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Esquire Magazine: The 29 Best Bottles of Booze in 2019

April 22, 2020

"From single barrel bourbon to French malt whiskey to 48-botanical gin, these were the new spirits worth seeking out this year." - Jonah Flicker

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.

Alfred Giraud French Malt Whiskey $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.

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Alfred Giraud - French malt whisky
Alfred Giraud - French malt whisky