MAD RIVER MAPLE CASK RUM (46% ABV, $43). This Vermont-based distillery has been producing some mighty fine whiskey and rum for more than 1/20th of a century (since 2011, in other words), which actually makes them among the older craft distilleries in the U.S. I’m a fan of their standard First Run Rum as well as their sherry cask-finished PX Rum, but for this particular autumnal holiday, my tipple of choice is their Maple Cask. It’s First Run Rum, distilled from Demerara sugar, and finished in their own used oak barrels. The catch is that the barrels have been borrowed by a local maple syrup producer, who borrows them to age his syrup and then returns them coated with maple goodness. The rum absorbs some of that maple during the finishing process, and the results are delicious. It’s drier and less cloying than you might expect, with oak and a hint of smoke amongst the vanilla and butterscotch notes. Perfect for sipping neat or with an ice cube while arguing politics with various family members at the dining table.