Blue Lifestyle

Home of James Beard Foundation Award winner Anthony Dias Blue, one of the most influential food, wine, spirits, and lifestyle personalities in the United States.

12/8 Japanese Whisky

Hibiki Japanese Harmony NV ($65)
Smooth and nutty with silky texture and sweet, rich flavors of dried fruit, spice and bready notes; mellow, seamless and long. 92 points

Nikka Whisky 17 YO Taketsuru Pure Malt NV ($150)
Medium amber color; toasty, fleshy and dense with spice, ripe vanilla oak; complex and deep with great balance and rich flavors that linger on and on; smooth and showing depth and elegance; long and lovely. 94 points

Nikka Whisky 21 YO Taketsuru Pure Malt NV ($180)
Elegant and lush with complex flavors of mature oak and spice; toasty, deep and rich with charming, refined style; clean, balanced and vibrant with great finesse and length. 95 points

Suntory Yamakazi 25 YO Single Malt Whisky 25YO ($1600)
Dark amber color; rich caramel, toffee, molasses nose; amazing with rich, creamy, luscious and intense flavors; crème brulée with notes of mocha, allspice and clove; astonishing, unique and a must for collectors. 100 points!

11/12 Rye Whiskey

Bulleit Rye Whiskey 5% Malted Barley ($28)
Medium amber color; smooth, clean rye nose; spicy, toasted and rich with mellow, dense biscuity flavors and a deep, lush finish; balanced, seamless and quite lovely. 93 points

James Oliver Rye Whiskey ($30)
Medium amber color; smooth and toasty with dried fruits and malted rye; lush and mellow with sweet floral notes; long and balanced, rich and balanced. 91 points

Rebel Yell Small Batch Rye Straight Rye Whiskey ($30)
Amber color; Toasted nose with rye and complex grains; mellow, spicy and smooth with rich rye flavors and lovely balance; floral, aromatic and long. 92 points

Hochstadter's Straight Rye Whiskey Vatted Straight Rye Whiskey ($35)
Medium amber color; soft, mellow nose; silky and toasty with smooth texture and soft flavors; clean and balanced, long and mellow. 90 points

Tap Rye Port Finished Canadian Rye Whisky from Canada; aged up to 8 years ($40)
Soft grain nose; silky, smooth with spice and hints of sweet port and nutmeg; sleek with notes of vanilla and caramel; charming, creamy and long with mellow style and a spicy finish. 92 points

Knob Creek Rye Small Batch ($40)
Medium amber color; fragrant, sweet grain, tea and lush toasted oak and spice; creamy, subtle herbs, white oak and layer upon layer of flavor; rye, toasted wood and deep flavors; elegant, supple and exquisite; incredibly smooth; probably the best rye I've ever tasted; a masterpiece. A whopping 98 points!

Pikesville Straight Rye Whiskey 6YO ($45)
Medium amber color; lovely aromatic nose; silky, spicy with fresh rye and pepper; deep and juicy with toasty, rich elegant flavors; lush and balanced, long and intense; Heaven Hill's entry into the rye sweepstakes 94 points

Breakout Premium Rye Whiskey ($46)
Lovely nose of grain, spice and toasted oak; smooth, mellow and charming with lush, rich and spicy flavors; lovely, full-flavored and long with balance, style and depth. 93 points

Angels Envy Rye Whiskey Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks ($80)
Soft caramel nose; smooth and bright with notes of orange peel, vanilla and spice; cinnamon and allspice; long and nicely balanced. 94 points

WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey "The Boss Hog" from Canada ($150)
Fragrant, lush and lovely grain and vanilla, toasty oak and caramel; astonishing, powerful and yet very elegant; intense, layered and complex with honey, spice and dried fruits; an amazing achievement; very long and fresh. 96 points

Michter’s 25 Year-Old Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey ($370)
Smooth and spicy with essence of rye, grass and notes of spice, toasty oak and vanilla; amazing, complex and pure with layers of flavor and hints of dried fruits, bacon and molasses. 98 points

10/27 Brandy

E&J Gallo VSOP Brandy Superior Reserve, Extra Smooth, Rare Blend ($13)
Medium amber color; smooth and creamy with clean, sweet caramel and some vanilla oak notes; balanced and moderately long. 88 points

E&J Gallo XO Brandy Extra Smooth, Limited Release ($15)
Medium amber color; smooth, caramel and dried fruit nose; smooth and creamy with sweet treacle and vanilla; soft brown spices and lovely depth and generous flavors; rich and long. 91 points

