Fifty Best Spirits of 2007
The adage that Americans are “drinking less but drinking better” doesn’t hold anymore when it comes to spirits. It now appears that consumers are drinking better and more distillates. Spirits now command nearly one-third of all beverage alcohol sold in the U.S. Sales have steadily increased across most categories. The high roller consumer action for the next five to eight years, in my opinion, will be in blue chip spirits—100% agave Tequilas from Mexico, single-malt Scotch whiskies and Irish whiskeys, small production bourbons and rye whiskeys from heartland America, designer vodkas, cachaça from Brazil, up-market gins and the French Caribbean oak-aged rums called rhum agricoles.
Approximately 250 spirits were evaluated over the past year. As with all criticism, an upper echelon of products stands out from the pack.
These carefully selected 50 are the very best sampled in 2007 and are libations that more than deserve your attention. They all fall into either the SUPERB (90–95) or CLASSIC (96–100) rating categories. These two score and ten spirits are cited for their inherent splendor and categorical brilliance.
The silver thread that runs through this particular cloth is the admirable quality of every single product. Each is a supremely satisfying and gratifying experience of the first rank. So, here’s to 2007 and nine straight years of spirits growth. Salud!
What the ratings mean:
SUPERB: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - A distilled spirit whose attributes are of exemplary quality and character within the established standards of its category. An outstanding product worthy of a search.
CLASSIC: HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION - That rare, highly distinguished, distinctive, and classical distilled spirit which represents a benchmark within its category. This product presents a standard against which its peers can be judged. A product of extraordinary quality, scope, and character which transcends price.
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