Spirits

By law, cognac must be made in the Cognac region of France, but brandy can be produced anywhere—even in Ukiah, Calif., where 12th-generation distiller Miles Kara­kasevic makes an unusually complex...
Turning 40 can be a momentous occasion, especially at Glenfiddich, one of the few remaining family-owned distilleries in Scotland. This Speyside institution, founded by Wil­liam Grant in 1887, has...
Generally, we are averse to selecting the same distillery for inclusion in our Best of the Best issue two years in a row, even when the whiskeys in question are dramatically different. Yet we cannot...
One of the greatest and richest single-malt whiskies in existence was created against one of the world’s starkest landscapes—a remote, windswept island in the Orkney archipelago. High­land Park,...
Holland’s oldest distillers, the Nolet family, who established their business in 1691, have set a new benchmark for the primary component of the martini. Even so, 10th-generation family patriarch...
Founded in 1698, Berry Bros. & Rudd is not only Britain’s oldest wine and spirit merchant and the creator of the Cutty Sark brand of Scotch whisky, but also a purveyor of fine rum, which it sells...
Connoisseurs have long been familiar with Louis XIII, the Grande Champagne Cognac composed of 1,200 eaux-de-vie ranging in age from 40 to 100 years. However, even these cognoscenti will be pleasantly...
The single malts from Talisker has been nicknamed “the lava of the Cuillins” for the spirits’ trademark peppery character, as well as the 181-year-old distillery’s solitary location in the jagged...
As soon as the federal government began enforcing the Volstead Act, clandestine stills cropped up across the land to supply a crude, corn-based whiskey that—because it was delivered nocturnally by...
Combining spirits of various ages requires as much care and dexterity of the blender as, say, weaving together disparate melodies does of the master musician. It is with such adroitness that Juan...
John MacDonald, distillery manager for Balblair Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, releases whisky from casks for bottling only when the spirit reaches its optimal maturation. For this reason,...
The object in making fine vodka, until recently, has been largely to eliminate rather than to exaggerate flavors. Popular taste, however, has gone in the opposite direction. Today’s flavored and...
Even though this family-owned Speyside distillery grows some of its own barley, does its own maltings, makes its own barrels, and even has an on-site coppersmith to tend its stills, it went off-site...
Not to be confused with a similarly named Canadian product, this Kentucky straight rye whiskey was distilled in 1983 at Bardstown, then, after being transferred to another facility, aged even longer...
Two of the most intense malt-whisky flavor components are new American oak—which imparts vanillin characteristics—and peat, which, when used to dry malted barley, produces a smoky taste. In his quest...
There is something intriguing about a 100-proof, richly textured bourbon that seems much too modestly priced for its quality. Plus, it comes in its own equestrian-themed decanter, a tribute to the...
Lightly peated and distilled two-and-a-half times (thanks to the unique design of its copper pot stills), Springbank is the pride of Campbeltown, as well as of collectors and connoisseurs the world...
Made with rye from the northern United States and Canada—where colder climates reduce the need for herbicides to kill weeds such as wild onions—and using a thicker mash that flows through the column...
Also known as Gosling’s Old Rum, the Gosling family’s oldest and rarest Bermuda blend is a big, dark, full-bodied sipping libation. "Our Family Reserve is a very limited release, but worth the search...
This is the fourth edition of Parker’s Heritage Collection, an annual, limited-edition offering of some of the prime barrels selected by Heaven Hill master distiller Parker Beam. This non-chill-...
The only female cellar master of a major Cognac house, Pierrette Trichet has a keenly honed sense of taste. In 2004 she took note of one particular barrel of Louis XIII Grande Champagne Cognac that...
Uncut, unfiltered, straight from the barrel, this 143-proof powerhouse is brimming with honey and chocolate-covered cherry—just the pour for cattle kings and railroad barons. Add an ice cube and...
This newly introduced Grande Champagne Cognac—part of the launch of the Courvoisier Connoisseur Collection—is the first to declare an age statement on the bottle (as opposed to a vintage year). The...
Unlike the rough and rowdy rye whiskeys of the old West, long years in charred-oak barrels have tamed this deep reddish-amber spirit with gentle hints of honey, citrus, and spicy oak—perfect straight...
Since its founding in 1863, this Cognac house—the fifth-largest producer in the world—has remained family owned, with Cyril Camus, the fifth generation, now bringing it to America. The flagship...
For years, this small, family-owned Cognac house has sold its prized eaux-de-vie to many of the larger companies for their most prestigious blends. But now certain "lots," as founder Abel Tesseron...
In 1263 the chief of the Clan Mackenzie saved King Alexander’s life; in gratitude, the king granted the clan permission to portray the royal stag’s head, which appears on every bottle of The Dalmore...
Of all the single malts created by The Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson, this is the most complex. It is a compilation of whiskies aged for 20 to 40 years in a variety of woods, including...
Formerly available only in duty-free shops (as Glenfiddich 15 Year Old Cask Strength), this 102-proof single malt has finally made it to American stores. Aged in a combination of American and...

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