New York City’s distillery revolution has been going on for a few years now everywhere except one place: a little enclave called Manhattan. The opening of Great Jones Distilling Co. at 636 Broadway marks the borough’s first legal distillery since Prohibition. Helmed by Juan Domingo Beckmann of José Cuervo, the distillery is all class with a warm, woody interior and a Gilded Age sort of opulence that harkens back to a New York of yesteryear. As of writing, Great Jones offers a streamlined portfolio of a straight bourbon, a four grain bourbon, and a rye whiskey. The distillery sources its grain from the Warwick Valley, and unlike many other city distilleries, which, due to space constraints, are forced to do their actual distilling elsewhere, this is an entirely in house operation. We’ll drink to that.

Striking Gold
One of our favorite cigar releases of this year, the 1502 Black Gold Corona has been a long time in the making. Global Premium Cigars first announced a corona in the 1502 lineup back in 2013. In the hour and a half it will take to smoke this beauty, you’ll have plenty of time to thank yourself for waiting. It’s an excellently constructed cigar with a clean burn, comprised of a Nicaraguan double binder and long filler and a Mexican San Andres wrapper. The 1502 blend has an earthiness that gives way to a peppery bite as you make your way through. The arrival of the Black Gold Corona brings the Black Gold line to six sizes, offering just about every type of smoking experience. The Black Gold is the strongest of the three 1502 lines, so this is the one you want. $185 for 25,

It’s been 25 years since the release of Carlos Fuente Jr.’s OpusX cigar, which marked the debut of that classic Cuban seed wrapper grown under shade in the Dominican Republic. That leaf is Fuente’s calling card, and to celebrate a quarter century of excellence the brand has partnered with Elie Bleu to release a must have Opus 25 collection. The obvious centerpiece is the green and tan humidor stuffed with 25 limited edition OpusX cigars, retailing at $9,250. The collection is rounded out by a jet lighter ($450), a porcelain ash tray ($1,130), and a pair of rose gold cigar scissors ($480). For a small fortune, true OpusX diehards might consider the Elie Bleu Fuente Opus 25th Humidor Cabinet ($70,000), packed to the gills with 144 OpusX cigars and finished with marquetry and bronze adornments.

Nicole Spread

This Cigar Companion book is a kaleidoscope of stogie centric info, brimming with fascinating nuggets for aficionados of all knowledge levels, including a history of cigars, a discerning shopper’s guide for buying better and smarter, storage techniques for maximum preservation, and in depth profiles of the world’s top brands and sticks complete with full color photos.

There’s also pages upon pages dedicated to the painstaking attention to detail of hand making cigars, from harvesting and drying to curing the leaves. Bound by hand in lush bonded leather, the deluxe coffee table reader is also damn good looking, a welcomed addition to your lounge. $85,

Cream Of The Crop
Celebrity backed liquors are old news these days, but some celebrities demand headlines: Mariah Carey is coming to a liquor store near you. Carey announced via Instagram the release of a range of cream liqueurs dubbed Black Irish. A nod to her Irish, Black, and Venezuelan ancestry, the liqueur is positioned as a holiday drink worth sipping year round. In a business where most A listers are slapping their name on tequila brands, the move is a distinct choice and speaks to Carey’s go your ownway approach. Cream liqueur is criminally underrepresented on many cocktail lists. Fix that and substitute Black Irish in your next B 52 shot, Irish coffee, mudslide cocktail, or just sip over ice. Play “Always Be My Baby” on the turntable for bonus points. $24.99, available online.