Spirited Holiday Gift Guide

There are only a few days left until Christmas and Hanukkah, so if you're racking your brain trying to figure out what to buy, try something from this list!
Dec 20, 2016
  • 10
    10 Mezcal Nuestra Soledad San Luis del Rio
    88
    Rich
    Nuestra Soledad is El Jolgorio's line of single-village mezcals. Their mezcal from San Luis Del Rio, in the east of the Valles Centrales region, is made from espadín agave. The agaves are roasted with mesquite and oak in pit ovens, fermented in open air, distilled twice in copper alembics.
  • 9
    9 Mezcal Jaral de Berrio
    90
    Sweet & Fruity
    Though mezcal is most associated with the state of Oaxaca, it is also a protected designation in 7 other states. Jaral de Berrio hails from the borough of San Felipe Torres Mochas in Guanajuato, where the Salmiana (the word for "plant") agave for this mezcal grows. It's named for the Marquis of Jaral de Berrio, who was granted permission from the King of Spain to allow the distillation of the first mezcal in the late 18th century in what was then "New Spain" at the family Hacienda, now one of the top tourist attractions in the area. Jaral de Berrio mezcal is produced using traditional methods - clay oven, manual crushing, copper pot distillation, etc. - and is bottled unaged off the still.
  • 8
    8 Calvados Berneroy VSOP
    90
    Fruity & Earthy
    Berneroy Calvados allows the freshly pressed apple juice to spontaneously ferment using only the ‘wild’ yeasts present on the apple skins. The cider is fermented over a period of about four weeks to complete dryness. The dry cider is distilled only once using an antique copper-column still. The single distillation results in a highly fruity and aromatic spirit and differs from the nearby AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge and AOC Calvados Domfrontais regions. It is aged exclusively in older, ‘seasoned’ (aka used) barrels for a minimum of 4 years for the VSOP as required by law. The Berneroy Master Blender then combines the barrels of various ages and characteristics to create the house style.
  • 7
    7 Slaughter House American Whiskey
    91
    Full Bodied
    David Phinney is the winemaker of California's Orin Swift Cellars and the procurer of whiskey released by his spirits company, The Splinter Group. This American whiskey is made from a mash bill of 85% corn, 8% wheat, 6% rye, and 1% malted barley. After aging 9 years in American oak, this whiskey finishes for an undisclosed time in barrels that previously held the winery's proprietary Bordeaux blend, Papillon. Slaughter House American Whiskey was released in 2015 and is a follow-up to the company's first product, Straight Edge Bourbon.
  • 6
    6 BarSol Supremo Mosto Verde Italia Pisco
    91
    Oily & Earthy
    "Mosto Verde" ("green must" in Spanish) refers to the technique of distilling the wine before the fermentation is complete, with the aim of preserving the fresh, floral aromas of the grape. BarSol's flagship Pisco starts with 100% aromatic italia grapes fermented until the alcohol reached 3-5%, then distilled to the precise proof at which it is to be bottled (Peruvian Pisco may not be diluted with water).
  • 5
    5 Gooderham & Worts Four Grain Canadian Whisky
    93
    Floral & Fruity
    Gooderham & Worts celebrates the history behind a Toronto grist mill and distillery which first produced whisky in 1837. It closed in 1990, but at its height was producing over 2 million liters of whisky a year, which at the time was half the production in the whole of Canada. This whisky was first released in the late 90’s as part of the failed Canadian Whisky Guild Series along with Lot 40 and Pike Creek. It’s back! This bottling was distilled by Corby Distillers and production was overseen by Dr. Don Livermore. The four grains blended are corn, wheat, rye, and barley. It is bottled at 44.4% abv.
  • 4
    4 Zuidam Flying Dutchman Dark Rum No. 3
    93
    Sweet
    The Netherlands has a long history of distillation, dating back to the 1600s. In addition to the big names like Bols, craft distilleries such as Zuidam crank out an extraordinarily large number of spirits while retaining a reputation for quality. Master Distiller Patrick van Zuidam is considered one of world’s top distillers. The Flying Dutchman No. 3 is aged for at least three years in a combination of new American oak, first-fill Oloroso sherry, and first-fill Pedro Ximénez sherry barrels. Note: This is not currently available in the U.S.
  • 3
    3 Panamá-Pacific Rum 9-Year
    94
    Fruity
    Panamá-Pacific Rum is the brainchild of San Francisco-based Haas Brothers, an importer, marketer and merchant of distilled spirits since 1851. Estate-grown sugarcane is harvested from the renowned Panameño growing region of La Provincia de Herrera, then small batches of molasses are fermented using special proprietary yeast strains. The mash is distilled in an antique Coffey copper column-still and rested in American oak casks.
  • 2
    2 Beefeater London Dry Gin (47%)
    97
    Spicy & Juniper
    Beefeater is a London Dry Gin that is actually produced in London; the distillery is located in Kennington just south of the River Thames. It is made from a neutral grain spirit base to which nine botanicals are added and steeped for 24 hours. These botanicals include, in addition to the juniper, coriander seeds, licorice root, citrus peel, and bitter almond. This is then redistilled and reduced to strength with softened water. This 47% ABV is their export strength version. The Beefeater name was chosen as to be something quintessentially London; the Beefeaters, as the Yeomen Warders are called, have been guarding the Tower of London since 1485 and adorn the bottles.
  • 1
    1 St. George Botanivore Gin
    97
    Floral
    Botanivore is aptly named as this gin most certainly is a "botanical eater", 19 different ones to be exact. Sixteen of them are steeped overnight in a neutral spirit to soak and steep. The remaining three--juniper berries, bay laurel, and fresh cilantro--are placed in a basket within the still to have the vapor pass through them. After pot-distillation, this gin is brought down to 45% ABV. It is sold in a 750ml size and in a 200ml sized bottle, the latter of which is sold in a trio pack with their other two gins.