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
218730
Fire Oak
Vodka
Brilliant clear color. Clean aromas of unleavened bread dough, wet stones, salt rock, and herbs de provence with a satiny, bright, dry light-to-medium body and a smooth, stimulating, long fructose crystal, mountain stream, porcelain, and dried bananas finish. This vodka shines with balance, smooth minerality, and a silky mouthful.
95 points $22 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
206749
Ms. Cameo
Vodka
Clear. Very neutral aromas suggest milk, praline, and minerals with a silky, dryish medium body and a nougat, melon, and limestone accented, gently warming pepper finish. Very clean with a nice rising arc of subtle flavor and well-integrated heat. Impressive and a great choice for martinis.
95 points $24.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218559
Rock Town
Basil Vodka
Clear color. Exotic, herbal aromas and flavors of lavender bath salt, cumin, rose water, and cardamom with a velvety, lively, sweet body and a peppery, intricate, medium-long basil, green tomato jelly, and cinnamon stick finish. A complex flavored vodka begging for craft cocktails and quality tonic water.
94 points $13.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218733
Duckworth
Truffle Vodka
Clear color. Umami aromas and flavors of truffle oil, garlic toast, smoked salmon, and anchovy oil with a supple, crisp, dryish medium body and a finish. A fun, super savory truffle and garlic driven vodka that will be a hoot to experiment with.
94 points $49.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
214277
SKYY
Infusions Citrus Vodka
Bright brilliant clear color. Bright, fresh, citrusy aromas and flavors of limes with a satiny, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, refreshing, easy lime sorbet, citrus and nut oils, and minerals finish. A great lime flavored vodka.
94 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
207062
Bainbridge
Legacy Organic Vodka
Clear color. Aromas of fruit custard pastry and pistachio nougat with a silky, dryish medium body and a creamy, toasty grain, delicate spice, lime, and mineral finish. A zesty, flavorful vodka that will excel in cocktails or on its own.
94 points $34.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
204201
American Harvest
Organic Spirit
Clear. Gentle aromas and flavors of fruity custard pastry, nougat, and butter pecan ice cream with a silky, off-dry medium body with a long, honeyed granola, powdered sugar, chalk and warming spice accented finish. A very nice fruit and honey nuanced vodka for sipping or cocktails.
94 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203706
New Deal Distillery
Mud Puddle Chocolate Vodka
Rich reddish mahogany color. Rich aromas of fresh dark fudge brownies and artisan cacao nib chocolate bars with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a chocolate espresso bean, dark roasted nut, mineral and peppercorn accented finish. A serious, dry, adult chocolate flavored vodka that will triumph in cocktails.
94 points $29.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203982
Anestasia
Vodka
Clear. Aromas of toasted grainy bread and delicate spiced nuts with a silky, off-dry medium body and a creme brulee, mineral, and delicate peppery spice finish. Very nice.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
218692
Pearl
Vodka
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of porcelain, stainless steel, and gloves with a supple, soft, bone-dry thin body and a warming, brief wet chalk, dried lemon and kiwi, licorice, and mint cream finish. A great, clean, smooth vodka to enjoy on its own or to paint beautiful cocktails with.
93 points $14.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab