By any measure, this simply must be considered the golden age of distilled spirits. Never before has there been this much excitement about the culture overall. New product introductions seem to appear weekly across all categories. Deluxe cocktail lounges are opening and mainstream restaurants are expanding their artisanal offerings and signature drinks menus. The humble bartender has been elevated to überhip mixologist, and the variety of spirits, mixers, elixirs, liqueurs and garnishes available to make cocktails has grown exponentially. And it isn’t all about cocktails.
Spirits sipped neat—Cognacs and fine Scotches, certainly, but also artisan-crafted Tequilas, rums and more—will never go out of style, even in this renaissance age. The list of our top 50 spirits of 2010, we hope, reflects this excitement and diversity. In selecting these 50, we have chosen the elite brands in each of 13 categories.
Because our spirits taster, Kara Newman, joined us midyear and has not had a chance to sample spirits in all of these categories, we have fleshed out the list with spirits previously reviewed. Cheers! For the Top 50 Spirits of 2010, click here.