Clear Creek Distillery Pear Brandy Williams Pear ($25)
Smooth and elegant with lovely pear fruit and floral notes; long, silky and delicious. 95 whopping points

pür geist bierbrand spirits distilled from malted barley, Germany ($28)
Light amber color; silky and ripe with notes of orange, spice and lush texture with sweet herbal notes and ripe flavors. 90 points 

Metaxa 12 Stars Greek Brandy, Greece ($50)
Deep amber color; smooth and creamy with toasted oak, sweet caramel and lush texture; silky with honey notes and a long, smooth finish. 92 points

Etude XO Alambic Brandy ($150)
Lush, burnt orange and toasty oak on the nose; amber color; rich and toasted with caramel and dried fruits; dense and layered with amazing depth and elegance; bursting with flavor and beautifully balanced; long and quite astonishingly complex for such a young brandy. 94 points

Germain-Robin Small Blend No. 2 ($300)
Smooth, floral nose; smooth, spicy and ripe with warm, lush flavors; dried fruits, spice and lovely balance; long and mellow. 93 points

10/13 NY World Wine & Spirits Comp

Dry Fly Distilling Cask Strength Wheat Whiskey, USA ($60)
Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon, USA ($31) Best Small Batch Bourbon & Best Bourbon
Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, USA ($40) Best American Rye Whiskey & Best American Whiskey
Kvint 8 Year Old Brandy, Republic of Moldova ($15) Best Brandy
Kvint 10 Year Old Brandy, Republic of Moldova ($20)
1792 Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon, USA ($30)
Soltado Spicy Añejo Tequila, Mexico ($39)
Hillrock Double Cask Rye Whiskey, USA ($90)
360 Vodka, USA ($11)
Brooklyn Gin, USA ($45)
Dewar's 12 Year Old Scotch Whisky The Ancestor, Scotland, Price not listed
Ron Tremols 1960 El Toro Reserva Aniversario Rum, Dominican Republic ($18)  
Facundo Exquisito Rum, Bahamas ($120) Best Extra-Aged Rum & Best Rum & Best Aged White in Show
Crop Organic Artisanal Vodka, USA ($25) Best Vodka
Ungava Gin, Canada ($36)
Chic Choc Spiced Rum, Canada ($34)
Master's Selection Gin, Spain ($13) Best Gin & Best Un-Aged White in Show
Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey Distiller's Masterpiece, USA ($200)
Laphroaig 10 Year Old Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Scotland ($66) Best Whisky in Show
Galera Vieja Añejo Tequila, Mexico ($45) Best Tequila
Galera Vieja Reposado Tequila, Mexico ($40)
Bundaberg Blenders Edition 2015 Rum, Australia ($64)

 

8/11 Dark Rum

Cruzan Single Barrel Premium Extra Aged Rum Aged 5 Years Minimum ($30)
Medium amber color; smooth, creamy nose; toasty, silky with rich brown sugar and caramel;  elegant and lush with dry, lovely flavors that are dense and mellow; long and charming. 92 points

Botran Reserva Ron Añejo Solera Reserva ($32)
Deep amber color; toasty nose with dried fruits; smooth, toasted and complex with elegant, aged style; balanced and complex with rich, dry notes of cane and oak; silky and elegant, long and bright. 92 points

Bacardi Facundo Eximo Rum 10YO ($60)
Deep amber color; caramel nose with smooth, toasted style with notes of oak, vanilla, caramel and honey; silky and long, complex and lush. 93 points

Bacardi Facundo Exquisito Rum Aged 7-23 Years ($120)
Deep amber color; caramel nose; lush and creamy texture with rich flavors of dried tropical fruits,vanilla and toasty oak; complex and long with depth and finesse; a blend of rums ranging to 23 year of age. 94 points

7/28 Limoncello 

Villa Massa Limoncello Liqueur, Italy ($17)
The real thing; cloudy light yellow color; smooth and richly textured but with a crisp backbone of authentic Sorrento lemons; fresh, clean and juicy with some nice heat on the finish. 93 points

Ventura Limoncello Company Limoncello Originale, California ($25)
Cloudy yellow; smooth and lovely sweet lemon flavors with some nice alcohol heat and a charming, long finish with a tangy final note. 92 points

Finamoré Premium Limoncello Liqueur, Italy ($35)
Cloudy yellow; true lemon nose; thick texture and tangy natural lemon flavors with a touch of bitter rind; sweet and bright with juicy notes and lovely true citrus and a long complex finish. 92 points

