Honey Spirits
 

Best Honey Spirits

 

The Fifty Best Honey Spirits Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 12 spirits distilled from honey (somel) with twelve members of our spirits judging panel. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. Each of the honey spirits were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles and served at room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The distilleries, countries of origin and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.

DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Barr Hill Gin
(Caledonia Spirits, VT)
Made with grain, raw honey & juniper. Kosher. 90° proof

Nose: Juniper, lemon peel, lemon zest, fresh lime zest, citrus, jasmine, lavender, floral, flowers, botanical, anise, grass, cloves, Christmas pine, clean sheets, vibrant.
Palate: Honey, raw honey, candied honey, agave syrup, vanilla, fragrant juniper, lemon, grapefruit bright citrus, roses, violet, flowers, floral, botanical, herbal, anise, bitter root, pine, soft, rich, well crafted, delicious.
Finish: Honey, honeycomb, sweet juniper, flowery, delicate wild flowers, citrus, peppery vanilla, spicy, well balanced, flavorful, delicious, lovely, great for a martini, perfect for cocktails.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Barr Hill Gin



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Up North Distillery Barrel Reserve Honey Spirits
(Idaho)
100% honey. 80° proof

Aroma: Real honey, fresh honey, butterscotch, molasses, dark chocolate, bubblegum, cherry, bright banana, coconut, waffle batter, Graham crackers, hot brioche, nutty, spices, pickle spices, slight brine, high tannins, aged wood, sherry, balanced.
Palate: Honey, caramel, buttery, cocoa, vanilla, warm bread pudding, sweet cola, cherry Coke, chestnuts, toasty, herbal, faint lemon, spicy cinnamon, leather, dark wood, old oak, balance of sweet & dry, some funk, smooth, zingy.
Finish: Vanilla, tropical mango, floral, smooth nutmeg, spicy, nice spice, minerality, lingering oak, smooth, flavorful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal




Up North Distillery Barrel Reserve Honey Spirits



Silver Star Texas Honey Liqueur
(Silver Star Spirits, TX)
Made with honey from Texas Hill Country wildflowers.
70° proof

Aroma: Raw honey, fermented honey, intense honey, big bold honey, maple, white candy glaze, honeysuckle, hyacinth, elderflower, lightly floral, peanut, saline, mead.
Palate: True honey, fresh honey, sweet honey, honeycomb, honeysuckle, molasses, maple, caramel, chocolate, sweet soda pop, orange, citrus, tea, nice.
Finish: Honey, smooth honey, honeycomb, mead, maple, clover, honey, sweetgrass, peanut butter, dark chocolate, wood, spicy, smooth, pleasant, very tasty.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Silver Star Texas Honey Liqueur



Barr Hill Vodka
(Caledonia Spirits, VT)
Distilled from raw honey.  80° proof

Aroma: Vanilla, whipped cream, creamy, butter, honey, raw honey, honeycomb, cotton candy, strawberry, light lemon crème, citrus, lovely floral, savory juniper, biscuit.
Palate: Vanilla, vanilla bean, clotted cream, confectioners’ sugar, maple, honey, raw honey, wheat, light grain, hint of citrus, herbal, anise, hints of juniper, peppery, wet stones, slightest hint of sweetness, rich, creamy mouthfeel.
Finish: Honeycomb, sugar candy, light lemon, spicy, white pepper, clean, extremely smooth, creamy, drinkable, great in cocktails, beautiful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Barr Hill Vodka



Up North Distillery Barrel Finished Honey Spirits
(Idaho)
100% honey. 80° proof

Aroma: Caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, butter, buttered toast, white chocolate, sweet rich honey, fermented honey, sweet apple cider, raisin, pineapple, guava, lemon, geranium, mint, warm spice, shaved almonds, coffee grinds, barrel aged cognac, mead like, crisp, bright.
Palate: Butterscotch, vanilla, maple syrup, burnt sugar, sweet honey, spicy honey, beeswax, toasted butter, herbs, green herbs, orange zest, white pepper, mild black pepper, tannic, wood barrel, oak, wheat whiskey, nicely balanced, silky mouthfeel, round, delicate.
Finish: Touch of cocoa, light brown sugar, orange zest, mild eucalyptus, warm spices, toast, well balanced, cooling, smooth, easy to drink, great for a dessert cocktail.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Up North Distillery Barrel Finished Honey Spirits



Domeloz Honey Spirit Somel
(Yahara Bay Distillers for Meloz, WI)
100% pure honey. 80° proof

Aroma: Deep dark honey, honey cream, candied cherries, fresh cooked peaches, pineapple, chocolate lemons, vanilla, Graham cracker, sweet mint gum, gardenia, cola nut, almond, anise, clove, spices.
Palate: Honey, chocolate, cooked sugar, cinnamon candy, honeyed grapefruit, banana, lemon, citrus, distinct soft mint, lavender, fresh roses, wheat, grain, anise, nutmeg, minerality, fresh linens, oaky, good blend, creamy, silky, playful.
Finish: Chocolate, fudge, demerara sugar, citrus, mint, anise, black pepper, balanced, soft, smooth, elegant.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Domeloz Honey Spirit Somel



