Glenfiddich - 12 years
Gold Medal winner in the 2007 International Wine & Spirit Competition. The Glen Fiddich 12 Year is distinctively fresh and fruity with a hint of pear on the nose. The palate for this single malt is characteristically sweet, with undertones of butterscotch, cream, malt and a hint of oak. It finishes long, smooth and mellow.
Glenmorangie 12 Years The Quinta Ruban
The scent of citrus and ripening peaches is softened by the aroma of vanilla. First, vanilla is detected on the tongue before it ripples along the palate bringing a burst of flowery fruitiness.
About a minute after tasting, you are left with a clean and salving aftertaste with hints of orange and peach
Macallan 12 years
The Macallan brand is synonymous with top-tier Single Malt Scotch, and the unsung hero of their portfolio is their Cask Strength. This malt hails from the Easter Elchies House of Macallan overlooking the River Spey. Like its better-known 18-year-old sibling, the Cask Strength has a sherried finish making it bright, rich and accessible; but this one explodes with caramel, brown sugar, toffee and vanilla so complex and intertwined it drinks like a dessert. It's well balanced on the palate with a sweet, tawny port, cinnamon oatmeal bouquet.
Mount Gay 1703
Named for the year in which the Mount Gay distillery was founded, this premium product of Barbados displays the type of craftsmanship and refinement of flavors that one would expect from the oldest continuously active rum brand in the world. Made from Barbadian sugarcane and coral-filtered water, Mount Gay 1703 goes through both single and continuous distillation processes for increased complexity before being aged for up to 30 years in lightly charred oak Bourbon barrels from Kentucky. The finished product is fruity, but not in a paper-umbrella-adornment way. Rather, the amber-hued rum features banana and candied fruits on the palate that lingered long after the 86-proof nectar warmed your innards.
Pyrat Cask 1623
We learned in grade school that many pirates suffered from scurvy as their less-than-nutritious diets at sea did not contain enough Vitamin C. (That nutrient is usually found in perishable fruits and vegetables that were rarely found on pirate vessels on long journeys.) Perhaps it's coincidence, but Pyrat Cask 1623, named for the Old English word for "pirate," seems like a citrus blast that can cure whatever ails you. Now we're not suggesting that you take an 80-proof shot in the morning in lieu of your Flintstones chewables, but this oh-so-smooth, honeyed, syrupy rum is delightful on the nose, palate and the brain.
Nose: Very light and fresh-smelling. Delicate juniper leads to a savoury and lime cordial-led aroma with an understated floral influence.
Initially pleasingly smooth, but becoming spicier towards the finish. A lighter gin with a little more rose influence than on the nose, but the cucumber is still hidden away. Not what is expected given the marketing. More lime cordial and a good dash of cumin to give a little character which otherwise stays firmly in the easy-going realm.
The Botanist may well be Scotland's finest gin. Its intensely complicated mash bill is a gathering of botanicals from one side of the country to the other, including hawthorn, white clover, red clover, birch leaf, sweet chamomile peel, oris root, wild Islay juniper, elderflower, apple, mint, sage leaf, wood, bog, myrtle, sweet cicely, creeping thistle, peppermint leaf, heather flowers, mugwort leaves, thyme leaf and gorse flower. In all, there are nine of the traditional botanicals and 22 botanicals unique to Scotland. This is a hugely floral gin with the addition of apple, menthol, honey, coconut and a touch of peat bog. The intensity is reminiscent of its sister Islay whiskies. The flavors explode on the palate and the finish is huge, but settles down with a lovely citrus, licorice, menthol and earthy warmth. It's a triumph for gin while remaining uniquely Scottish. Lady’s bedstraw, angelica root, cassia bark, cinnamon bark, coriander seed, juniper berries, lemon peel, licorice root and orange.
Distilled from fine French grapes, Ciroc is vodka of the highest order.
At the heart of this unique vodka are carefully selected grapes grown high in the Gaillac region of France.
Most other vodkas are produced from common starches such as wheat or potatoes. The grapes in Ciroc are hand-selected, from bunches left on the vine for an extended period of ripening.
The juice pressed from Ciroc grapes is cold fermented. Never before has cold-fermentation been used in the making of a luxury vodka.
Finally, Ciroc is then distilled a total of five times - the fifth time using specially-designed, yet traditional copper pot-still methods, ensuring that it is of the highest quality. It is this process that contributes to the refined citrus-like nose, smooth taste experience and crisp, clean finish that is inherent in Ciroc Vodka
The French have never had much use for such prosaic qualities as humility, so it's no wonder they have anointed their biggest-selling vodka as the world's "best tasting." It's that very cocksureness that makes us love them so. And the truth is that any serious conversation about the finest vodkas available should include Grey Goose, if for no other reason than it is one of two brands (the other is Absolut) that propelled the worldwide premium vodka craze. But there is another reason: pure vodka deliciousness.
Reyka comes from Iceland; so does Björk. We dig Björk, so of course we figured we'd best try Reyka. It's great vodka. Clean and markedly smooth, Reyka is produced with glacial water that scientist types have declared "impurity free." That kind of clarity is most mixable, the key attribute of any vodka in this cocktail-crazy world in which we live.