From single barrel bourbon to French malt whiskey to 48-botanical gin, these were the new spirits worth seeking out this year. BY JONAH FLICKER DEC 18, 2019
This was an exceptional year for new releases of spirits in all categories, and so it was an exceptional year for drinking. It’s impossible to cover them all, but here are the best of the best, based on flavor alone, including whiskey, tequila, gin, rum, and cognac. Some are easy to come by, while others are expensive and elusive limited editions. But if a spirit tasted good, it made the list—hype, price, and reputation be damned. See if you can find a few of these to try for yourself before the end of 2019, and here’s to another year (and decade) of good spirits.rn
Alfred Giraud French Malt Whiskeyrn$155-$190
France isn’t known as being a hotbed of fine whisky production, but there are a few distilleries there trying to change that perception. The Giraud family brings its cognac background to whisky making, using a majority of French oak ex-cognac casks to mature the new spirit. There are two whiskies available now in the U.S. Heritage is made up of three malt distillates aged in three cask types, which are then blended together and further matured in cognac casks. Harmonie starts out in a similar fashion, but then adds lightly peated French malt to the mix, resulting in a subtle smokiness. The whisky is pricey, but it’s very tasty.
Four Roses Small Batch Select $60
Four Roses consistently knocks it out of the park with its core range, a lineup of dependable bourbon that could be more expensive than it is but usually isn’t (please don’t raise your prices, Four Roses). The new Small Batch Select is sort of a further refining of the Small Batch expression, a blend of bourbon aged for at least six years using six of the distillery’s 10 different recipes. The ABV is higher too, at 104 proof, and the whiskey is non-chill filtered. Expect a velvety mouthfeel and notes of cherry, oak, and vanilla, making this a welcome—and permanent—addition to the portfolio.
ALFRED GIRAUD ENCOURAGES DRINKING RESPONSIBLY
The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for your health.
To visit Alfred GIRAUD, you must be of legal drinking and purchasing age within your location of residence.
If no such laws exist in your location, you have to be 21 to visit our site.