Out of the hundreds of spirits reviewed for this year’s Spirit Buying Guides, this list represents 50 of the best picks.
It’s a particularly diverse group this year, spanning a number of categories, provenances and flavor profiles. Of course, it’s not comprehensive; only categories reviewed this year are eligible for inclusion, so unflavored vodkas, for example, aren’t strongly represented here, although they had a strong showing in 2013.
The diversity extends to bottle prices as well, which range from $425 for a rare, hop-flavored American whiskey down to $17 for an amazingly refreshing cucumber vodka. “Top” in this context isn’t meant to be synonymous with most expensive, oldest or most rare—instead, it signifies best-in-breed, whatever the breed happens to be.
So, in addition to classically styled whiskies, rums, Tequilas and more, some delightful oddballs enter the mix. Carrot eau-de-vie? Peanut butter- and-jelly flavored vodka? An Indian-spiced cream liqueur? Yes to all three—bold flavors and a lot of fun are coming off the stills these days.
Whether your taste runs to well-made cocktails or straight-up sippers, at least one of these exceptional bottles deserves space on your home bar. Turn the page to discover your new best bar friend.