Though spring is to have sprung in Buffalo, a chill remains in the air.
After Buffalo Whiskey Fest celebrated whiskeys from the world over, and many barrels were spilled on St. Patrick’s Day, there is no better time to settle down with some of America’s finest spirits.
There are hundreds of whiskeys to try, but five came highly recommended recommended by Pete Orfanos, proprietor of Cheektowaga’s Crabapples. The best characteristic of these fine spirits? Each is under $50 a bottle.
Five & 20 rye whiskey. Deep and robust with a bit of rye spice, this signature drink from the hills of the deep southern tier is perfect for early spring nights, testing out the patio for the first few times. The Westfield distillery and brewery is worth a visit, too, with a full stock of house spirits and beers, as well as Mazza family wines.
Angel’s Envy. An incredible bourbon for the cost. The Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged for up to six years in port wine barrels, which gifts the whiskey an unparalleled smooth finish. The whiskey is equally smooth on the nose and offers cherry and light grain flavors.
Pure Kentucky. This is whiskey. It’s everything you’d expect when drinking whiskey - the flavor and the fire in one solid package. Pure Kentucky warms on the way down, making it perfect for a chilly night by a spring fire.
Caramel and toffee join the oak and tobacco flavors, for a rich and robust taste that is beyond worth the cost of a bottle.
Bulleit 10. Bulleit has worked hard to cultivate an amazingly drinkable bourbon. On the nose is pure vanilla extract, and the flavor doesn’t disappoint - Bulleit 10 is sweet vanilla and a touch of spice. The finish is fruity; dried apricots and almond cream.
This would be a great whiskey for someone who is breaking in; hints of oak meld beautifully with the sweetness, making for a mild - perfect for someone just starting out on their whiskey journey.
Basil Hayden. Of the five whiskies sampled, Basil Hayden was perhaps the mildest. There wasn’t a huge punch of flavor or a deep warming in the throat. Understated flavors of honey and spice mingle with light rye and grains.
Basil Hayden would be a nice drink to sip socially, where the conversation takes the foreground and the drink is a subtle background to enhance the evening.
*Read more about a Buffalo bar-restaurant that prides itself in whiskey: