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Reviews for 2017

August 2017 - Best Buy Bar Competition

August 2017 - Best Buy Bar Competition
This month's Spirits feature is Best Buy Bar Competition

Best Buy Bar Competition Reviews

Crater Lake Sweet Ginger Vodka
92 points
$24.99
Straw color. Fresh, spicy aromas of fennel and rosemary, fresh ginger, white tea, and lemon and orange with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a smooth, medium-long altoids, cumin, and birch finish. A clean, fresh, and gentle ginger vodka; Moscow mules made easy.
Awards: 2017 Best Buy Bar Winning Flavored Vodka
92 points $24.99
RYAN’S Irish Style Cream Liqueur
90 points
$8.99
Best Buy
Opaque dark taupe color. Aromas of chocolate and fudgesicle with a syrupy, soft, sweet fat body and a smooth, medium-length yoo-hoo finish. A chocolatey cream liqueur for many applications.
90 points $8.99 Best Buy
Don Q Añejo Rum
90 points
$15.99
Best Buy
Bright gold color. Aromas and flavors of animal crackers and caramelized banana with a soft, bright, dryish light body and a tingling, short almond biscotti, orange icing, and warm spices finish. A nice aged rum with subtle richness.
Awards: 2017 Best Buy Bar Winning Aged Rum
90 points $15.99 Best Buy
Firefly Lowcountry Sweet Tea Vodka
90 points
$20
Best Buy
Mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of irish breakfast tea and cola with a round, lively, sweet medium body and an even, medium-length cocoa nibs, chamomile, and coffee hard candy finish. A great tea flavored vodka for fun summer cocktails.
90 points $20 Best Buy
Mr. Boston Peach Schnapps
89 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Fruity aromas and flavors of peach gummy, lemon candy, green apple, and lime gem candy with a syrupy, vibrant, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and an effortless, terse finish. A lightly flavored peach schnapps that can easily mix with soda or vodka.
Awards: 2017 Best Buy Bar Winning Schnapps Liqueur
89 points $6.99 Best Buy
Evangeline’s Pralines & Cream Liqueur
89 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Opaque brown color. Sweet aromas of cocoa dust, mocha, donut shop, and boston cream pie with a creamy, vibrant, sweet fat body and a smooth, stimulating, medium-length chocolate drink, black licorice, hazelnut toffee, and toasted marshmallow finish. A sinful cream liqueur that will keep you coming back for more.
89 points $16.99 Best Buy
Familia Camarena Silver Tequila
89 points
$17
Best Buy
Pale clear color. Aromas of wild grasses, almond nougat, cocoa powder, and banana leaf with a glycerous, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a carefree caramel covered apple, celery with peanut butter, achiote, and saffron cream finish. A mild and approachable tequila for cocktails.
89 points $17 Best Buy
Bacoo 8 Year Old Rum
89 points
$24.99
Bright dark amber color. Sweet aromas of caramel sauce, vanilla soft serve, saffron gelato, and rose water with a creamy, crisp, fruity medium body and a medium-length rum soaked raisin and grape nuts cereal, chocolate fudge, honey covered cedar, and black tea finish. A luscious aged rum with body that can stand up to stirred cocktails.
89 points $24.99
Don Q 151 Rum
89 points
$24.99
Golden amber color. Tropical aromas of vanilla, caramelized mango, rose water and candied orange peel, and candied hibiscus and char grilled vegetables with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a hot, elegant, long butterscotch and almond nougat, maple syrup and pineapple husk, allspice, and peach preserve finish. A terrific nuanced overproof rum that is a welcome addition to any tropical cocktail.
89 points $24.99
Benchmark Old No. 8 Straight Bourbon Whiskey
88 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Clear gold color. Aromas of roasted corn, clover flower, honeysuckle, fruit punch and black pepper with an oily, soft, dryish light body and a hot, short cornbread crust, butterscotch soft serve, bitter pecan flavoring, and red vines finish. A easy-going and breezy bourbon for mixed drinks.
Awards: 2017 Best Buy Bar Winning Bourbon Whiskey
88 points $11.99 Best Buy
KAPALI Coffee Liqueur
88 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Brown black color. Aromas of coffee yogurt, espresso, and dark chocolate with a thick, soft, cloying medium-to-full body and a stimulating, medium-length coffee hard candy, charred coffee beans, and orange liqueur finish. A richly flavored coffee liqueur.
