High Fives: Five Star Reviews From 2023

December 4, 2023

This year we gave high marks to many incredible spirits, complete with as eloquent of reviews as we could muster. But we’re not the only ones writing reviews. So we thought we’d do a little wrap-up of some great 5-star reviews from the Distiller community.

Five Star Reviews

Citadelle Jardin d’été Gin

“Gentle overall, forward in multi-layered fruity citrus notes if anything, surrounded by hints of juniper, florals, mild pepper. Divine balance of summery flavors at a practically unbeatable value.” –  Tabbs

High Fives: Five Star Ratings From 2023Citadelle Jardin d’été Gin /Photo Credit: Citadelle

Lagavulin Distillers Edition

“The nose composed of sweet fruity smoke and beachside briny breeze, like smoking a nice aromatic pipe blend by the ocean. The palate is sweet and salty, fruity and savory, the contrast yet balance is stunning. The scotch had a medium to long finish but low and subtle warmth, like the steady glow of a charcoal of a fire died down.” –  MountainRoot

Rhum J.M. X.O.

“Oh, wow. That’s so good. Opens up a lot in the glass, especially with a bit of aeration. There’s so much going on here. It’s not just an evolution of the VSOP, although it still clearly has that offering as its progenitor, this is next level. I’m not sorry about spending the money on it (probably 60-70% more than the VSOP), but it’s entirely clear where the money went. It’s like a figgy pudding in the most British sense and is somehow carrying many tropical and dried fruit notes that I didn’t pick up on in any of the other JM offerings. Highly recommend!”- LogicalParadox

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon Batch C923

“Nose- Vanilla, creme brulee, toffee, and oak. There is also a hint of smoke and nutmeg. This beckons you to sip it. You literally taste it through your nostrils. Palate- is this seriously 133 proof?!?!? Undeniably drinkable. The heat comes in at the end, but this is caramel coated vanilla bean, sweet toffee, a bit of apple, and oak. Terrific balance here. There is also a spice cabinet worth of Fall baking to go along with it. I honestly have to say this could go head to head with Pappy 15 and knock it off its pedestal. In terms of value and accessibility- go get you some! Finish- for days! The kind of bourbon that warms you up without burning you down. The finish showcases the 13 years and 7 mos. It makes you want to sip more of that oaky goodness. Overall- currently my top pick for bourbon of 2023 (although I REALLY want 4RS LE to taste side by side). Reminds you of the pirate bottles of years gone by . Just when you thought Heaven Hill put out “Just another good barrel proof whiskey” they blew the doors off of it. BALANCE, taste, and finish- it’s all there.” – Swahili1

Invergordon 1972 50 Year (Archives)

“After some 1000 whiskies, I am rarely left speechless by a dram. With a stunning nose that is second to none, this 1972 Invergordon shines like a beacon in the dark. Cinnamon rolls, crème brûlée and fennel harmonize with strawberry cream, antique furniture and mint leaves. Elegant, silky and simply delightful, the taste fascinates with flabbergasting notes of pistachio, coconut milk and hazelnuts. Complex oak spices, white chocolate and sage conclude the spectacle, if only the finish could last forever. This is the Holy Grail of old grains, aged to perfection.” – Slainte-Mhath

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