest in color and in body, with a subtle, butterscotch-y maple sweetness, this lively version would be ideal in your cold weather cocktails.
$30, at Binny's
A touch of smoke to the sweet maple gives this bourbon a caramelly, creme brûlée smoothness to round out the spice and oak notes.
$30, at Binny's
With a rich, copper hue and aromas of brown sugar and black tea, this whiskey has a deep maple flavor and a hot rye bite.
$40, at Arlington Wine & Liquor
The strongest and most syrupy of the maple flavors, with a rich vanilla taste that gives way to a cinnamon spice and a toasted oak finish.
$25, at BevMo