Top 10 Spirits 2007
Selections for Your Home Bar
By Chris Rubin
this age of epic uncertainty—regime change and
climate change, just to name a few—it's good
to know some things remain constant, among them the ever-evolving
quest to create the perfect spirit. Below are some of the
best you'll find on the market.
wouldn't love U'Luvka, the new Polish
vodka? The boldly curvy bottle with a crooked neck
offers its own appeal, but it's the smooth
spirit itself, a blend of rye, barley and wheat—with
inspiration from 16th century alchemists of the royal
court of King Sigismund III—that makes it smooth
Martin Extra, $379
best spirits engage all our senses, and Rémy’s
Extra certainly does that, from the eye-catching
container, like an oversized perfume vessel, to its
rich amber hue and complex aromas. The long-aged
brandies within yield a seemingly endless finish.
Regal 25 Year Old, $300
the blend debuted in 1909, it featured 25-year-old
spirits, but the product was so successful and
created such a surge in interest in Scotch that
sufficiently old barrels of the stuff were in short
supply and younger whiskies were used. This special
bottling marks a return to the company's origins.
Maui Dark Rum, $20
an endless supply of fresh sugarcane and pure rainwater,
Maui seems like a natural to produce rum—and
finally the people at Haleakala Distillers have made
that a reality. Whether for sipping or creating the
perfect mai tai at home, Maui Dark Rum is your best
bet. It's double distilled by Master Distiller Braddah
Kimo, then aged in American oak casks that previously
American Dry Gin, $30
Bluecoat, a distinctly American gin quintuple
distilled in Philadelphia, does its best to distance
itself from its more traditional British ancestors.
The custom-crafted, hand-hammered copper pot still
produces a balanced gin which showcases the citrus
over the organic juniper berries and other botanicals.
Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Silver, $70
Select Barrel Reserve Silver tequila takes maximum
advantage of its clear glass bottle, showcasing
a blown glass agave on the inside, making this
one of the most striking spirits on the market.
The fine-aged tequila on the inside merits sipping
on its own, or marrying with the finest ingredients
for a truly top-shelf margarita.
Elderflower Liqueur, $28
elderflowers are hand-picked in season in the French
Alps and then delivered by bicycle to the plant
for immediate processing. St-Germain, the resulting
light and low-alcohol liqueur, has a lovely pale
golden hue and comes inside a clear, tapered octagonal
bottle that warmly evokes the Deco era.
Beleza Pura, $30
how this product's name translates in English,
and one sip will tell you why. It's classic
Brazil's sugarcane-based spirit, fragrant and
potent, and the essential ingredient in the caipirinha,
the South American nation's mojito-like cocktail.
Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer Finish, $90
malts from Scotland have long employed sherry and
other previously used barrels to finish their products.
Now, with the addition of casks from Sonoma-Cutrer,
Woodford is the only bourbon on the market finished
in a barrel previously used to age California chardonnay.
Think of this rare bourbon as the best of Kentucky
meeting the best of California. The
result is sweeter and smoother than the standard
Woodford Reserve, with heightened notes of
vanilla and caramel.
Bushmills 1608, $100
new limited-edition bottle from the venerable producer
of Irish whiskey celebrates the 400th anniversary
of the town's
license to distill. The use of crystal malt, more
commonly found in beer, yields an unusually smooth
final product with notes of toffee and chocolate.
More Spirit Reviews
and Champagne Reviews