The Best Spirits March – June 2019
So, there you are. Standing in the liquor aisle of your supermarket, or liquor store, trying to decide which bottles are more than just a nice label. It’s kind of like shooting a fish in a barrel – only the lights are off, and the barrel is actually a pool. Lucky for you, we have compiled the best spirits of Spring 2019 into one list. Every spirit has been officially tested and scored, and is included on the list due to its overall quality and or value.
The Best of the Best
94 – High West Distillery Bourye: A Blend of Straight Whiskeys ($49)
Caramel color; soft toasted nose; silky smooth texture, creamy, lush mouth feel; vanilla and brown sugar, dried fruits and soft spice; a skillful blend of bourbon and rye, all with at least 10 years of barrel age.
94 – George Dickel Bottled in Bond Tennessee Whisky, USA ($40)
A stunning new iteration, 13 years old (distilled in 2005) and 100 proof; medium amber color, sweet oak and butter nose; hhoney and toasted new oak, silky and deep with a long rich finish.
94 – Larressingle XO Armagnac ($98)
Deep amber color; soft, smooth nose; silky and complex, 20 years old spirit; smooth chocolate and nutty notes of almond and hazelnut; tannic and long.
94 – Mossburn Single Malt Scotch Whiskey No. 2 2009, Scotland ($70)
Pale gold color; soft spice nose; silky texture, mellow flavors of toast, vanilla oak and treacle, marzipan and caramel; elegant and rich, balanced and long.
96 – Bardstown Bourbon Company Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Discovery Series, USA ($130)
Ripe amber color; rich toasty nose with a hint of cinnamon; smooth and tangy, rich and mellow (when watered); creamy, dense, layered, complex and elegant with toast, vanilla, and spice; lush flavors and a long sweet finish.
94 – Booker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Teresa’s Batch ($70)
Medium amber color; charred oak nose; cask strength (125.9 proof) but silky and elegant; watering brings out its smooth, toasty, rich dried fruit flavors; long and mellow.
95 – El Tesoro Tequila Extra Añejo Aged 5 Years, Mexico ($125)
Pale straw color; rich earthy agave nose; satin smooth texture, sweet, elegant agave and caramel; aged in toasty French Oak which give the spirit a lush vanilla cast; creamy, lush and balanced with a sweet, long finish; this is truly “The Treasure.”
95 – Powers John’s Lane Release Single Pot Still Aged 12 Years, Ireland ($62)
Medium amber color; nose of wood, toast, charcoal and honey; spice, vanilla, honey and dried stone fruits; sweet, long finish.
94 – Paquera Mezcal Artisanal Barril Mezcal Let’s be Friends, Mexico ($75)
Floral nose; silky texture with tangy style and bright, rich, elegant style; ripe and lush with great depth and tangy notes of earth and spice, long and racy, silky and complex.
95 – Whistle Pig Piggy Back Rye Whiskey Aged 6 Years in American Oak, Pot Distilled, Canada ($50)
Medium amber color; silky, smooth, lush, floral and deep without being heavy; Christmas pudding and vanilla, elegant and graceful, balanced, long with great finesse; a Canadian import that is quite welcome here.
The Value Picks
93 – Crater Lake Dry Gin Reserve, USA ($20)
Soft juniper nose; silky texture, dry and creamy with grapefruit and orange peel plus coriander; an elegant and understated gin, and its from Oregon.
90 – Austin Cocktails Cucumber Vodka Mojito, USA ($16)
Cloudy, citrusy and well-blended mixture of pure and neutral vodka with a basket of mint, cucumber, lime and agave; crisp, tangy citrus and smooth.
92 – Stillhouse Classic Vodka, USA ($22)
Smooth, creamy and fresh; silky and rich with deep, intense flavors; lush, clean and long, with depth and length; from rapper G-Eazy; packaged in a handsome can.
91 – Simple Vodka, USA ($27)
Smooth, simple with deep flavors and good balance; clean and creamy; long and fresh.
91 – The Speyburn Distillery Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky Aged 10 Years, Scotland ($33)
Pale amber color; smooth, toasty nose; mellow, nutty, and stylish; balanced and smooth-textured; clean, lush, and long.