In 1999, the distillery's name was officially changed to Buffalo Trace in reference to the historic buffalo migration paths found in the area. Add a few drops of distilled water to this Eagle Rare 10 Year Old bourbon to release the complex honey-and-leather flavors and the overtones of orange zest. This is a dandy sipping whiskey, perfect for the cool, crisp evenings of autumn.

SAZERAC 18 YEAR OLD STRAIGHT RYE ($39)


The Sazerac Coffee House was one of the most popular drinking establishments in 19th century New Orleans - "coffeehouse" being a common euphemism for saloon. The place was famous for the Sazerac cocktail, a mixture of imported brandy, absinthe, and a special bitters created by Creole apothecary Antoine Peychaud. A later owner of the Sazerac changed the recipe to use Kentucky whiskey, which came down to the Big Easy by boat.

The Sazerac bar is now in the New Orleans Fairmont Hotel, but the Sazerac company is still in business as a spirits merchant. One star of its portfolio is this heady, dry, and spicy Kentucky rye whiskey. According to purists, rye is the spirit of choice for a true Sazerac, although you can substitute bourbon or cognac. Coat the inside of a well-chilled old-fashioned glass with Pernod. Add one sugar cube and a dash of Peychaud bitters and muddle with a spoon. Add 2 ounces of rye with ice cubes. Stir. Twist a lemon peel over the top but don't drop it in.

OLD WHISKEY RIVER KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY ($25)


This new bourbon is inspired by and named for the hit song by country music legend Willie Nelson. Willie reportedly sampled many a "trial" batch before selecting the one he thought should carry his trademark. Appropriately enough, the stuff is made in Bardstown, which is situated in Nelson County, Kentucky. Each bottle comes with a signature Willie Nelson guitar pick.