As the crisp, autumnal air creeps in, Kirk Baker of Épernay Wine & Spirits has everything you need to know when it comes to selecting one of our favorite fall spirits: Bourbon.

Nor'EasterTriple 8 Distillery Nor’Easter Bourbon

For the first trip to the Brewery together…

Named after the legendary storms that batter New England, the name “Nor’Easter” is legendary on its own. A blend of corn, malted barley and malted rye, this 88.8 proof bourbon made right here on Nantucket and is aged in charred American oak barrels from four to eight years. This bourbon is truly unique as it is affected by the distillery’s proximity to the ocean and the marine haze known to occur here on the “Grey Lady.” This marine haze adds a hint of salt to the bourbon or mild salinity on the palate. Otherwise typical notes of “vanilla, sweet caramel corn and a touch of honey can be found with a medium long smooth finish.”

Refreshing on a Fall Sunday afternoon while taking in the sun, sights and sounds of Cisco Brewery with that new special someone.

Evan WilliamsEvan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – Single Barrel Vintage 2006

For the first time you meet her Dad…

Most often bourbons are blended from several barrels combined to create a specific recipe ensuring consistency in every bottle. Every year the Master Distiller at Evan Williams chooses barrels that meet his exacting standards. These are then bottled and marked with the vintage date and barrel number. Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Whiskey was put in oak in 2006 and bottled eight and a half years later in 2015, barrel number 92. This is the most premium and decorated bourbon from Evan Williams – hand numbered and limited availability.

A ‘sure to please’ bourbon that is exceptionally smooth and will no doubt make a great first impression on your future father-in-law.

Eagle RareEagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon – 10 year

For the proposal…

Eagle Rare is produced at the infamous Buffalo Trace Distillery, which has a reputation of creating outstanding bourbons and as one of America’s oldest distilling sites. Carefully aged for a minimum of ten years, this 90 proof Bourbon is comprised of at least 51% corn, rye and barley. The nose is complex with aromas of toffee, hints of orange peel, herbs, honey, leather and oak. On the palate, bold, dry and delicate with notes of candied almonds and very rich cocoa. The finish lingers on you palate for quite some time.

Smooth, complex and elegant to take the edge off before you pop the question or to share with her once she says “yes.”

High WestHigh West Distillery “Bourye”

For the Bachelor Party…

“Bourye” is a combination of “Bou” for bourbon and “rye” for rye whiskey. The creative minds at High West Distillery located in Park City, Utah, thought that the Jackalope pictured on the label would be perfect because they believe that, like the Jackalope, combining bourbon and rye is a bit unusual. “Bourye” is a 92 proof blend of four straight whiskeys. The first is nine-year-old straight bourbon, which is mostly corn based for a little lighter, sweeter component. The other three whiskeys used in the blend are a ten-year-old straight rye and two sixteen-year-old straight rye whiskeys, which are blended in for intensity and complexity. Clean, yet vibrant on the nose, the rye component is noticeable at once. On the palate, it starts with the sweetness of corn, caramel and sweet dried fruit then lingers into warm spices of vanilla and cinnamon.

The “Bourye” is the perfect bottle to share with your boys on your last night of single debauchery.

Whistle PigWhistlePig “PiggybACK” Single Barrel 10-Year Straight Rye Whiskey

For the Wedding…

The WhistlePig Farm in Vermont released their first bottling of rye whiskey in 2010 to many accolades. The “PiggybACK” is a bottling from a single barrel (number 66 specifically) of 100 proof, 10-year-old straight rye whiskey, which was chosen by and bottled exclusively for the Brotherhood of Thieves Restaurant here on Nantucket. When asked to be the only retail partner on island to also offer such an exclusive and unique bottling, I didn’t think twice! Master Distiller Dave Pickerell says that WhistlePig whiskeys embody the perfect combination of proof, purity and age by hitting the “sweet spot” in all three categories. In short, more rye, all the proof, and the perfect age.

Like a marriage, the “PiggybACK” exemplifies commitment, age and patience from everyone involved.

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