Great Sprits for Toasting the Old Year and Welcoming the New from Great Sprits for Toasting the Old Year and Welcoming the Newv

Great Sprits for Toasting the Old Year and Welcoming the Newv

Full Story
Great Sprits for Toasting the Old Year and Welcoming the New

Martin Miller Gin / Facebook

Great Sprits for Toasting the Old Year and Welcoming the New

As midnight nears on New Year’s Eve, we’ll all have our sparkling wines ready to toast in the New Year, 2016.

But whether it is New Year’s Eve or in the days immediately before and after, shouldn’t we also take a look back at 2015? Shouldn’t we take some time to think about all the good things that happened during the previous 12 months and celebrate them with a glass of a good spirit?

And if 2015 was a really, really crappy year that you would like to forget, then raise a glass in thanks that it’s almost over! Here are selected spirits and fortified wines we’ve sipped over the past year for your “toastal” consideration. (Prices are approximate, and will vary from place to place.)

Our/Detroit Vodka ($17)

Our/Detroit Vodka ($17)

Some marketing whizzes associated with Absolut came up with a great idea: Have one basic recipe for vodka, then work with local entrepreneurs to source local ingredients and make the finished product. Oh yes, build them a small distillery. Similar to but different than its Seattle counterpart (below) — more herbal, less creamy, and a bit more straightforward. Think globally, drink locally?

Our/Seattle Vodka ($17)

Our/Seattle Vodka / Facebook

Our/Seattle Vodka ($17)

In Seattle, the result of the Absolut project is a very pure-tasting, almost-creamy vodka that is well-structured with a long finish.

Hornitas “Black Barrel” Anejo Tequila ($30)

Hornitos Tequila / Facebook

Hornitas “Black Barrel” Anejo Tequila ($30)

Very lively on the palate with great depth of flavors, mainly golden fruitiness, and a light note of caramel or brûlée.

Saint-Vivant Armagnac Grande Fine ($30)

Photo courtesy of Snooth.com

Saint-Vivant Armagnac Grande Fine ($30)

Very smooth with hints of honey, a little salt but almost no bite, making it ideal for cocktails as well as sipping.

Churchill’s Dry White Port ($34)

Churchhill / Facebook

Churchill’s Dry White Port ($34)

Tangy and almost gamey, a bit like a rambunctious fino sherry — nice over ice.

 Portobello Road “No 171” English Gin ($34)

Portobello English Gin / Facebook

Portobello Road “No 171” English Gin ($34)

A light hand is given to the aromatics with subdued, delicate juniper; creamy and smooth.

Herradura Silver Reserva Tequila ($36)

Photo courtesy of Under the Label

Herradura Silver Reserva Tequila ($36)

Direct from the still at 55 percent alcohol, this is a great sipping tequila with flavors of green herbs, salty minerality, and a touch of ripe pear in the finish.

Martin Miller “Westbourne Strength” London Dry Gin ($36)

Martin Miller Gin / Facebook

Martin Miller “Westbourne Strength” London Dry Gin ($36)

Beautiful sweet-fruity blend of botanicals with a floral yet spicy note and a structured suppleness.

 Saint James “Cuvée 1765” Rhum Vieux Agricole ($40)

Saint James “Cuvée 1765” Rhum Vieux Agricole ($40)

From Martinique with surprising savory notes — from old wooden cooperage, as well as sweet tastes of light molasses and caramel.

 

Highspire “Pure Rye” Rye Whiskey ($45)

Highspire “Pure Rye” Rye Whiskey ($45)

Mellow with not much of a bite and flavored with dry woodiness and cinnamon and other baking spices.

Cockburn’s Vintage Port 2000 ($77)

Cockburn’s Vintage Port 2000 ($77)

Lightly structured with an entrancing combination of blueberry sweetness and dried blackberry savoriness.

The Macallan “Edition #1” Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($104)

The Macallan “Edition #1” Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($104)

Very smooth, very delicious with sweet barrel flavors and a light spiciness.

Knappogue Castle Single Malt Sherry Finish 16-Year-Old Irish Whiskey ($84)

Knappogue Castle Single Malt Sherry Finish 16-Year-Old Irish Whiskey ($84)

This Knappogue Castle is expressive without being flamboyant and offers flavors of ground wheat, toffee, and peanut brickle.

 Fonseca Vintage Port 2000 ($103)

Fonseca Vintage Port 2000 ($103)

Fresh, fruity, rich, well-balanced with flavors of dark blackberries and some nuttiness — elegant and delicious.

WhistlePig Old World 12-Year-Old Rye ($121)

WhistlePig Old World 12-Year-Old Rye ($121)

Aged in a melange of woods — madeira, sauternes, and some port casks — this is a great sipping whiskey  with sweet barrel flavors and mixed spiciness.

The Balvenie “DoubleWood” 17-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($139)

The Balvenie “DoubleWood” 17-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($139)

A delightful array of flavors — white flowers, beeswax and baking spices — that are well-blended and well-balanced.

Wild Turkey “Master’s Keep” 17-Year-Old Bourbon ($145)

Wild Turkey “Master’s Keep” 17-Year-Old Bourbon ($145)

Luxurious silkiness with dark wood flavors and a little sappy sweetness, but little in the way of typical bourbon caramel, instead with finishing flavors more like those of a soft molasses cookie. 

Russell’s Reserve 1998 Bourbon ($501)

Russell’s Reserve 1998 Bourbon ($501)

Also from Wild Turkey, a vintage-dated whiskey with spicy herbal aromas like those of Green Chartreuse that are seldom found in bourbon — a whiskey cousin of gin!

Suntory Hibiki 21-Year-Old Blended Japanese Whiskey ($551)

Suntory Hibiki 21-Year-Old Blended Japanese Whiskey ($551)

Like a cross between bourbon and scotch, it has smooth flavors of grain and sweetness from the barrel with a pleasant whiff of smoke.

You've just watched...

Tequila

Great Sprits for Toasting the Old Year and Welcoming the Newv