7/21 Vermouth

La Quintinye 20 Vermouth Royal Extra Dry, Charente, France ($15)
Golden color; lovely botanical nose with notes of bitterness; lush and juicy with crisp, dry, tangy, floral style; long and aromatic. 91 points


La Quintinye NV Vermouth Royal Rouge, Charente, France ($15)
Bright caramel color; lush, bitters nose; sweet, smooth and rich with spice, caramel and aromatic herbs; long and deep. 92 points

7/7 Mezcal

Sin Piedad Mezcal Reposado ($36)
Light, golden color; smoky, vegetal nose; earthy, spicy and herbal; lush and deep with lovely balance and length. 92 points

Sacacuento Silver Mezcal  ($42)
Smoky and earthy agave with lovely herbal flavors; smooth and spicy with smooth texture and a long finish. 90 points

Alipus Mezcal San Baltazar ($48)
Soft smoky nose; smooth with smoke and edgy flavors; leafy, creamy and tannic; spicy with some serious heat on the finish. 90 points

Alipus Mezcal Santa Ana del Rio ($48)
Fragrant and spicy; smooth and earthy with vegetal notes and lots of tangy spice; long and rustic with plenty of heat. 92 points

Zignum Mezcal Añejo Mezcal Añejo Oaxaca ($50)
Medium amber color; toasty, sweet and lush with creamy caramel and spicy notes; smooth, dense and balanced with smoke, wood and lovely age. 90 points

Mezcalero Mezcal San Baltazar($84)
Soft smoky nose; silky texture and spicy flavors with earth, vegetation and dried fruit; smooth, lush and balanced with good length and a measure of elegance. 92 points.

11 Patios Silvestre Mezcal, $77
Silver Medal at the 2015 SF World Spirits Competition 

11 Patios Especial Mezcal, $68
Silver Medal at the 2015 SF World Spirits Competition

6/18 Cream Liqueur

Amarula Marula Fruit Cream ($19)
Creamy and lush with notes of white chocolate, coffee and lovely spice with exotic fruits and deep, rich flavors; dense, ripe and intense with balance and gorgeous flavors. 92 points

Whisper Creek Cream Liqueur (Made with Tennessee Whiskey) ($20)
Beige color; spicy with notes of cinnamon and smoky wood; smooth and toasted with a whiskey back taste; decent but not brilliant. 88 points

Kringle Cream Liqueur ($20)
Sweet, spicy with a hint of fruit and vanilla; lush and rich with a base of rum; made in Wisconsin. 93 points

Kerrygold Superior Irish Cream Liqueur ($20)
Smooth and creamy with chocolate, cream and sweetness; mellow, rich and balanced. 90 points

Baileys Mint Chocolate Cream Liqueur ($20)
Lush and creamy, chocolatey with a nice, well-integrated touch of mint; smooth, balanced, totally delicious. 91 points

Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon ($21)
Smooth and creamy but not thick, graceful and showing vanilla cream with lovely notes of cinnamon; rich but not cloying; fresh, balanced and showing a nice hit of Irish whiskey on the finish. 93 points

Somrus Indian Cream Liqueur ($30)
White color; spicy, cardamon and almond nose; creamy and smooth with lovely cardamon, rose, almond and pistachio; lush and balanced with notes of vanilla and spice; seamless and quite lovely; made with a rum base. 93 points

6/2 Cachaça 

Espirito Ultra Premium Cachaca NV, Brazil ($33)
Silky with vanilla and distillate flavors; fleshy and rich, long and dense; spicy and balanced. 90 points

Boca Loca Cachaca NV, Brazil ($22)
Clear with a soft, sweet nose; clean, lush and smooth with creamy texture and lovely notes of sugar without being sweet; rich and round with finesse and balance; long and charming. 93 points

Sagatiba Pura NV, Brazil ($25)
Smooth, spicy and somewhat vegetal nose; silky and elegant with aromatic herbal and soft sugar notes; slightly earthy yet very clean and balanced; soft spices and lovely balance; long and intriguing. 93 points

Soul Cachaça NV, Brazil ($27)
Fragrant, clean and silky; smooth vanilla and earth, creamy texture and some herbal notes; lush and tropical. 91 points

Sagatiba Velha NV, Brazil ($30)
Pale amber color; spicy banana nose; silky and smooth with earthy but quite elegant flavors; notes of toasty oak and caramel; brown sugar and soft vegetation; plantain and butterscotch, long and graceful. 95 points

