Our Favorite Spirits From May

Check out our favorite spirits from the month of May!
May 31, 2016
  • 10
    10 Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey (2015 Release)
    91
    Based in Hye, Texas, Garrison Brothers is all about repping the Lone Star State. They utilize Texas-grown "#1 Panhandle White" corn for their bourbon, while incorporating soft red winter wheat and barley into the mash bill. Each bottle is meticulously labeled to showcase as much detail as possible. Here, Dallam County Farms provided the corn from a 2011 harvest, leading to a 2012 distillation period and three year aging process in the hot Texas sun.
  • 9
    9 Glenfarclas 15 Year
    91
    Glenfarclas--meaning "glen of the green grassland"-- has been independently-owned and operated by the Grant family since the day they hung the "Open for Business" sign in 1865. This 15 year-old single malt is aged in European oak ex-oloroso sherry casks with a majority being 1st and 2nd fill casks. Bottled at 92 proof.
  • 8
    8 Ardbeg Dark Cove (2016 Committee Release)
    92
    Bottled for Ardbeg Day of 2016, the Dark Cove bottling is a special release for Ardbeg Committee members (keep an eye out for a lower-ABV bottling coming out later this year on Ardbeg Day, May 28). The Dark Cove marries spirit aged in ex-Bourbon casks with a percentage of spirit aged in casks that once held "dark" sherry, an extremely rare version of the fortified wine Master Blender Bill Lumsden found in his travels (rumors have it around two to three times the percentage of ex-Sherry as in the Uigeadail). Expect some variation in color, as the Dark Cove is non-chill filtered, has no added coloring, and is bottled at 55% ABV.
  • 7
    7 Nikka Whisky From the Barrel
    92
    When a malt whisky and a grain whisky come of age, leave the casks they’ve called home, and fall in love, they get “married” - the process of blending and re-casking whisky. It’s a complex wedding for a master distiller to arrange but can ultimately lead to marital bliss in the form of this whisky from Nikka that only comes in 500ml bottles. Nikka From The Barrel is drawn from a blend of more than 100 different batches of malt and grain whisky produced at the brand's Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. Note: This will be made available in the US as of June 2018 in 750ml sized bottles.
  • 6
    6 Caol Ila 18 Year
    92
    The middle child of the standard age specific Caol Ila family is the 18 year old. The 18 year is bottled at the brand's regular 43% ABV. That much time in the barrel is noted for diminishing the whisky's smoke, while a mixture of refill casks were used so as to play down the impact of the wood.
  • 5
    5 Laphroaig Brodir
    93
    Initially launched as a Travel Retail exclusive, the Brodir continues Master Distiller John Campbell's experimentation with cask-finishing along side the Laphroaig QA Cask (new American oak), the Quarter Cask (reshaped ex-Bourbon), the PX Cask (ex-Pedro Ximinez sherry), and the An Cuan Mor (European oak). The Brodir (meaning "brother" in Norse) celebrates Islay's connection to the Norwegian peninsula. Primarily aged in ex-bourbon, the whisky is finished in ruby-port seasoned casks before being bottled at 48% ABV. Note: This is not currently available in the U.S.
  • 4
    4 Lock Stock & Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey 16 Year
    94
    The 16 year old from Lock, Stock & Barrel builds on the tradition of their 13 year old. It's a 100% rye mashbill, double pot-distilled straight rye whiskey, made with what they term a "robust cut" of distillate, expecting the lengthy aging period to come. Maturation was entirely in new, charred American oak barrels. Cooper Spirits chose their finest aged rye casks for this release.
  • 3
    3 Delord Armagnac 25 Year
    95
    Owned and operated by three generations of the Delord family, the House of Delord has been making armagnac since the 1890s when the patriarch of the family purchased a vineyard in Lannepax in Bas-Armagnac. Delord grows all four of the major armagnac varietals (ugni blanc, colombard, Baco blanc, and folle-blanche) without pesticides or fertilizers. They distill their eaux-de-vie on-site either in traditional continuous stills or in a double-distillation process. The new-make spirit of the former goes into older bottlings, whereas the double distilled new-make typically goes into younger bottlings. This armagnac is aged at least twenty-five years. Bottled at 40% ABV.
  • 2
    2 Guillon-Painturaud Renaissance Grande Champagne Cognac
    95
    This bottling was produced by Guillon-Painturaud, a family-owned and operated cognac house in Grande Champagne. They grow ugni blanc grapes for the cognacs on their family farm which has been in the family since 1610. Their Renaissance Cognac is aged for forty years before bottling and sees no additives.
  • 1
    1 El Jolgorio Tobalá Mezcal
    96
    This mezcal is distilled from 100% agave tobalá which grow semi-wild. The agave are harvested after 12 years and pit-roasted in the traditional manner. The roasted "piñas" or hearts of the agave plants are crushed using a mule-drawn tahona before the juices are open fermented. This mezcal is double-distilled and produced in Matatlan, Oaxaca by Mezcalero Gregorio Martinez Jarquin. This is released in small batches due to sustainable practices conserving the wild agave plants as well as the scarcity and size of the tobalá plants. It only grows in high altitudes in the shade of oak trees and is relatively small in size.