Despite the continued dominance of artisan cocktails, there are moments when we yearn for the simplicity of a glass of fine liquor served plain. In bar slang, sipping a liquor neat means doing it without ice or other mixers. Despite the fact that many of these spirits taste great in mixed drinks. They’re best enjoyed neat, which lets their distinctiveness truly show. Here is a guide to the Best Spirits!
In the alcohol family, they are essentially the most powerful and brawny older brothers. All alcoholic beverages are produced through the fermentation of a sugary brew into ethanol and CO2. We must distill to obtain higher alcohol concentrations since yeast can only ferment for a certain amount of time before the alcohol becomes toxic to them (or physically separate the water). Due to their higher average ABVs, which range from about 20% to as much as 80 or 90% ABV. And the fact that they are distilled, “spirits” are characterized in two ways.
This selection of the greatest new spirits for this year was developed based on fundamental flavor. Rather than style or category in order to support that movement. What you’re pouring is never predictable thanks to your very own tasting menu of beverages.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao
Polly Logan, the company’s first female whisky producer. Continues the thematic through line in the non-age-statement scotch even though there is no actual chocolate product in this single malt. Instead, the box that carries the bottle is entirely made from recycled cacao pod husks. The mix incorporates ingredients from hand-pulled American and European oak sherry casks to give it a distinctively arid flavor. When combined, the outcome does actually evoke images of dark candy. Specifically, a cake made with chocolate flour, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.
Sông Cái Dry Gin
The history of Vietnam’s first-ever gin brand is almost as intriguing as the liqueur itself. Daniel Nguyen, a distiller from the United States of Vietnamese descent. Who went to the nation to promote sustainable agriculture in the Mekong River Delta, and launched the business in 2018. To create his gin today, he contracts with more than 70 local households. Paying them to collect and conserve heirloom grains and native botanicals. A beverage that is heavily spiced and infused with flavors of dried grapefruit, turmeric, and pepper is made up of these basic ingredients.
Agua Mágica was among the top releases of the previous year in terms of both flavor and appearance among the rapidly expanding number of mezcals made available in the United States. The elegant bottle is available as part of a gift set made by the designer Miguel Cardenas, and the liquid within is just as lovely, with a harmony of aromas that include white pepper, lemon, citrusy notes, and subtle smoke. This form of mezcal, known as an ensemble, is produced using two different agave plants; in this case, espadin and tobala, which were obtained from farmers in the San Juan del Rio region of Mexico.
Traditional methods, such as the age-old tahona method, which employs a stone wheel to crush the agave piñas to extract the juice, are used by Don Rogelio Juan Hernandez and his son to distill the mezcal. Both novices and seasoned connoisseurs of the spirit should enjoy Agua Mágica because it is a true sipping mezcal.
Mars Komagatake x Chichibu Malt Duo 2021
In Scotland, where distilleries have traded casks for hundreds of years, blended malts are now widely available. A first in the contemporary period of Japanese whisky production. However, the exchange of distillates between Mars Shinshu and Chichibu in 2015 was nothing short of revolutionary. A 110-proof palate pleaser with initial components of brown sugar and Manuka honey was produced as a result of that bravery. Which enthusiasts should admire as it led to one of the more intriguing releases of 2021. In a prolonged fade, they both give in to tobacco spice. savor it while you can. In total, fewer than 1,200 bottles were delivered here.
Benriach Smoke Season Scotch
Islay in the Hebrides is the location most often associated with peated scotch. Benriach achieves something quite distinct by adding the element to its Speyside liquid. This non-age-statement single malt is more about campfire smoke than the iodine-like, medicinal flavors that define the Islay stuff. On the tongue, there is a hint of BBQ tanginess that is complemented by a creamy caramel undertone. That can be attributed to time spent in underutilized American oak.
Sugar Monk Amari Akhenaten
With its creative takes on the traditional Italian herbal liqueur. This Amari producer from New York creates flavorful tapestries that are woven from exotic herbs, spices, and other organic additions. Over 40 of them are used by Akhenaten. Including myrrh, basil, eucalyptus, cedar, cumin, and tree bark, to name a few. The roasty, minty tones present here are intriguing enough to drink plain or atop a single ice cube. But bartenders would have a field day incorporating them into sophisticated cocktails. The Harlem School of the Arts at the Herb Alpert Center receives 25% of the total earnings from this bottling as an added benefit.
Old Forester Single Barrel Rye
Given that a large portion of the premium market has been fixated on ever-more-experimental barrel finishings, this enormous, bold, unashamed statement of the eponymous grain comes as a surprise. The limited release, according to Master Taster Jackie Zykan, is the closest you’ll come to sipping rye right from the barrel. It originates from one of just 75 casks that she hand-selected and bottled earlier this year without diluting. Other whiskey had proof of 127 but lacked the fire you might anticipate from such a powerful liquor. It offers toast and roast after opening in the glass for a minute.
Over the past few years, Japanese Mizunara oak casks have gained popularity as aging vessels for spirits. This pricey and rather rare wood has been used to make anything from Irish whiskey to bourbon to blended scotch. It is noted for adding aromatic and subtle tastes of sandalwood, spice, and cocoa to the liquid. For this particular release, Courvoisier employed mizunara casks for secondary finishing or aging, which is a common practice. On this bottling, chief blender Patrice Pinet collaborated with House of Suntory chief blender Shinji Fukuyo in choosing a cask to mature the Cognac after its initial French oak maturation.
There are only 500 bottles of spirits available, and the front of each is decorated with an image of a Mizunara oak tree and is numbered. The richness and dried fruit aromas at the heart of this Cognac are balanced by a touch of bitter tannin and apple flavors, which are accented with delicate sandalwood and cherry undertones.