Novo Fogo Organic Gold Cachaça NV, Brazil ($35)
Medium amber color; fragrant and showing notes of oak and caramel; smooth and fleshy with elegant sweet oak and silky texture; creamy with notes of caramel and brown sugar; mellow and flavorful with a long, stylish finish; best on the rocks. 92 points

5/19 Bourbon

Penny Packer Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($22)
Medium amber color; silky smooth and balanced with pretty, toasty flavors and some toasted vanilla notes; soft and feminine with charm and balance; moderate length and very pleasant. 91 points

Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Vintage 2003 Single Barrel Vintage ($26)
Deep amber color; lovely, smooth nose; elegant and creamy with vanilla, toasted oak and ripe fruit; mellow and rich with great depth, finesse, sweet caramel and treacle; balanced, lush and long. 93 points

Rod & Rifle Straight Bourbon Wildlife Forever Contribution ($30)
Medium amber color; smooth marzipan and tea nose; silky texture; soft and mellow with spice, dried grass and toasted vanilla oak; clean, balanced and easy-going with a nice depth of flavor and an elegant finish. 92 points

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Small Batch; Aged 9 Years ($31)
Ripe nose of sweet toasted oak and spice; deep amber color; smooth and toasty with dried fruits, spice and mellow vanilla oak; toasty, complex and lush; long and balanced. 93 points

Maker's Mark Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky NV ($40)
Smooth and intense with spice, toasty oak and rich grains; malty and lush, complex and layered; long, rich and balanced. 93 points

Bulleit 10 YO Bourbon Frontier Whiskey Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($45)
Smooth and fragrant nose; pale color; silky smooth and mellow with lovely toasted oak and soft notes of dried fruit and spice; lush and balanced with a long, elegant finish. 93 points

Oola Distillery Waitsburg Bourbon 2013 ($50)
Won Gold at the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Smooth aroma of toasted grains and spicy wood; silky texture and showing lovely, rich flavors of toasted oak, dried fruits and spice; mellow, balanced and charming. 93 points

Orphan Barrel Rhetoric Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Rhetoric 20YO ($85)
Dark amber color; smooth toasted vanilla nose; smooth and rich with vanilla oak and notes of mellow rye and a lush finish that features chocolate and soft spices; balanced and lush. 93 points

Michter's Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey 20 YO ($450)
Smooth and toasty with gorgeous depth and stunningly approachable flavors - lush, rich and comforting; despite its high proof (114.2) absolutely the most drinkable and seductive bourbon out there. 98 points

5/5 Gin

Aria Portland Dry Gin ($24)
Smooth and creamy with lovely aromatics, soft juniper and a fresh citrus note; mellow, lush and bright with elegance and style; a modern take on a classic London style. 93 points

Hayman's London Dry Gin from UK ($25)
2014 Double Gold Tour Los Angeles
Smooth, mellow; lush and long; juicy. 93 points

Batch 206 Distillery Counter Gin ($25)
Juniper and spice nose; creamy texture and lush, aromatic style; very smooth with balanced, rich flavors; long and generous with notes of cucumber, lavender and citrus. 93 points

Deepwells Botanical Dry Gin ($35)
Smooth with a soft nose of juniper and spice; creamy texture with rich botanicals, highlighted with juniper; rich, dense and dry with lovely depth and balance; classic in structure and taste. 93 points

Fords London Dry Gin from England ($35)
Soft juniper nose; smooth and flavorful with juniper, citrus, jasmine and wheat; lush and creamy, long and rich; charming and loaded with style. 93 points

Crystal Peak Gin ($50)
Smooth and lush with juniper, spice and clean aromatics; fresh, dry and crisp; balanced and long. 93 points

Principe de los Apostoles Mate Gin from Argentina ($60)
Smooth mint nose; aromatic and silky with a recipe that includes eucalyptus, coriander, grapefruit, mint and yerba mate; mellow and lush with unique and lovely style; elegant and balanced with a long finish. 94 points

3/19 Irish Whiskey

Clontarf Irish Whiskey ($21)
Aromatic and showing vanilla and caramel in the nose; lush and creamy with dried hay and toasted fruits; rich, clean and beautifully integrated; long and mellow, charming and stunningly smooth. 92 points 

Kilbeggan Blended Irish Whiskey ($22)
Warm, hay, lemon and bready nose; smooth, lush and mellow with vanilla and soft oak with notes of lemon peel and spice; lovely and long. 92 points