88 points $12.99 Best Buy
di Amore Sambuca Liqueur
88 points
$13.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of rich black licorice, chocolate ganache, candy coated aniseed, and coriander with a syrupy, vibrant, very sweet fat body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length fennel, vanilla custard, and sassafras finish. A rich and weighty sambuca-style anise liqueur to serve after dinner.
88 points $13.99 Best Buy
Chila Orchata Cinnamon Cream Rum Liqueur
88 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Opaque amber color. Creamy aromas and flavors of powdered sugar and walnut, sweet egg custard, molasses cookie, and mint jelly with a thick, soft, sweet fat body and a seamless, brief tarragon, orange peel, and peanut skin finish. A nice cream liqueur with a subtle herbaceousness for wintertime treats.
88 points $14.99 Best Buy
Ensign Red Canadian Whisky
88 points
$16.99
Best Buy
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of orange blossom honey, caramel sauce on black cherry, dried rosebud, and sugar wafer sandwich cookie with a round, vibrant, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-length maple syrup and corn nuts, overripe mango, candied cashew, and bran muffin finish. A nice portrayal of Canadian Whiskey; enjoy in classic Canadian cocktails or shoot it with friends.
88 points $16.99 Best Buy
Caravella Limoncello
88 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Neon yellow color. Citrusy aromas and flavors of fresh lemon rind, fresh linen, lemon candies, and juniper with a bright, moderately sweet medium body and a medium-length lime oil and fresh mint finish. A nicely balanced limoncello with a natural sensibility.
Awards: 2017 Best Buy Bar Winning Fruit Liqueur
88 points $17.99 Best Buy
Peychaud’s Aperitivo
88 points
$18.99
Best Buy
Clear light red color. Herbal, spicy aromas of gentian, rhubarb, cinnamon and berry skin, orange peel and ruby red grapefruit flesh, and bay leaf with an oily, soft, bittersweet medium-to-full body and a smooth, charming, medium-length marinated olive, cocoa butter, brill cream, and cumin finish. A zesty, cinnamon tinged aperitivo that offers serious competition for the spritz.
88 points $18.99 Best Buy
Amrut Old Port Deluxe Rum
88 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Bright golden amber color. Aromas of fallen starfruit and banana chew, fallen guanabana, asiago rind, and dried lime with an oily, fruity medium-to-full body and a compelling, medium-length vanilla caramel chew and dried cherries, orange flower water and Cheetos, chocolate wafer cookie, and spumoni finish. A sweet and candied rum with a hint of funk.
88 points $19.99 Best Buy
Firefly Skinny Tea Vodka
88 points
$20
Best Buy
Medium mahogany color. Aromas and flavors of black tea, crystalized ginger, lemon candy, and pine with a round, bright, sweet medium-to-full body and an engaging, medium-long cinnamon candy, fresh mint, butterscotch disk candy, and lemongrass finish. Terrific true-to-life flavors make this the perfect go-to tea flavored vodka.
88 points $20 Best Buy
Caliche Rum
88 points
$24.99
Rum
Slivery straw color. Tropical aromas of coconut flesh, dried pineapple, fresh sugar cane, and wet plantain with a satiny, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a peppery, breezy coconut confection, cracked black pepper, lime cordial, and banana leaf finish. A pleasing white rum for classic daiquiris or shots.
88 points $24.99
Royal Special London Dry Gin
87 points
$4
Best Buy
Clear color. Citrusy, clean aromas of lime rind, fennel seed, ginger powder, and caraway and green peppercorn with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a warming, captivating, breezy fresh juniper, pine, lavender, and grapefruit oil finish. A fresh, clean, and crowd-pleasing gin.
87 points $4 Best Buy
Mr. Boston Butterscotch Schnapps
87 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of shaved chocolate, fresh pan of brownie, butterscotch, and praline with a creamy, crisp, sweet medium-to-full body and a medium cake batter, salted buttercream, and bit-o-honey finish. A great chocolatey butterscotch liqueur.
87 points $6.99 Best Buy
RICH & RARE Canadian Whisky
87 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Golden amber color. Candied aromas of caramel chew, root beer, McIntosh apple, and basil with a glycerous, vibrant, fruity medium body and a peppery, breezy orange caramel, waxy chocolate and fig spread, cinnamon candy, and peppercorn finish. A caramelly whiskey for mixed drinks.
