Slideshow: Ask a Bartender: What's Your Favorite Small-Batch Spirit?

Tequila Ocho Reposado
Tequila Ocho Reposado
"Lately, I've been really enjoying Tequila Ocho Reposado. It really is an almost perfect spirit.  I even have customers who call it 'Mother's Milk.'  Always a winner." — Ryan Hill (Sirena)
House Spirits Westward Whiskey
House Spirits Westward Whiskey
"I love House Spirits Rum and their Westward Whiskey right now. They're a smaller distillery up in Portland, Oregon that makes some killer spirits. The Westward is made from barley and aged for about 3 years in lightly charred barrels.  It comes out nutty, malty and lightly honeyed. It's nice to be able to do a taste test with this next to their White Dog." — Brian Means (Fifth Floor)
Anything Distinct
Anything Distinct
"There are a ton; the ones that catch my eye are the ones who—yes, maybe they are making a gin, but they are choosing some aspect to make it distinct like St. George's Terroir. Or choosing a spirit that has gotten a bad rap and making it beautiful, like Stone Barn Brandy Works in Portland, who make a grappa that doesn’t taste like rocket fuel." — Allison Webber (Jasper's Corner Tap & Kitchen)
Ransom Old Tom Gin
Ransom Old Tom Gin
"I'm a fan of Ransom Old Tom Gin. You can sip it, mix it, or do some body shots of Martinez Cocktails if the mood is right. Very versatile and frankly one of the few small batch spirits that's come out in the last few years that's worth it." — George Costa (Pub & Kitchen)
Letherbee Malort
Letherbee Malort
"Small batch is a bit of a misnomer, and small isn't always better. There are lots of great craft distilleries out there but most of them have a long way to go to catch up to the big boys. That said, Letherbee is a cool, young distillery, and the Malort they're currently producing is a great example of the category." —Mike Ryan (Sable)
Casa Dragones Tequila
Casa Dragones Tequila
"Casa Dragones is an excellent tequila! I like it because it’s smooth and you can drink it straight without burning your throat. The bottle is hand crafted and they only produce a limited quantity per year." — Jessica Duclos (LAVO)
St. George
St. George
"Anything by St. George/Hanger1. Literally anything. I love their whole ingredient recipes and natural flavor infusions. If I had to pick one thing by them, the Terroir Gin is my favorite. It's like they distilled Christmas." — Ellie Bobrowski (The Mortimer at Hotel Adagio)
Lots!
Lots!
"There are some great ones coming out of Brooklyn/New York-based distilling companies such as Dorothy Parker Gin—it’s clean, crisp and there are lots of traditional and nontraditional botanicals in it. I also like Templeton Rye (though it's not really as small batch anymore). Lastly, I’d say the 123 Organic tequilas, just a beautiful product line with amazing complex flavors. And I love the recycled bottles, soy inks and recycled labels…so you can get drunk and at the same time do something for the planet." — Johnny Swet (JIMMY at The James, et al.)
Johnny Drum 101
Johnny Drum 101
"Johnny Drum 101. Small batch bourbon. Astringent corn sugars, smooth and dry for a bourbon. My favorite!" — Justin Fairweather (Evelyn Drinkery)
Some Seattle, Some Boston
Some Seattle, Some Boston
"I'm a fan of local, so I tend to find spirits that are close by that speak to me. In Boston, I was down with Bully Boy and Privateer. Now that I'm in Seattle, Sun Liquors and Oola have a special place in my heart. I think that the teams behind these brands are talented, passionate, and really adept at crafting a great product that works well behind a bar." — Elizabeth Powell (Liberty Bar)
Elmer T. Lee
Elmer T. Lee
"One bourbon that has been on my mind lately is Elmer T. Lee out of the Buffalo Trace distillery. One of the finest distillers in Kentucky, and I hear that Elmer himself still tastes and approves each batch. It is oozing with corn yet still has a nice spice balance to make this one of the best bourbons for the price I have come across." — Ryan Fenton (Pennsylvania 6)