Tullamore Dew 10YO Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($30)
Anyone who doesn't think Irish whiskey can be as deep and complex as its Scottish cousins hasn't tasted this lovely single malt; it shows toasted oak, malt and lovely dried fruit and vanilla with floral nuances; rich, spicy and rounded with depth and a long sherry- influenced finish. 92 points

Knappogue Castle 19YO Irish Single Malt Whiskey ($34)
Smooth, spicy and toasted with vanilla, grass, sweet herbs, lavender and honeysuckle; spicy, rich and complex with graceful, lovely flavors. 95 points

Jameson 12 YO Irish Whiskey ($39)
Fleshy, dense, fat and ripe; top Irish whiskey at the 2006 San Francisco Spirits Competition. 91 points

West Cork Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($40)
Medium amber color; dry toasty flavors of oak and soft spice; grassy, smooth and smoky with aromatic, balanced flavors; long and generous. 92 points

Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($40)
Smoke and green, toasted seaweed; smooth, complex and long. 91 points

Michael Collins 10YO Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($40)
Deep amber color; toasty and rich with lovely sweet oak and notes of peat smoke and dried fruit; stylish and mellow with smooth texture; balanced and long. 90 points

Slieve Foy 8YO Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($45)
Smooth, creamy and showing vanilla, spice and lovely toasty oak; mellow, rich and silky with a long, lush finish and excellent balance. 91 points

Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel Irish Whiskey ($47)
Lovely caramel, sweet oak nose; creamy, lush and rich with beautiful sweet oak and toasty notes; vanilla, purity and finesse; masterful and intense with great length and amazing elegance; stunning and exceptional. 94 points

Bushmills 16 YO Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($66)
Smooth nose of honey and dried fruit; lush, mellow and toasted with spice box, dried apple and caramel; very smooth and balanced with notes of vanilla in a long, rich, complex finish. 92 points

The Tyrconnell 10 Year Old Madeira Cask Finish Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($72)
Rich, toasted vanilla and spice, smooth, luscious and complex with great length and finesse. 94 points 

Jameson 18 YO Irish Whiskey ($75)
Smooth nose of honey and dried fruit; lush, mellow and toasted with spice box, dried apple and caramel; very smooth and balanced with notes of vanilla in a long, rich, complex finish. 93 points

Redbreast 15YO Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey ($75)
Medium amber color; smoky, complex nose with toasty oak, dried berry fruits, aromatics and spice box; smooth, lush and showing herbal notes; fleshy and complex with dry, mellow style; long and stunning. 95 points

Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes ($89)
Golden amber color; vanilla nose; creamy, lush and showing vanilla oak, spice and toffee with soft fruits and caramel; long, rich and lovely. 93 points

3/10 Blanco Tequila

Tequila El Nacimiento Blanco Tequila ($17)
Smooth and spicy with creamy texture and clean, fresh style; light, balanced, lively with good agave character. 91 points

El Jimador Blanco 2013 Limited Edition ($22)
Clear and smooth; smoky and mellow with light agave flavor and notes of vanilla and spice; balanced and clean, fresh and long. 90 points

Suerte Tequila Blaco 100% De Agave ($33)
Spicy and sweet nose; smooth and spicy with mild agave notes; mellow and soft with sweetness and some good funk; long and earthy. 90 points

Casamigos Tequila Blanco Tequila ($43)
Good earthy agave nose; smooth and fleshy with good flavor depth and creamy, dense style; vanilla, spice and lush, peppery notes and rich texture; not too tame but elegant also with a sweet aftertaste. 92 points

Tequila Cabeza ($44)
Earthy agave nose; silky and smooth with earthy, rich style; vanilla, spice and some heat; long and assertive. 92 points

Tequila 1519 Blanco ($45)
Spicy, peppery agave nose; earthy, spicy, ripe agave; silky, round, lush and not too refined; complex and long. Certified organic. 91 points

Sauza Tres Generaciones Organic Plata ($47)
Clear; sweet agave nose; smooth and silky with smoke, agave and some sweetness; spicy, ripe and long. 91 points

Tapatio Tequila Blanco ($48)
Silky and hot with soft agave and creamy balance with note of vanilla, pepper and spice; lovely, long flavors with some charming sweetness; long and balanced. 93 points

Deleón Platinum Tequila ($60)
Rounded and aromatic nose; citrus, mint and spicy with creamy texture; elegant agave and long with a smooth, intense finish; mellow, lush and balanced. 93 points

Corazon Expressiones Blanco Tequila ($60) 2014 Double Gold
Racy, spicy; long and rich; complex. 93 points

