Tax season can provoke varied emotions. For some, it’s a time of jubilance—a thrilling windfall, for spending with enthusiasm: whiskey, plane tickets, fancy dinners, more whiskey. For others, the prospect of checks to be written casts a pall across the bright cheeriness of springtime, a tightening of the belt, a kind of inescapable gloom emanating from somewhere near the zone of your wallet.
No matter which camp you’re in this year, you could probably do with a drink. Allow us.
If You Got Money Back
Congratulations! Uncle Sam is cutting you a check. It’s time to splash out.
Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades
Is Wild Turkey Rare Breed or 101 your favorite everyday whiskey? Why not explore the upper reaches of the range? Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Decades is a blend of 10-year-old to 20-year-old whiskey from Wild Turkey is about as classy as they come. “This is Wild Turkey after Cotillion school,” says one reviewer. “The gobbler wearing a tuxedo.”
Spice Tree Extravaganza
It’s hard not to love Compass Box—their gorgeous bottles, tongue-in-cheek attitude, and wizardry in the blending room endear the brand to even the most skeptical of Scotch drinkers. Spice Tree Extravaganza is the high-end version of Compass Box’ popular Spice Tree release, and it’s “decadent…delightful…wunderbar.”
Make out like a bandit this year? Perhaps it’s time to spurge. If its $5,000 price tag doesn’t make you at least a little curious, maybe our review will convince you: “A pour of indisputable elegance, structure, and balance…Grace Kelly in a glass.”
If You Owe Taxes
Buck up, champ. The feds might take your money, but they’d never take your whiskey…right?
This bottled-in-bond corn whiskey from Heaven Hill clocks in at just over $10 a bottle in most markets, yet delivers that most elusive of whiskey experiences with aplomb: something really strange and unusual. Usually you have to pay for novelty!
Made from 90% corn and aged in used cooperage, Mellow Corn is a bartender favorite, due in no small part to its hipster-friendly packaging. Plus, it actually tastes pretty good. Honest.
George Dickel Tennessee Whisky
Perpetually second fiddle George Dickel is one of my favorite budget brands. Their flagship No. 8 Sour Mash Tennessee Whisky is sweet, smooth, and has a mysterious vitamin flavor that makes you think for a second that it might be somehow healthy. Think of it as a tax tonic.
Dewar’s White Label
Feel like you’ve just spent enough money domestically to last a decade? Look to Scotland for relief. Dewar’s White Label is around $20 in most stores, and it’s a surprisingly balanced, enjoyable dram that makes a killer highball.