American whiskey is in an interesting place right now. We’re in the midst of an absolutely explosive renaissance, bourbon sales alone are up almost 40% in the last six years, and the variety of craft, small-batch, single barrel and special vintage selections on the market is joyfully overwhelming. Go to your local bar, though, and you’ll find new and interesting offerings in every other spirit category but only a handful of the most tried and true American whiskeys. I have nothing against the classics, it’s just you know where to find them. For your home, get something particular. The annually released Single Barrels from Evan Williams are consistently special and this year’s edition is no slouch: yes, it’s a tinge harder, less refined than previous years, but that’s a nice reminder that growing up doesn’t mean wearing down.
My Pappy was a McCoy, I ain’t drinkin’ nothin’ from Kentucky: How about New York? The whiskeys coming out of Tuthilltown Spirits -- the Empire State’s first distillery since Prohibition shut down a thriving Rye industry -- may be a glimpse into the future of craft distilling. Its Hudson Baby Bourbon is a standout: hugely drinkable, made from 100% New York corn, with a smoothness and palette simplicity that compares nicely to its genteel Tennessee cousins.