2/24 Herbal Liqueur

Jagermeister Krauter Liqueur from Germany ($19)
Dark brown color; smooth and lusha with clean, mellow spices and lively licorice; long and balanced. 90 points

Bénédictine D.O.M. Liqueur from France ($32)
Amber hued with striking herb flavors wound with citrus. 92 points

St-Germain Délice de Sureau Elderflower Liqueur from France ($33)
This sweet treat can definitely be filed under “herbal” liquor-- proving that not all herbal infusions have to be spicy and savory for the senses. The other great thing about St. Germain? The bottle is so lovely, it basically adds a hint of Art Deco panache to your decor. Sweet, peachy and juicy with herbs and spice; quite seductive and lush with racy acidity and luscious, mellow fruit. It is an excellent addition to sparkling cocktails. 95 points

Galliano L'Autentico Liqueur from Holland ($38)
Bols is rehabilitating this superb liqueur that was almost KO'd by Harvey Wallbanger, bright yellow color; smooth sweet herbal nose; creamy texture with sweet vanilla and anise supported by a complex blend of woodsy herbs and spices, licorice, mint, lemon and creamy vanilla - all backed by a stiff backbone of alcohol; one of the highest proof liqueurs and yet impressively smooth. 94 points

Josef Mäch Cinnamon Herbal Liqueur from Germany ($18)
Dark amber color; creamy, intense and rich with notes of prune, chocolate, spicy cinnamon and some nice heat; sweet, lush and lush with depth and good balance. 91 points

Aperol Apertivo from Padua, Italy ($22) 
Bright scarlet color; sweet herbal nose; silky and herbal with mild bitter notes and lush sweetness; smooth and candied. 90 points

Campari Apertivo Bitters from Italy ($23) Silky smooth, lush and sweet with complex herbs and spices and bracing bitterness; lovely, sensual and a classic. 95 points

Zwack Herbal Liqueur from Hungary ($24)
Dark amber color; lovely soft herb and cola nose; orange rind, chocolate, cola, spice and mild bitters; sweet, smooth and lush with a long, rich finish and a charming flash of heat; quite stunning. 93 points

Ogden’s Own Distillery Underground Herbal Liqueur from Utah ($28)
Dark amber color; lovely licorice and spice nose; creamy texture with silky mouth feel and beautiful licorice, anise, mint, chocolate and prune flavors; rich, long - an instant classic. 95 points

The King’s Ginger Liqueur from Holland ($30)
Amber color; fragrant ginger and floral nose; silky and thick texture; creamy and sweet and bursting with ginger spice and heat; formulated in 1903 for King Edward VII by Berry Bros & Rudd; rich, smooth and intense. 94 points

Montenegro Amaro Liqueur from Bologna, Italy ($35)
Bright, copper color; rich, herbal, spiced nose; sweet and creamy with orange peel and bitter herbal notes; lush and profound with complex flavors and a long, rich finish; this could be a revolutionary cocktail ingredient. 94 points

Calisaya Liqueur ($46) 
Dark orange color; bitter and strong with notes of orange, earth and forest floor; sweet, rich and botanical; long and lingering aftertaste. 90 points

Green Chartruese from France ($60)
A masterpiece now in its 409th year; stunningly complex with notes of many Alpine herbs, mint and tarragon; creamy texture and totally integrated flavors; the heat on the palate is actually pleasant; the finish is explosive and subtle too as your tongue is caressed by wave after wave of exquisite botanical notes; amazing, no wonder they named a color after it. 98 points

2/3 Rye Whiskey

Bulleit Rye Whiskey 5% Malted Barley ($28)
Medium amber color; smooth, clean rye nose; spicy, toasted and rich with mellow, dense biscuity flavors and a deep, lush finish; balanced, seamless and quite lovely. 93 points

James Oliver Rye Whiskey ($30)
Medium amber color; smooth and toasty with dried fruits and malted rye; lush and mellow with sweet floral notes; long and balanced, rich and balanced. 91 points

Old World Spirits Goldrun Rye Whiskey ($37)
Medium amber color; leather notes with some rye and spice; smooth and clean with simple but attractive flavors. 91 points

Rock Town Distillery Arkansas Rye Whiskey ($40)
Deep amber color; toasty and minerally nose; silky texture and a soft caramel; smooth and showing dried fruit, rye and toasted oak; clean, balanced and mellow; long and stylish. 92 points

Tap Rye Port Finished Canadian Rye Whisky from Canada; aged up to 8 years ($40)
Soft grain nose; silky, smooth with spice and hints of sweet port and nutmeg; sleek with notes of vanilla and caramel; charming, creamy and long with mellow style and a spicy finish. 92 points

Knob Creek Rye Small Batch ($40)
Medium amber color; fragrant, sweet grain, tea and lush toasted oak and spice; creamy, subtle herbs, white oak and layer upon layer of flavor; rye, toasted wood and deep flavors; elegant, supple and exquisite; incredibly smooth; probably the best rye I've ever tasted; a masterpiece. A whopping 98 points!

