Spirit Reviews

New brands and bottles you should know.


If You Like Savory Cocktails, Try These Celery Bitters

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio Post a comment

Celery bitters lend an enticingly vegetal and citrusy edge that plays well with traditional savory drinks (Bloody Mary, anyone?) but is also lovely with the floral notes of gin (just one dash in a martini is a revelation, and 2 to 3 dashes takes the sweet edge off a G&T), as well as the grassy, herbal undertone of tequila. Which bottles should you try? Here are my favorite brands of celery bitters. More

The 7 Best Budget Tequilas

Cocktail 101 Michael Dietsch 18 comments

Our top recommendations for 100%-agave tequila that you can buy for $25 and under. More

5 Lesser-Known Bourbons You Should Be Drinking

Spirit Reviews Robert Moss 19 comments

These 5 bourbons may not be quite as well known as Pappy Van Winkle, but they very much deserve a spot in your liquor cabinet. More

Great New Affordable High-Rye Bourbon: Tincup American Whiskey

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 16 comments

Bourbon has long been our go-to for reasonably priced whiskey, but as demand continues to grow, more and more producers are jacking up prices to cash in on the trend. That's part of what makes Tincup American whiskey such a refreshing change of pace: it's a delicious whiskey at a reasonable price. More

What's New in Irish Whiskey

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 1 comment

Some seriously good Irish whiskey is now available in the U.S. More

Try These Now: 2 Awesome High Proof Tequilas

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio Post a comment

If you haven't tried high-proof tequilas yet, seek these out. More

Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Texas Style

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio Post a comment

Situated in the small hill country town of Hye, Garrison Brothers Distillery is leading the craft whiskey charge in Texas. More

What's New in Japanese Whisky

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 3 comments

Suntory and Nikka remain the sole Japanese distillers exporting their whisky for American consumption, but there are a number of new bottlings on the market in the US. More

Ao Vodka Could Change Your Mind About Vodka

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 12 comments

This vodka from Suntory is made from 100% Japanese rice and water sourced from the island of Kyushu. The rice mash is distilled in small pot stills and clarified through a bamboo filtration process. More

Hochstadter's Slow & Low Rock and Rye: A Vintage Cocktail Party in a Bottle

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 7 comments

Produced by Cooper Spirits (of St Germain and Lock, Stock, and Barrel Rye), this new cocktail-in-a-bottle is a revival of one of the first American cocktails touted for its medicinal properties. It makes for a darn-easy cocktail party: the only other thing you need is ice. More

New Cutty Sark Prohibition: High Class Blended Scotch at a Bargain Price

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio Post a comment

This new whisky from Cutty Sark ups the ante on proof and flavor without breaking the bank. More

We Try Carpano Bianco Vermouth

Spirit Reviews Maggie Hoffman 1 comment

Cocktail lovers stateside are pretty familiar with Carpano Antica Formula—so much so that a writer for Food & Wine joked that "If you add Carpano Antica to whiskey, people will think you are a good bartender." But while we've enjoyed our share of drinks enriched with the Antica, Europe got early access to the Bianco version, which finally launched this fall in the US. We gave it a try on its own, and played around with it in cocktails, too. More

Andrew Strenio's Top Ten Spirits of 2013

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 9 comments

It's been a banner year in the spirits industry, with incredible new releases flowing fast and furious. After reviewing dozens for this site (and drinking even more beyond that), it's always difficult for me to choose favorites. Still, you're wondering what to seek out to tuck under the Christmas tree or order online as a gift to yourself, so I might as well try. Here are my top spirits of the year. More

Balvenie Tun 1401, Batch 9: The Best Value in Ultra-Premium Scotch

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 12 comments

If you've been watching top shelf Scotch pricing lately, you would be forgiven for thinking they were selling bottles of actual liquid gold. Enter the Balvenie Tun 1401. Offered at $250, it's a mind-blowing Scotch that can compete with whiskys at twice or even four times the price. More

Glenfiddich Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask: A Bourbon-Haunted Single Malt

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 6 comments

Now, I realize a single malt bourbon is a contradiction in terms, but hear me out. Glenfiddich's latest release in their limited edition line is very special Speyside Scotch. Unlike the vast majority of its compatriots, this whisky is aged entirely in former bourbon barrels. More

We Try the New Woodford Reserve Master's Collection Releases

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio Post a comment

These two limited releases from Woodford start with the exact same malted barley distillate. However, the Classic Malt spends its time in used bourbon barrels (like Scotch), while the Straight Malt matures in new charred oak barrels (like Bourbon). They offer an intriguing opportunity to taste the effect that the barrel truly has on the spirit. More

Martini Gran Lusso Vermouth: A New Top Shelf Celebration of An Old Standby

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 1 comment

This new limited release from Martini & Rossi is more fruit-forward than Carpano and more full-bodied than Dolin. Subtly sweet, bitter, rich, dark, complex, and spicy, it's everything a sweet vermouth should be. More

Talisker Storm: No Age Statement Scotch Done Right

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 5 comments

Releasing whiskies without age statements is a growing yet controversial trend among distilleries, a move away from 10 year, 12 year, 18 year, etc., offerings. The movement has been met with mixed feelings from connoisseurs and critics, skeptical of the trend as a way to cash in on the current boom in demand for whisky despite the limited stocks of older aged malts at most distilleries. While that is certainly a very real concern, we tend to feel that the proof is in the pudding. More

Compass Box Peat Monster 10th Anniversary Limited Edition is Worth Celebrating

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 7 comments

Compass Box has many lovely bottlings in their lineup, but arguably their breakthrough whisky was the Peat Monster—an unapologetically peaty blend of single malts that has a balanced sweetness to it that makes it an entirely distinct style of whiskey. This year Compass Box celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Peat Monster with a limited edition anniversary release, bottled at 97.8 proof. We gave this special whisky a try. More

New Jägermeister Spice: A Kinder, Gentler Jäger

Spirit Reviews Andrew Strenio 6 comments

Jägermeister Spice was inspired by the original recipe (flavored with some 56 secret herbs, fruits, flowers, and roots) but highlights cinnamon and vanilla, and is bottled at a lower 50 proof. And here's the shocker: it's meant to be drunk neat at room temperature. More

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