Dream Work
The New Year has already delivered shiny good news for cigar enthusiasts: two of the industry’s favorite collaborators are back at it again. Altadis U.S.A., makers of H. Upmann, have announced that they are again working with A.J. Fernandez on a new line of cigars. The two titans have teamed up before, in 2017 and in 2019. Their latest release, the straightforwardly titled H. Upmann Nicaragua AJ Fernandez Heritage, will hit shelves by the end of January. As with most of Fernandez’s cigars, it features a Nicaraguan filler. The wrapper is a triple-fermented Brazilian Mata Fina leaf. It’s a bold smoke to kick off 2022, coming in five sizes ranging from a Corona up to a Churchill. Think of this release as the third installment in an Oscar winning trilogy: good things come in threes. $9.75-$10.75 per cigar, altadisusa.com

The American market has no shortage of domestic whiskey, which begs the question: do we need another import? The Aussies over at the Gospel Whiskey vote a resounding yes. Their Straight Rye Whiskey, made of 100% Australian unmalted rye, is made to match American standards of distilling and quality while bringing a distinctly local flavor. The rye is sourced from Murray Mallee in South Australia, a dry region known for its grains. Ryes are popular right now for their spicy richness, and the Gospel’s product is a grain-forward sip that wouldn’t be out of place in the bars of Kentucky. Travel helps us see what the people of the world have in common, and in this case, we can taste it. $50, thegospelwhiskey.com

Rocky Patel rang in the New Year with a statement cigar. The NYTA Rocky Patel Empire supports the New York Tobacconist Association, a group that advocates for cigar retailers in the Empire State. All proceeds from this 6×52 toro will go to NYTA and its legislation initiatives. Good causes don’t have to be bland; this Honduran cigar is made from a blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos and comes in a slim, elegant box that doesn’t scream “special edition.” Patel is famous for his blends, and this one is specially crafted to celebrate the history of cigars in the state. New York may not be the cigar haven it once was, but Rocky Patel and NYTA invite aficionados to light one up and get lost in the haze of the glory days. $11.99 per cigar, rockypatel.com

Widow Jane, the Red Hook-based distillery putting out powerful small-batch whiskeys, is a long-time favorite of INDUSTRY staff. It was one of the first distilleries in a now crowded (and growing) Brooklyn scene. This season marks the re-release of Decadence, WJ’s popular winter blend finished in oak barrels that previously held maple syrup from Dover Plains’ Crown Maple. Those maple notes make for great a wintry cocktail: hot toddy, whiskey ginger, old fashioned. But make no mistake, Decadence is a heavy hitter, clocking in at 91 proof. It’s complicated notes eclipse “flavored” whiskeys, enhancing rather than distracting. Try it on the rocks, and make sure to try it soon its limited release means that when it’s gone, it’s gone. $89.99, widowjane.com

Maximum Security
Aptly named, “the Fortress” is considered the most secure and luxurious safe in the world, developed by the shrewd minds of fabled German safe manufacturer Döttling. For anyone with a cool $125,000 to spend on a home safe, the handcrafted vault is essentially impenetrable, available in levels three through five in the VdS certified security classes, and it offers silent alarm functionality along with up to $1 million in insurance. It’s damn gorgeous, too, upholstered with pure calfskin leather and finished with eight individually controlled watch winders that can rotate left, right, or oscillating. But let’s get to the most important component the Spanish cedar humidor, featuring an electronic humidifying system with both a hygrometer and barometer. Now you can finally lay your head down at night assured your Arturo Fuente collectibles are safe and sound. $125,000, doettling.com