Breakout Premium Rye Whiskey ($46)
Lovely nose of grain, spice and toasted oak; smooth, mellow and charming with lush, rich and spicy flavors; lovely, full-flavored and long with balance, style and depth. 93 points

The Congenial Spirits Company Twelve Five Rye Barrel Aged Whiske ($50)
Smooth and mellow with soft, toasty flavors and bright notes of dried fruit, toffee and soft spices; lush, buttery and long with an elegant finish. 92 points

Jack Daniel's Rested Tennessee Rye ($50)
Soft nose with hints of coconut; smooth and ripe with toasted rye and smooth, ripe spice and creamy texture; mellow and long. 92 points

Angels Envy Rye Whiskey Finished in Caribbean Rum Casks ($80)
Soft caramel nose; smooth and bright with notes of orange peel, vanilla and spice; cinnamon and allspice; long and nicely balanced. 94 points

WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey from Canada ($70)
Medium amber color; sweet rye nose; lush and toasty with smooth, malty style with vanilla, sweet new oak and spice; ripe, clean and balanced; long and charming. 92 points

WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey "The Boss Hog" from Canada ($150)
Fragrant, lush and lovely grain and vanilla, toasty oak and caramel; astonishing, powerful and yet very elegant; intense, layered and complex with honey, spice and dried fruits; an amazing achievement; very long and fresh. 96 points

Michter’s 25 Year-Old Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey ($370)
Smooth and spicy with essence of rye, grass and notes of spice, toasty oak and vanilla; amazing, complex and pure with layers of flavor and hints of dried fruits, bacon and molasses. 98 points

1/29 Vodka

Leaf Vodka made from Alaskan Glacial Water ($18)
2014 Double Gold Tour Los Angeles
Smooth; cherry, vanilla; crisp and balanced. 91 points

Gridiron Vodka Vodka; 75% distilled from grain; 25% from grapes ($20)
Smooth and rich with creamy texture and notes of vanilla and sweet fruit; mellow, lush and long. 92 points

Zodiac Spirits Vodka ($25)
Smooth and clean spirit made in Idaho from potatoes; silky and pure with no hard edges; mellow, balanced and fresh with a hint of vanilla on the finish. 92 points

49th Parallel Vodka from Canada; 5 times distilled, gluten free ($30)
Clean, neutral nose; silky smooth, pure and elegant with balance, freshness and clean, untainted style; straight forward and long, lovely in its simplicity. 92 points

50 Bleu Ultra Premium Vodka from Poland ($30)
Smooth and earthy nose; silky and earthy flavors with notes of vanilla and rye; spicy, dry and mellow with lush style; rich and long, creamy and deep. 92 points

Aylesbury Duck Vodka Duck & Weave ($30)
Mellow vanilla nose; spicy and smooth with lush wheat character and deep vanilla; creamy and long with loads of flavor; rich with a long, lingering finish; not for anyone looking for a neutral vodka. 93 points

Aviv 613 Vodka from Israel ($30)
Smooth, fresh and showing pepper spice and creamy texture; clean, bracing and long with lovely balance and good depth; dry and crisp, charming. 93 points

Medea Vodka from the Netherlands ($30)
Silky and smooth with clean, simple flavors and a nice hint of vanilla; bright and light-textured; fresh and balanced. 91 points

Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Vodka; distilled from raw honey ($37)
Smooth honey nose; dry, creamy and lush with smooth notes of vanilla and light spice; floral, mellow and long with lovely honey notes; quite unique. 92 points

Purity Vodka from Sweden ($39)
Silky and elegant with creamy texture and lovely, well-integrated vanilla and hints of grain and spice; a complete package that delivers a flawless experience in a cocktail or on its own; lovely, balanced and finishing with a long, crescendo of flavor. 95 points

Loft & Bear Artisinal Vodka ($40)
Mellow vanilla nose; creamy texture, lush, clean and showing vanilla and wheat flavors; dry and lovely with excellent length and balance; charming heat on the finish; a real winner. 94 points

