About US Spirits

About US Spirits
The spirit industry in America is much like the beer industry; some large corporate distillers turning out good quality vodka, gin and whisky along with a growing number of artisan producers of these same products.

In large cities such as Chicago and San Francisco, small distilleries turn out superb spirits, many of them organically produced. Vodkas and gins are most common, but there are even a few examples of single malt whiskey.

This is certainly an encouraging alternative to the commercially produced spirits in the US, but the truth is that these artisan spirits are a drop in the bucket next to the huge amount of vodkas, gins and whiskeys made by the large companies and are sold in huge numbers; given the promotional money spent by these firms.

But the new competition is a bright sign at least in terms of some of the famous whiskey producers that have recently introduced specialty bourbons, aged for a dozen or more years, many of them single barrel products. They are responding to a public looking for more high quality American spirits. The success of these products is a great thing for the American sprits industry.

Top Picks for USA

Frey Ranch Gin
97 points
Clear color. Bold, pungent, piney complex aromas and flavors of pine sap, lacquer, dried flowers, and smoked pepper and campfire fire with a creamy, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a peppery, complex, long pine needle, honeyed juniper, and chalk finish. An amazingly powerful and intense gin with 3D fresh piney juniper flavors.
97 points $32.99
Hoodoo Papa Legba Reserve Chicory Liqueur
96 points
Dark reddish mahogany color. Complex, roasted aromas of blackened walnut, charred chicory, mace, dried rose and geranium, ginseng, and fine espresso with a round, crisp, sweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, epic, long salted milk chocolate, marinated pimentos, black pepper, olive, caramel buttercream, toasted coconut pastry, and orris root finish. An endlessly complex, very distinctive liqueur that will up your cocktail game; a must-try.
Awards: 2018 Best Herb/Spice Liqueur
Handy & Schiller Barreled Old Fashioned
96 points
Copper color. Aromas and flavors of chocolate mint gelato, spiced pistachio nougat, pink pepper, and herbal mint tea with a round, vibrant, off-dry medium body and a warming, complex, long candied citrus peels, brown spices, and hint of menthol mint finish. A delicious ready-to-drink cocktail that tastes homemade.
Awards: 2018 Best Barrel Aged RTD
96 points $39.99
Vapor Distillery Boulder Ginskey
96 points
Bright amber color. Spicy aromas of fine furniture, lavender studded caramel, cinnamon candies, licorice, ginseng, and allspice dram with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, nuanced, medium-long cracked juniper, eucalyptus-vanilla, gardenia incense, creme de violette, fresh cut grass, and good n plenty candies finish. A delicious and complex, spice-bomb of a barrel-aged gin that will add a hybrid of bourbon and gin flavors to your cocktail repertoire.
Awards: 2018 Best Barrel Aged Gin
Breckenridge "Dark Arts" Malt Mash Whiskey
96 points
Brilliant gold color. Earthy aromas and flavors of saddle leather and soap, white chocolate toffee, banana raisin muffin, and clay with a satiny, dryish medium-to-full body and a tingling, stimulating, medium-long honeyed dried fruits, brown spices, minerals, and tobacco leaf finish. A complex interplay of dark fruits and leathery notes make this a fine sipping and cigar choice.
Old New Orleans 20th Anniversary Blend "King Creole" Rum
96 points
Brilliant gold color. Creamy aromas and flavors of chocolate maple nut fudge, spicy fruit chutney, honey vanilla bean gelato, and copper with a silky, vibrant, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, long vanilla buttercream and cola, tiramisu, pink pepper, and minerals finish. A superbly spicy and intricate sipping rum that will cover all bases.
96 points $84.99
Balsam American Amaro
96 points
Tasted Neat. Dark brown black color. Complex, spicy herbal aromas of anise, gingerbread, chocolate spice raisin cake, and pink peppercorn with a velvety, vibrant, moderately sweet medium-full body and a warming, long bitter barks, wormwood tea, sarsaparilla, and grilled citrus peels finish. A bold, fantastically rich and balanced amaro with cascading waves of flavor. Tasted as Vermouth. Dark violet black color. Bright, spicy, fruity complex aromas of cherry rhubarb pie, rich baking spices, delicate herbs, and chocolate drizzled blood orange with an even, racy, sweet medium body and a tingling, long bitter barks, wormwood tea, toasty cedar, and cardamom finish. A sensationally vibrant and flavor packed vermouth with great balance, style and length; sure to be a hit on its own or in craft cocktails.
96 points $31.99
Sugarlands Distilling Co. Appalachian Sippin Cream Butter Pecan Liqueur
95 points
Opaque cream color. Inviting aromas and flavors of snickerdoodle cookie, fresh baked cinnamon-sugar pretzel, condensed milk, and buttery caramel popcorn with a creamy, vibrant, sweet medium-to-full body and a seamless, refreshing, medium-long all butter sugar cookies and almond windmill cookies finish. Enticing fresh-baked aromas and craveable cookie-like flavors will make this liqueur a smash hit at holiday festivities.
Awards: 2018 Best Cream Liqueur
Fire Oak Vodka
95 points
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of fresh cotton balls, sea salt, and cassia bark with a satiny, bright, bone-dry light-to-medium body and a warming, breezy licorice, allspice, tomato pomace, and mocha milkshake finish. A savory spice-flecked, creamy vodka that will do wonders for your bloody mary game.
95 points $22.99 Best Buy
Wild Turkey Rare Breed Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
95 points
Medium amber color. Nutty aromas and flavors of butter roasted peanuts, cherry-peach pastry, root beer float with coffee-banana ice cream, and sandalwood soap with a supple, vibrant, fruity full body and a warming, elegant, very long vanilla toffee, brown and peppery spices, and cola finish. A flavor-packed, thrusting, in-your-face bourbon that hits the senses like a velvet brick.
Awards: 2017 Best Bourbon Whiskey
95 points $44.99