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Bottles worth a special splurge

The fall allocation of the country's most sought-after whiskey will be hitting stores in just a handful of days.

Bad news: Most of the Pappy Van Winkle is already spoken for, through pre-order lists that date back 18 months. But there are plenty of other liquid ways to spend your fine-whiskey funds.

Glen Garioch 1986 Vintage Cask Strength ($250 for 70 cl): Only 240 bottles of this remarkable Scotch will make it to our shores for this one-time-only release. Its steep price tag will be a turn-off for some, but Scotch whisky diehards should jump at the chance. Rich and mellowed with heavy notes of cereal, it epitomizes the depth of flavor that vintage Scotch can reach. (Contact Park Ave. Liquor to preorder; bottles will ship mid-month.)

English Harbour 1981 Antigua Rum ($363 for 70 cl): Considered one of the best rums in the world, the English Harbour 1981 was aged for 25 years before being bottled in 2006. Flavors of honeyed, buttery stone fruit are wrapped in smoky notes, a residual flavor from time spent in bourbon and whiskey barrels.

Old Weller Bourbon ($22 for 750 ml): This is the well-kept secret of the bourbon-loving set. Made with a similar mash bill as Pappy (both bourbons are wheated), it offers a smooth, caramel-like flavor--soft enough to drink neat, but with a hot punch that holds up in a cocktail.

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