José Ignacio Vodka from Uruguay ($42)
Smooth and silky with creamy texture and subtle hints of vanilla; lush and elegant with lovely clean, deep style; long and mellow. 93 points

Russian Standard Gold Vodka ($45)
Smooth, subtle vanilla nose; creamy and lush with refreshing dry vanilla notes; rich and deep but not another timid effort created to please the most sensitive of palates - this vodka is forthright and outspoken with real pop, clarity and excellent structure; a spirit for people who take their vodka seriously. 95 points

1/13 Bargain Spirits

Gridiron Vodka Vodka
75% distilled from grain; 25% from grapes ($20)
Smooth and rich with creamy texture and notes of vanilla and sweet fruit; mellow, lush and long. 92 points

Purity Vodka ($39)
Silky and elegant with creamy texture and lovely, well-integrated vanilla and hints of grain and spice; a complete package that delivers a flawless experience in a cocktail or on its own; lovely, balanced and finishing with a long, crescendo of flavor. 95 points

Aria Portland Dry Gin ($24)
Smooth and creamy with lovely aromatics, soft juniper and a fresh citrus note; mellow, lush and bright with elegance and style; a modern take on a classic London style. 93 points

Hayman's London Dry Gin ($25)
2014 Double Gold
Smooth, mellow; lush and long; juicy. 93 points

Atlantico Platino Ron Artesanal ($20)
Appealing cane sugar nose; smooth and creamy with lovely vanilla and sugarcane yet dry and balanced; elegant, rich and long. 91 points

Brugal Extra Dry Oak Cask Aged Rum Especial ($20)
Clear and creamy with gorgeous essence of sugar without being sweet; lovely, mellow, warm flavors with vanilla and marshmallow; elegant and perfectly balanced; beautiful stuff with huge cocktail potential. 94 points

Bayou Rum Silver ($25)
Soft vanilla nose; creamy and lush with sweet crème anglaise and spun sugar; very smooth and lush with a nice kiss of heat on the finish; quite lovely. 92 points

Bulleit 10-Year Old Bourbon Whiskey ($26)
Light amber; smoky and toasty oak nose with hints of smooth vanilla and sweet dried roses; lush and showing crème brulée with burnt sugar, crème Anglais, vanilla and toasted oak  - the sweetness is lovely and nicely controlled - it never becomes cloying; off-dry with spice, caramel and notes of dried fruit and Christmas pudding; intense but elegant and incredibly smooth and deep without any harshness or heat; an extraordinary achievement, especially at this price point; the finish is smooth, mellow and long with all nuance and flavors carrying through to the end. 94 points

Rod & Rifle Straight Bourbon Wildlife Forever Contribution ($30)
Medium amber color; smooth marzipan and tea nose; silky texture; soft and mellow with spice, dried grass and toasted vanilla oak; clean, balanced and easy-going with a nice depth of flavor and an elegant finish. 92 points

Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Small Batch; Aged 9 Years ($31)
Ripe nose of sweet toasted oak and spice; deep amber color; smooth and toasty with dried fruits, spice and mellow vanilla oak; toasty, complex and lush; long and balanced. 93 points

Redemption American Rye Whiskey Aged 2 Years ($27)
Spicy, cereal nose; smooth and honest with lovely notes of sweetness and spice; toasty and fresh with raw-boned American flavors; an authentic, artisanal native spirit. 92 points

James Oliver Rye Whiskey ($30)
Medium amber color; smooth and toasty with dried fruits and malted rye; lush and mellow with sweet floral notes; long and balanced, rich and balanced. 91 points

Kilbeggan Blended Irish Whiskey ($22)
Warm, hay, lemon and bready nose; smooth, lush and mellow with vanilla and soft oak with notes of lemon peel and spice; lovely and long. 92 points

RumChata Horchata Con Ron ($25)
Ecru color with lovely vanilla and almond aromas; smooth and lush with vanilla, creamy and mellow spice with lush almond and sweet vanilla; rich, balanced and lovely in an eggnog way; lovely and delicious. 92 points

Josef Mäch Original Herbal Liqueur ($18)
Deep amber color; smooth herbal nose and creamy sweet vermouth flavors; spicy, and smooth with lovely flavors; notes of chocolate, creamy herbs and lovely spice; long and mellow. 92 points

Gran Gala Orange Liqueur ($22)
2014 Double Gold
Creamy; lush and deep with orange and tangy; spicy. 90 points

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