87 points $11.99 Best Buy
di Amore Amaretto
87 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Bright dark amber color. Aromas of almond bread, almond croissant, candied cherry, and hazelnut and maple with a syrupy, crisp, very sweet medium-to-full body and a captivating, medium-long apricot pit, candied walnut and cinnamon, nutmeg and anise, and pound cake finish. A rich and decadent amaretto for cocktails or serving on the rocks.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
di Amore Raspberry Liqueur
87 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Fruity aromas and flavors of cherry cola, concord grape jelly, raspberry hard candy, and cassis and black tea with a syrupy, sweet medium body and a medium cherry seven layer bar, dark chocolate chunk, and mocha finish. A super-cherry liqueur with a rounding hint of mocha.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Smokin Mary Smoked Bloody Mary Mix
87 points
$13
Best Buy
Tasted as a Bloody Mary cocktail. Red color. Savory, smoky aromas of barbecue pork, secret barbecue rub, tarragon, thyme, crushed tomato, and smoked wood chips with a thick, crisp, salty medium-full body and a peppery, complex, medium-long crushed red pepper, blackened seasoning, paprika, and chipotle sauce finish. A chewy, smoky mix that is thick and rich enough to stand up to heavy vodka pours.
87 points $13 Best Buy
New Amsterdam Apple Vodka
87 points
$13.99
Best Buy
Clear color. Sweet, fruity aromas and flavors of caramel green apple pop, vanilla fudge, and chinese mustard with a glycerous, lively, fruity sweet medium body and a tingling, captivating, medium-length candied peanut, molten caramel sauce, violet candy, and watermelon chewy candy finish. An intensely flavored and tangy apple liqueur
87 points $13.99 Best Buy
Swallow Smooth Vodka
87 points
$18.99
Steely clear color. Aromas and flavors of ivory, sour lemon candy, and candied orange with a glycerous, crisp, dryish medium body and a warming, medium-length candle wax and custard finish. A long-lasting and weighty vodka for martinis with developing flavor.
87 points $18.99
Legacy Canadian Whisky
87 points
$21.99
Bright golden amber color. Sweet aromas of orange caramel on sweet corn, fern, orange zest with plump raisins, and circus peanut with a glycerous, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy milk chocolate, coffee flavored yogurt, and honeycomb cereal finish. A silky and straightforward whiskey for mixed drinks.
87 points $21.99
Mr. Boston Sour Apple Schnapps
86 points
$6.99
Best Buy
Neon green color. Fruity aromas and flavors of green apple candy, lime gel candy, caramel, and watermelon candy with a syrupy, lively, sweet medium-full body and a smooth, relaxed finish. This liqueur’s big green apple candy flavor will stand out in an appletini.
86 points $6.99 Best Buy
Kentucky Tavern Straight Bourbon Whiskey
86 points
$10.99
Best Buy
Bright gold color. Rustic aromas of fresh white corn, almond skins, hay, and cherry drink with a lightly tannic, bright, dryish light body and a peppery, brisk raw hazelnut, dried citrus peel, clove and crystalized ginger, and cream of wheat and aniseed finish. A nice shooting bourbon.
86 points $10.99 Best Buy
Zackariah Harris Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
86 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Clear gold color. Aromas of fresh corn and fennel with a supple, dryish light-to-medium body and a peppery, easy cinnamon sugar on toast, cherry skins, vanilla pudding, and honeycomb finish. A shooting whiskey that can stand up to cocktails.
86 points $11.99 Best Buy
Cane Run Rum
86 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Rum
Clear color. Funky aromas and flavors of fallen pear, sage, overripe banana, and cocoa nib with a glycerous, soft, dry light-to-medium body and a peppery, breezy kiwi skin finish. An interesting and atypical rum for mixed drinks.
86 points $12.99 Best Buy
Blue Chair Bay Banana Rum
86 points
$18.99
Clear color. Candied aromas of banana taffy, banana creme pie, and lucky charms with a syrupy, bright, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a seamless, easy marshmallow, praline, hazelnut spread, and circus peanut finish. A dangerously drinkable fruit bomb.
Awards: 2017 Best Buy Bar Winning Flavored Rum
86 points $18.99
Cimarrón Blanco Tequila
86 points
$18.99
Pale slivery straw color. Fruity, sweet aromas and flavors of underripe pineapple, butterscotch, apple skin and crayon, and woodruff with a silky, tangy, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, breezy sliced and spiced sweet almonds, green apple taffy, and hint of pomegranate finish. A warming and flavorful tequila for casual cocktails.
86 points $18.99
Born and Bred Potato Vodka
86 points
$24.95
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of shredded wheat cereal, sweet cream, and steamed peas with a creamy, vibrant, dryish medium body and an appealing, medium-length slate and sweet pear finish. A creamy, character-rich vodka with a pleasant minerality on the finish.
