Comandon's Extra Old Cognac is a blend of eighty eaux-de-vie from the eponymous region, and is aged between 20 and 30 years in limousine oak casks. Comandon is a rarity is that they perform all aspects of production in-house, and have done so since being established in 1821. The introductory flavors of orange and passion fruit give way to a mocha theme of chocolate and coffee. The structure culminates in a vanilla flavor with hints of sweet leather notes on the palate.
If anyone ever leads you to believe that mescal is lower grade tequila, be sure to instruct them to check their facts. By Mexican law, only certain states can deem their product tequila, and since El Zacatecano is made outside of this realm, it is deemed a mescal. Available in blanco, joven, reposado and anejo, their mescal often beats out the more well-known tequilas in taste and character because of their careful use of only the best blue agave.
Bourbon is as American as baseball, and the methods used by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd., purveyors of the Johnny Drum Collection, are honest as Abe Lincoln when it comes to authentic practices. This old fashioned sour mash is made from the finest ingredients in bluegrass country, and has used the same recipe through five generations of master distillers. Johnny Drum is produced in the smallest batches in order to provide an unmatched level of quality control.
The jimador is the proud professional who harvests the agave plants used to make tequila, and knowing the right window of harvest is integral to a quality product. Thus, el Jimador is a toast to these men, and their craft. Created by Casa Herradura in 1994, el Jimador quickly became the best-selling tequila in Mexico, thanks to a year of aging in toasted white oak barrels and traditional processes. This creates flavors of vanilla and oak, balanced with subtle cues of cinnamon and caramel that can be enjoyed straight or iced.
It takes just one day to give Beefeater 24 its unique character. For 24 hours the gin's exotic botanicals are gently steeped together. The spirit is then slowly distilled in traditional pot stills, creating a gin that is subtle and smooth. There are twelve natural ingredients used to create this gin, ranging from rare Japanese teas to grapefruit and orange peel. It took master distiller Desmond Payne nearly two years to come up with this recipe, and it is sure to be enjoyed for many more.
Hacienda La Capilla is known for producing some of the best, as well as some of the most expensive tequilas in the world. The brand's latest release, Diamond Sterling, is distilled by Hacienda La Capilla and is presented in a platinum bottle adorned with 4,000 diamonds, totaling of 328 carats. The one-of-a-kind seven-year-old 100 percent agave tequila is priced at $3.5 million.
Armand de Brignac is marvelously complex and full-bodied, with a bouquet that is both fresh and lively. Its sumptuous, racy fruit character is perfectly integrated with the wine's subtle brioche accents. Its texture is deliciously creamy and the palate has great depth and impact with a long and silky finish. A superb and singular example of a Prestige Champagne.
Released in 2008, Vieux Carre Absinthe Superiure was the first legal absinthe to be distilled, bottled, and sold on the east coast in nearly a century. Distilled using a "double maceration" process, the libation is laced with two wormwoods, green and star anise and several herbs and spices for a unique, yet traditional flavor profile. This character is achieved through 100% natural herbs, and provides for a deep, jewel-like color.
Many times, when a distillery gets too large, they lose their sense of integrity and character. This is not the case with Johnnie Walker. The Striding Man has instead used their success to acquire some of the finest and absolute rarest casks of whisky from around Scotland, most notably being the now-extinct Port Ellen malt. This blend reflects the styles of early 19th century craftsmen, and each of the 330 bottles per batch is individually numbered.
Bowmore Distillery was founded in 1779 on the tiny Scottish Island of Islay. Their single malt 18 is brought to an age where it can nearly drink itself before being released from its oak casks with a long and well-balanced dram. The smokiness that Bowmore is known for comes through at its finest in the 18, tempered by caramel, chocolate and ripe fruit aromas. This scotch stands well on its own, and is easily paired with a dessert.
Vodka may be the official beverage of eastern Europe, but that doesn't mean they have the best in the world. Chase Distillery produced their first vodka in 2008 after two years of arduous alchemy, and then went on to win top honors at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010. Their facilities in the United Kingdom employ hand-crafted copper batch pots and a traditional approach to their craft that allows a firm control of all the steps from seed to first sip.
Vizcaya's VXOP Cask 21 rum is the self-proclaimed ultimate sipping rum, and we won't argue that. Distilled from pure cane juice and aged in oak bourbon barrels, this VXOP is the true taste of old Havana. This treat straight from the tropics starts out spicy yet finishes sweet, and has won many awards throughout the spirit industry. The Vizcaya family has been making rum since 1820, and in the 19th century began reserving special barrels for the island's governors, with Cask 21 containing the finest and most exquisite vintages.