Well, autumn is upon us, and it is time to start planning your fall liquor cabinet. Quite frankly, fall is one of my favorite seasons to drink great value whiskey. As with my summer edition of the ideal liquor cabinet, I think a quality liquor cabinet should have variety, and it should have a few key components. Building a quality liquor cabinet is like building a house; once you have a foundation down, you can go anywhere. Of course, like anything pertaining to whiskey, it all depends on your palate. Since my palate varies depending on the season (and sometimes the day), the possibilities for an ideal liquor cabinet are endless. For what it’s worth, here are my thoughts on an awesome fall liquor cabinet on a budget.
You should have a solid staple. My summer suggestion for a great staple was Buffalo Trace, and I will stand by that whiskey as the leaves begin to change. https://bargainbourbon.com/2012/03/31/buffalo-trace-review/
You should have a solid seasonal whiskey. Since fall is such a great time to enjoy whiskey, there are many options for my favorite fall seasonal whiskey. For the money, I think the best option is Rittenhouse Rye Bottled-in-Bond. It is spicy and sweet, like good pumpkin pie. Plus, it is a great value buy. https://bargainbourbon.com/2012/07/28/rittenhouse-rye-review/
You should have a mixer. Not everybody that comes over to your house for dinner will want their whiskey straight up, so it is important to have something in the cabinet that you don’t mind seeing go into an Old-Fashioned, Mint Julep, Manhattan, etc. For fall, I recommend Old Grand-Dad Bonded. It is a fine whiskey that I enjoy sipping straight, and it has a nice rye zip for a cocktail. However, it costs under $20, and it is not the best whiskey in the cabinet, so I don’t mind if somebody throws a splash or two in a cocktail. https://bargainbourbon.com/2012/08/17/old-grand-dad-bonded-review/
If I had a little money left over, I would probably go for a couple of my favorite bottles of whiskey that fit the season well. These are the ones that come out on special occasions and will last me into December. If I were me (with a little extra dough), I would get a bottle of Aberlour A’Bunadh and a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask. I have yet to review either one of these whiskys, but they are both fantastic Scotches around $60 a bottle. The Aberlour is sweet, full, lightly floral, and oaky. The Laphroaig Quarter Cask is a lot like the 10 yr. (https://bargainbourbon.com/2012/08/25/laphroaig-10-year-review/), but the former has more complexity, more balance, and a bigger influence from the cask. Don’t worry, though, it still has monstrous helpings of peat and smoke. As my rooomate, Chris Broadwell, says “If you can’t go camping this fall, drink Laphroaig.”
Those are my thoughts on the ideal autumn liquor cabinet. What whiskeys did I leave out? Which ones did I get right? What does your autumn liquor cabinet look like?