D’aristi Xtabentún Liqueur
(Casa D’aristi, Yucatan, Mexico)
Made with honey, anisette & rum. 60° proof

Aroma: Black licorice, sweet anise, anisette, honeycomb, lemon, flowers, tarragon, basil, wormwood, delicate.
Palate: Anisette, anise, sweet licorice, melted licorice candy, honey, white chocolate, floral, fennel, viscous, nice.
Finish: Sweet licorice, candied licorice, delicate anise, honey, wild flowers, very sweet, viscous, rich, after dinner sips, great for cocktails, elegant, lovely.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



D’aristi Xtabentún Liqueur



12th Hawaii Distiller's Reserve
(12th Hawaii Distiller, HI)
Made with locally sourced Hawaiian honey, finished in oak barrels with Hawaiian Kiawe wood. 84° proof

Aroma: Caramel, butterscotch, brown butter, brittle, bittersweet chocolate, honey, caramelized honey, date cake, cola, summer flowers, herbal, chestnut, toasted pecans, nutty, sweet cloves, oak, soft char.
Palate: Great caramel notes, honey, buttery, creamy, cookie dough, cooked baked bread, cola, herbs, toasted almond, nutty, coffee grinds, peppery, forest floor, peppery cedar, oak, wood notes, bourbon like.
Finish: Caramel candy, sweet honey, cherry, Brazil nuts, hint of anise, spice, pepper, saline, wood, oak, pine forest, toast, great for sipping, luscious.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



12th Hawaii Distiller's Reserve



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Forager Vodka
(Central Coast Distillery, CA)
Distilled from raw local honeys & spring water. 80° proof

Aroma: Sweet vanilla cake, creamy, buttery sweet, attractive honey, dates, figs, lemon, lemon jelly slices, wildflowers, floral, pizza dough, hint of brine, minerals, river rocks, clean.
Palate: Vanilla, whipped cream, confectioners’ sugar, maple, aromatic honey, lemon peel, violets, dried flowers, almond, beeswax, earth, nicely dry, soft, delicate, approachable.
Finish: Vanilla, creamy, lemon, toasted pecans, white pepper, well balanced, zesty, crisp, clean, delicate, soft, smooth, elegant.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Forager Vodka



12th Hawaii Hawaiian Kona Coffee Spirits
(12th Hawaii Distiller, HI)
Made with locally sourced Hawaiian honey, macerated with
100% Kona coffee. 80° proof.

Aroma: Coffee, Kona coffee, dark coffee, espresso, cold brew coffee, chicory, caramel, molasses, sassafras, fresh banana, beans, toast, burnt wood.
Palate: Roasted coffee, coffee with honey, sweet black coffee, rich coffee, cold coffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, mountain flowers, earthy, toast, smoky, charred wood, kudos.
Finish: Creamy coffee, toasty coffee, lingering sweet black coffee, smoky barbecue, charred firewood, nicely balanced, great over ice cream, drink neat, smooth, rich, elegant.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



12th Hawaii Hawaiian Kona Coffee Spirits



12th Hawaii Hawaiian Vodka
(12th Hawaii Distiller, HI)
Made with locally sourced Hawaiian honey
& locally sourced purple potatoes.
86° proof

Aroma: Vanilla, creamy, molasses, crispy cakes, honeycomb, hint of honey, white raisin, apricot, fresh grapes, green apple, tangerine, citrus, honeysuckle, lavender, delicate flowers, floral, bright.
Palate: Vanilla, honey, nectar, white grapes, lemon verbena, citrus, rose, geranium, lavender, floral, flower store, soft rain water, roasted nuts, malt whiskey, lightly sweet, nicely balanced, soft, rich.
Finish: Honey, peach, pineapple, tangerine rind, citrus zest, white raisin, roses, wild flowers, blossoms, bread dough, cedar, spices, spicy, rich, creamy, smooth, delicious.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



12th Hawaii Hawaiian Vodka



Up North Distillery Single Barrel Cask Strength Honey Spirits
(Idaho)
100% honey. 118° proof

Aroma: Honey, raw honey, Bit-o-Honey, caramel, cocoa, vanilla, apple juice, citrus, soft moss, basil, sweet & hot peppers, light toast, hazelnut, smoke, bourbon barrel.
Palate: Honey, candied pecans, herb, grape, lemon, citrus, mint, sumac, coriander, peppery, pepper, sweet fire, toast, char, woody, nice sweetness, strong flavor, brash.
Finish: Honey, licorice, mint, paprika, pepper, sharp black pepper, lingering pepper, big bold warm heat, nice kick, rich.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Up North Distillery Single Barrel Cask Strength Honey Spirits

 

 

 

 

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