By: Ethan Kelley
New Year’s Eve can bring a swirl of emotions, but while some people may relish in the dreams of the year to come, I prefer to bask in the amazing moments of another year lived completely, vigorously and with purpose. It is for this reason that I declare: bubbles for breakfast!So buckle up look at what you’ve accomplished this year, raise a glass to the people who love you, and sip on something that respects you and your year well-lived.
For any other celebratory meal or gathering, fine spirits are the way to go––these are meant to be sipped in great company, highlighting defining moments in time like a Roman candle, and they are unapologetically reflective of who you are. With that said, here is a brief list of some great pours to ring in the New Year with a louder bell and not a soft pop of a wet cork.
A bold and brash dram that will show itself completely. The alcohol is certainly dominant, but the richness of the Sherry will round out any rough edges and waves a malty grain will roll over the palate endlessly.
Arran 18 Year
A soft and approachable sipper that has been kissed by the sea. This gentle maritime beauty evokes images of the blowing fields of barley that wrap that island in a blanket of rich grains and salty air. Flavors of toffee, vanilla, and hazelnuts pop excitedly with lively entry, finishing with fresh baked breads and tender oak.
Delamain XO Pale & Dry
This standard bearer for perfection exemplifies all the a premium Cognac should be. It shows extraordinary citrus and tropical fruits on the nose, and seems to showcase some butterscotch that leads to a firm but subtle streak of vanilla that stays throughout the experience and keeps you grounded.
Darroze 30 Year
An exceptional introduction to the world of Armagnac without the unusually high price tag. This stunner is an assemblage of 30 year old casks which demonstrates its maturity on the nose with ample stone fruits and dried prune. The palate is awash in bitter chocolates and fresh cut tobacco. This endless finish will have you fully relaxed and ready for a new year.
I.W. Harper 15 Year
This exceptionally well-made Bourbon with above-average complexity pulls away from the saccharine sweetness that plagues so many bottles these days and lays bare a vibrant expose of floral top notes, tropical depth, and a sturdy wood presence that ties it all together.
Pikesville Straight Rye
Holy smokes, this rye comes to us unapologetically rogue. In a class that is generally clustered, this one stands apart with burnt caramels, rich leather, and integrated citrus. There are touches of cigar box and fresh bags of chew only to be topped off with a long finish of German chocolate cake.