James E Pepper 1776 Straight Rye ($26.99): Even though this Straight Rye is a full 100 proof it drinks really smooth. The nose is sweet and enticing with notes of caramel and a note of earthy forest floor. The palate is rich and full witha touch of black pepper up front leading into a citrus, peachy fruitiness. The finish is sweet and smooth with a touch more spice and a little heat without the burn.
Ledaig 10 year Single Malt Scotch ($55.99): This peated Scotch comes from the Island of Mull. The nose exhibits notes of smokey peat, butterscotch and hoeny. The palate displays more peat with a balance of sweet, smokey, herbal, and a touch of brininess. This is a great introduction to the Island Scotch, and a great alternative to the Islay peat monsters.
Bunnahabhin 12 Year Single Malt Scotch ($54.99): Briny and earthy, with camphor, apples, sea salt, a hint of oranges and salted caramel on the nose. The palate is syrupy in texture with vanilla and a light smokiness, more woody than peaty. Water brings out more sweet creamy vanilla and some perfume from the wood, as well as some sticky glacé cherry, balanced nicely by the saline, mineral, oak influenced finish.
Wagner Vineyards Dry Riesling ($13.99): Fresh and fragrant, this apple-scented Riesling offers loads of brisk lemon-lime flavors augmented by a subtle vein of smoke. Dry in style, it’s delicately textured with a lean, slightly cutting demeanor.