Two new entries in the Irish whiskey competition deserve your attention, and a glass. A fireplace would be nice, too. Or pop in a DVD of John Ford's "The Quiet Man."
The Knappogue Castle 1994 Master Distiller's Private Selection is a very limited bottling. Only 1,100 bottles are available. If you find one, enjoy it neat.
This bright, smooth, toasty whiskey has a fruity quality, with citrus and apple notes. Balanced and refined, it's complex but on the lighter side of the Irish-whiskey spectrum. The County Clare whiskey was triple-distilled, aged in bourbon casks and bottled in December. A 750-ml bottle is $99.
From County Cork, Tullamore Dew is one of the popular names in Irish whiskey. The Tullamore Dew 10-Year-Old Single Malt is the brand's first single malt. It comes across with considerable style: toasty, with hints of warm spice, caramel, vanilla and sherry. And the whiskey did age in casks of dry oloroso sherry, old bourbon, Madeira and Port. Double-distilled, it's a malty, very satisfying choice. A 750-ml bottle is about $40.
Long Island'sBrew of the Week
Brewmaster Phil Markowski makes you believe spring is coming with Southampton Publick House's delightful Biere de Mars. Here's a hazy, fruity, spiced amber ale. Fine on its own and very food-friendly, especially with pork and chicken. About $9 for a six-pack.