Drink up, lads and lasses! It’s St. Patrick’s Day! (Well, it’s a workday, too, so perhaps you should obey that directive after 5 p.m.) If you’re compelled to drink some Irish whiskey today, why not have it in the most classic of all Irish drinks.

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Drink up, lads and lasses! It’s St. Patrick’s Day! (Well, it’s a workday, too, so perhaps you should obey that directive after 5 p.m.) If you’re compelled to drink some Irish whiskey today, why not have it in the most classic of all Irish whiskey drinks, the Irish Coffee. Vinepair shared this recipe from The Dead Rabbit NYC.

The Dead Rabbit’s Real Irish Coffee Recipe

  • 1 ounce Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
  • ⅝ ounce rich demerara sugar syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
  • 3¼ ounces Sumatra coffee
  • Garnish: Fresh whipped cream and nutmeg


  • Pour the coffee and sugar syrup into a 6-ounce glass, leaving about half an inch of room for cream.
  • Garnish with freshly whipped cream and a dusting of grated nutmeg.


If you’re on the hunt for some unicorns and don’t mind tapping an emergency fund, college fund or retirement account to get them, check out this lineup of American whiskeys up for bid at the legendary New York auction house, Sotheby’s.

According to a report in The Drinks Business, rarities like Lanell's Red Hook Rye 23 Year Old could go for $30,000; a double vertical (2020 and 2021) of Pappy Van Winkle could fetch $24,000; and you might have to put up $12,000 to claim a Willett Family Estate Single Barrel Bourbon 21 Year Old dubbed The Wheated Patriot.

BOURBON & BANTER'S VIEW >> Just because we can’t afford some of these bottles doesn’t mean we would buy them if we could at those prices. (Yeah, I know that’s a lot like the playground peewee telling the bully, “If I was two feet taller, you’d really be scared!”) Whether spending hundreds or thousands for whiskey, the balance between price and practicality is respected by most drinkers. File a $30,000 winning bid for Red Hook Rye under “if I win the lottery.”


Malt reviewer Taylor Cope penned a practical and truthful opening to his review of an Elijah Craig private pick. Here’s a sample of it:

“Some barrel picks are truly exceptional, which keeps me interested in the category generally. On the other hand, a lot of barrel picks are about equivalent in quality to their reference expressions. This varies by distillery; Buffalo Trace is infamous for allowing only ‘on-profile’ barrels into their selection program, which keeps the deviation from the mean fairly tight. Four Roses, on the other hand, offers the ability to select from among the 10 different recipe codes. In my experience, the dispersion of the aromatic and flavor profiles among these picks is significantly greater.

Make sure to read the whole opening. It’s worth it, especially if your barrel-pick experience parallels his.

BOURBON & BANTER'S VIEW >> Our group picks several barrels each year, and the Four Roses visit is a favorite for the reasons mentioned. But as Cope alludes to, Buffalo Trace has done its best to wring all the uniqueness out of its picks. I (Steve) have been on a pair of BT and Blanton’s picks in the past year and a half, and every barrel offered on both trips contained nothing unique; nothing either group wanted to stamp as “you gotta have this” bottle good.

Cope also visits the idea that people get so caught up in the pick experience that they’ll defend their liquid results as great even when they probably aren’t. If you’ve seen that defense in action, you’ll not only chuckle, you may think, “Hmm, maybe I’ve done that, too.”


“The Wait is Finally Over—Castle & Key's First Bourbon Release is Here.”

That’s the headline in an email from Castle & Key. Since, as a whiskey fan, I’m truly lucky to live in Kentucky, I’ve gotten to watch the progress of this brand, its distillery, its gin and rye releases (I don’t care about the vodka) and the solid team that’s been in place for the past few years. Yes, that’s shameless cheering for the home team.

Back to Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon: This is a highly anticipated release—dubbed Batch 1—that comes with an SRP of $55. You read that correctly: $55. Too often we see first releases from small distilleries go much higher—and that’s at places without the history, campus or commitment to doing spirits right shown at C&K.

Batch 1 will be released at Castle & Key Distillery on Saturday, March 26. Batch 2 comes later this spring.

For those who can’t make the initial release, Batch 1 will become available in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin starting in April.