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Host's Guide Holiday 2012: Spirits of Giving

  • Richard Carleton Hacker

Casa Dragones Tequila
Created by Benjamin Garcia and Bertha González Nieves, the latter the first woman to receive the title of maestra tequilera from the Mexican Academy of Tequila, this super-premium, multidistilled blanco is made extra smooth by the addition of a minute amount of añejo that has been aged for slightly more than five years. As a result, this joven adds a notably spicy accent to an otherwise soft agave flavor. Put it in a margarita if you must, but as the signed and numbered label states, this tequila is meant for sipping. ($275)

Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey
From the world’s oldest operating distillery, this 250-year-old premium brand of Irish whiskey—named after the small town in which it is made—is finally available throughout the United States. Unlike most Irish whiskeys, which are triple distilled, Kilbeggan is double distilled, which heightens its otherwise gentle flavors of almond, peaches, and oak. Savored neat or with soda and ice, this 80-proof whiskey will ease you into the evening’s festivities. ($24)

E. H. Taylor, Jr. 100 Proof Straight Rye Whiskey 
Not for the faint of heart, this rollicking rye is reminiscent of what its namesake, Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr., distilled (and drank) over 100 years ago. Indeed, the great-nephew of President Zachary Taylor knew his whiskey and implemented many innovations—such as climate-controlled aging warehouses—that are still in use today. Made with rye and malted barley but without corn, this heavy pour brims with dark spices and caramel overtones. Try it in a Manhattan or on the rocks, and taste the history. ($70)

This article was originally published in the November 2012 issue of Robb Report. Click here to read more articles from this issue.

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