This winter brings two valentines to connoisseurs of single-malt whisky. For the first time, The Glenlivet is offering its 1967 single malt--bottled straight from the cask, without dilution, filtration, or color adjustment--in a limited edition culled from the cellars of its distillery in Banffshire, Scotland. Master distiller Jim Cryle selected, signed, and numbered each of some 3,000 bottles; 1,200 of these are available at select stores and restaurants in North America ($199; www.theglenlivet.com). From wine-loving Italy comes an unexpected paean in Single Malt Whisky: An Italian Passion (Brioni Books, $75). A glitzy, guilty pleasure of a read, the book launches the new publishing division of Brioni, best known for its sophisticated men's suits. Author Umberto Angeloni, Brioni's chairman, revels in all manner of esoterica relating to Italians' love for the spirit, from a medieval affinity for aquavitae to Puccini's reference to whisky in his opera La Fanciulla del West. Black-and-white photographs sprinkled throughout illustrate a jet set gone by: Tennessee Williams sipping a glass on Rome's Via Veneto; Ernest Hemingway at Harry's Bar in Venice; Josephine Baker after perhaps a drop too many. The cover features a voluptuous Anita Ekberg surrounded by Scotch-drinking admirers in a scene from La Dolce Vita. In Brioni stores or by phone: 800-252-5231.
— Jackie Cooperman
A Boxed Set
Hand-rolled, using choice Dominican tobacco and well-aged Connecticut wrappers, Gurkha cigars are among the finest in the world, and they're not even illegal. While some of the six varieties are cocooned in individual glass tubes sealed with wax, the bold, spicy Master Select blend comes in a bundle of 25 inside an elegant lacquered mahogany box ($250). A gold seal of authenticity and a numbered brass plate assure you that yours is one of only 3,000 boxes produced each year. Call for select stores: 305-593-2254.