86 points $24.95
Yanhelivka Ratafia Aperitif Liqueur
85 points
$10
Clear straw color. Aromas of fresh dill, ginger powder, dill pickle, and lemon balm and mesquite with a glycerous, soft, moderately sweet medium body and a polished, delightful, fast black garlic, lemon zest and vanilla, black peppercorn on popcorn, and cinnamon and bay leaf finish. A fun and lighthearted dill liqueur for cooking, shooting, or crafting cocktails; a wonderful addition to the secret ingredient list.
Tremols Vodka
85 points
$12
Clear color. Aromas of lemon pith, salty ocean water, and parmesan rind with a supple, soft, bone-dry thin body and a warming, short-lived lemongrass, cantaloupe, and banana finish. A lemongrass tinged vodka for mixed drinks.
di Amore Limoncello
85 points
$13.99
Neon light green color. Confected aromas and flavors of lime jello powder mix, gatorade, lemon oil, and carbonation with a thick, vibrant, very sweet medium-full body and a brisk vanilla almond brittle and dill finish. A brisk limoncello; serve with a splash of soda.
85 points $13.99
Cimarrón Reposado Tequila
85 points
$21.99
Dull light gold color. Aromas and flavors of roasted agave, orange creme caramel, and clove with a round, fruity light body and a warming, breezy glazed oven roasted carrot, dried apple, pumpkin pie, and metal finish. An approachable tequila with a nice balance of fruit and earth.
85 points $21.99
Mr. Boston Amaretto Liqueur
84 points
$6.99
Bright dark amber color. Aromas and flavors of candied cherry, apricot pit, almond biscotti, and cherry blossom with an soft, very sweet light-to-medium body and a immediate cola and vanilla finish. A no-nonsense, quick-fire amaretto.
84 points $6.99
Don Q Coco Rum
84 points
$13.99
Clear color. Sweet, tropical aromas of coconut confection, fresh lemon slices, milk chocolate, and waxy lemon curd with a syrupy, moderately sweet medium-to-full body and a seamless, fast shredded coconut and macaroon finish. A fluffy coconut flavored rum that will be a hit at parties.
84 points $13.99
Don Q Piña Rum
84 points
$13.99
Clear color. Sweet aromas and flavors of overripe pineapple, toasted coconut flakes, upside down cake, and cooked asparagus with a syrupy, bright, sweet medium body and a polished, brisk lime jello and plum finish. A sweet and fruity rum for mixed drinks.
84 points $13.99
Swallow Classic Vodka
84 points
$17.99
Steely clear color. Aromas and flavors of marzipan and ivory, white pepper, spring water, and fresh cut grass with a satiny, bright, bone-dry light body and a peppery, medium-length green peppercorn and sour lemon drop finish. A tight and dry vodka for highballs.
84 points $17.99
Porter’s Peach Whiskey Liqueur
84 points
$18.99
Golden amber color. Candied aromas of candied dried apricot, menthol, and rose water with a satiny, bright, cloying fat body and a tingling, cheery peach soda, shortcake, cream soda, and root beer finish. A sweet and fruity liqueur to use in moderation.
84 points $18.99
Porter’s Apple Whiskey Liqueur
84 points
$18.99
Golden amber color. Sweet, fruity aromas of green apple sucker and wet slate with a glycerous, soft, very sweet fat body and a smooth, brisk cough syrup finish. An apple candy flavored liqueur for retro cocktails.
84 points $18.99
Firefly Lowcountry Ruby Red Vodka
84 points
$20
Bright pink color. Aromas and flavors of fruit punch powdered drink mix and pink lemonade gummy bear with a syrupy, racy, sweet medium body and a warming, medium-length underripe strawberry and sour grapefruit lollipop finish. A simple, sweet and tart grapefruit vodka.
Brenyolver Old Tom Gin
84 points
$25
Brilliant copper color. Aromas of caramel, stone pine, malted barley, and parsnip with a coarse, bright, dryish light-to-medium body and a tingling, breezy vanilla yogurt with cinnamon, green apple lollipop, lime peel, and thyme finish. A rough riding Old Tom Gin for mixed drinks.
Crater Lake Pepper Vodka
81 points
$24.99
Straw color. Overripe aromas of stewed green pepper, tinned jalepeno, post-harvest pumpkin patch, and olive brine with a syrupy, crisp, dryish medium body and a hot, long capsicum heat finish. A very spicy vodka to use sparingly or in daredevil shots.
81 points $24.99
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