The best spirits of 2010
Sunday 12 December 2010
A list of the top-rated spirits of 2010 by category, rated on a scale of 1-100 by
Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
1. Vieux Pontarlier Absinthe Francaise Superieure (France) - Rated 94/100. Alcohol content by volume (abv) - 65%, approx. $62 per bottle. Described as deep and musky. Aroma: licorice, mentholated lemon. Flavor: Dutch licorice, sarsaparilla and citrus.
2. Pacific Absinthe Verte Superieure (USA) - Rated 91/100. Abv: 62%, approx $64. Aroma: citrus, lime and vegetal fennal. Flavor: tart initially with a grassy and smooth finish.
1. Chateau de Laubade Extra Bas Armagnac (France) - Rated 96/100. Abv - 40%, approx. $300. Aroma: leather, dried yellow fruit, nougat, cocoa, oak, honey, candied orange and black pepper. Flavor: sweet, nutty, buttery.
1. Domaine Chateau de Fontpinot Cognac XO (France) - Rated 96/100. Abv - 40%, approx. $95. Aroma: pears, honey, Sherry, caramel. Flavor: coffee, hazelnut, rancio, bittersweet cocoa.
2. Camus VSOP Elegance (France) - Rated 94/100. Abv - 40%, approx. $42. Aroma: luxe, caramel apple, floral honey, Sauternes, dried fruit. Flavor: sweet, alcohol, apple, maple sugar candy.
1. Old Raj Gin (U.K) - Rated 96/100. Abv - 46%, approx. $50. Aroma: coriander, juniper, anise, orris root, ground pepper, lemon peel, lead pencil, earth and tree bark. Flavor: creamy, fruit, spicy, minty, core juniper, mint, baking spice
2. Beefeater London Dry Gin (U.K) - Rated 90-95/100. Abv - 47%, approx. $19. Aroma: floral, earthy, spicy, crisp, orange peel, black pepper, juniper berry. Flavor: Sharp, crisp, citrus, earthy juniper and angelica root.
1. Aqua Perfecta Kirsh Eau-de-Vie Cherry Brandy (USA) - Rated 96/100. Abv - 40%, approx $40/375 mL. Aroma: red cherry, fruit, juice. Flavor: delicate, elegant, intensely fruit stone-like, astringent, flowery, oily.
2. J oseph Cartron Pomegranate Grenade Liqueur (France) - No rating. Abv - 18%, approx. $26. Aroma: Piquant, black pepper, marmalade, crushed pomegranate. Flavor: Juice, ripe, berry sweet, crisp.
1. English Harbour 25 Year Old Reserve Rum 1981 Vintage (Antigua) - Rated 96/100. Abv - 40%, approx. $395. Aroma: Sweet. Vanilla cake frosting, brown sugar, honey, orange blossom. Flavor: fruity, sweet, ripe, multilayered, candied pum, Raisenette, candied yellow fruit, peach, honey.
2. Renegade Rum Company Panama Rum 1997 (Panama) - Unrated. Abv - 46%, approx. $68. Aroma: Biscuity, juicy. Flavor: Lucious. Marshmallow, cotton candy, light caramel, chocolate-covered raisin, treacle, marzipan, candied almonds.
1. Aberlour a'bunadh Speyside Single Malt Whisky Batch No. 21 (Scotland) - Rated 96/100. Abv - 59.5%, approx. $65. Aroma: Intriguing, challenging - bouquet of roasted nuts, old leather, black pepper, old oak and dried fruit. Flavor: aggressive - sweet, pruny, leather, grain, oak resin, rancio, candied nuts and fruit, dark honey.
2. The Glenlivet Archive 21 Year Old Spey- side Single Malt Whisky (Scotland) - Unrated. Abv - 43%, approx. $120. Aroma: sedate - dried flowers, malted barley, baked banana. Flavor: succulent, honeyed, luscious - date, fig, S'mores, cocoa butter, nougat, dark fudge, oily, buttery.
1. Gran Patron Burdeos Añejo 100% de Agave Tequila (Mexico) - Rated 96/100. Abv - 40%, approx. $500. Aroma: dill, asparagus, baked bread, black peppercorn, subtle vanilla, oak, loose leaf tobacco, fennel. Flavor: sappy, delicately honeyed, regal, satiny, rich, grapy/vegetal/spicy.
2. Herradura Añejo 100% de Agave Tequila Natural (Mexico) - Unrated. Abv - 40%, approx $65. Aroma: Creamy, caramel, pastry dough, nutmeg, honeyed peanuts. Flavor: spicy, full-bodied, vibrant, salty, green vegetable, pepper, touch of smoke.
1. Absolut Citron (Sweden) - Rated 98/100. Abv - 40%, approx. 24$/1,000 mL. Aroma: orange-lemon lollipop scent. Flavor: fresh, clean, brisk, lemon.
2. Hangar One Mandarin Blossom (USA) - Rated 97/100. Abv - 40%, approx. $35. Aroma: Deept, sweet, orange, honey-floral. Flavor: clean, brisk, honey, tangerine, faintly floral, vanilla.
Honorable mentions: Van Gogh Oranje (Holland)) - Rated 92/100, abv. - 40%, $27, Belvedere Orange (Poland) - Rated 92/100, abv. - 40%, approx. $40.
See the entire list here: http://winemag.com/PDFs/Top50Spirits2010.pdf
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