Pappy Van Winkle (15 year)
Fans know full well why this makes the list: The flavors open up the more you taste it, from fruit to cinnamon, leather to toffee ... It’s the most ridiculous juice on the planet, a crowning achievement from a company that can no longer meet global demand. Finding a bottle is quite an achievement. If you do, Make. It. Last.
Willett Single Barrel (11 year)
Only slightly less hard to find than PVW, Willett Single Barrel comes in many shapes and sizes, and ages can range from 4 years to more than 21. The 11-year is the oldest I’ve found, and it’s sublime bourbon, with a deep, lush scent and taste.
Lagavulin (16 year)
I can’t believe it took me this long to try this Islay whiskey. It’s readily available at almost any liquor store in the Valley, and it’s one of the most balanced whiskeys I’ve ever tried. The word to describe it to newcomers is “gorgeous.” Few argue once they taste it.