Researching the Understanding Whiskey piece in this week's feature meant sitting in the dining room of whiskey expert Lance Mayhew and tasting my way through his tremendous selection of whiskeys both rare and not so rare. Poor me.

But, in fact, it was a tough evening. I had to fight to stay sober enough to ask questions that would be pertinent to the piece, while taking notes. I also had to fight launching into rambling conversations on far flung topics. I partially succeeded, stumbling away from the encounter with a head full of booze and knowledge, a notebook full of barely legible notes, and a recorder with two and a half hours of interview. Needless to say, I couldn't fit everything into the piece. Most painful was skipping Mayhew's whiskey recommendations.

I figure if you're heading out tonight, you may want to try something new. So, without further ado, here's the whiskey experts picks:

Balvenie Rum Cask- An amazing new release from Balvenie, this is a single malt scotch that will appeal to both the novice scotch drinker and the seasoned enthusiast.

Dry Fly Wheat Whiskey- Wonderful cinnamon tones mix with fruit notes to create an easy drinking but surprisingly complex whiskey.

Jameson's Irish Whiskey- The key to a good pickleback (1 shot Jameson's, 1 shot pickle juice), there is a reason that Jameson's is the go to choice for most of the restaurant people in Portland. Its slightly sweet, easy drinking and pairs well with just about everything.

Bulleit bourbon- 17% rye content makes this bourbon pack a nice spicy punch. Great for a manhattan or on its own.

Crown Royal Reserve- The next step up from regular Crown Royal, this is a fantastic Canadian whisky and easily worth the few dollars more than regular Crown. Great quality for the price.

Isle of Skye blended scotch- Reminiscent of a Chinese tea room, this blend shows just how masterful the best scotch blenders can be. One of my personal favorites.

One of my personal favorites from that evening was a blended Scotch called Black Bottle. It's an amazing all-Islay blend that reminded me of standing in an old bricked-in urban garden after the passing of a sudden violent thunderstorm. Go figure.

Not sure where to find these whiskeys? Why not try one of these fine establishments. Also, help a Blogtownie out and drop your own whiskey recommendations in the comments, below.