The Spirit Journal’s 65 Five Star Spirits of 2015
Each year, Paul Pacult will sum up his tasting experiences with a round-up of the spirits from all categories that have earned five star ratings over the course of the year’s four quarterly issues. This year’s "Best of the Best" roster includes 65 spirits that were rated HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION in 2015.
We’re happy to have 11 of our spirits on this list. Lheraud Cognac, La Quintenye and St George Vodkas got multiple honorable mentions.
#5) Diplomatico 2000 Single Vintage Rum (Venezuela; Destilerias Unidas)
“Anyone who thinks that rum isn’t a world-class spirit should taste this… and any Diplomatico to become a believer.
What we said about Grande Champagne terroir above, we restate for this superstar cognac. Petite Champagne can rival Grand Champagne!
“Some idiotic purist might complain about having a vodka being No. 15, but we say, “Grow up already.” The team at St. George Spirits represents the best in American craft distilling.
“Almost as August as last year’s No. 2 best spirit, this fabulously tasty, graceful whisky prodives a road map for blended whisky.”
Astonishingly clear citrus flavor, genuinely tasting of both sour and sweet orange. Redolent of the whole citrus plant, with focus on the bright peel characteristics. Tart almost lemony scent in the nose.
In the 32 years since St. George Spirits was founded, we have grown from a dedicated eau de vie distillery into a diverse operation that makes a range of craft spirits.
Then: a bare-bones production facility with tasting tables jerry-rigged on sawhorses.
Now: a 65,000-square-foot hangar with a spectacular tasting room, laboratory, and a lineup of the most beautiful pot stills in the industry.
Double distillation in copper stills. The whole Mezcal Amaras process is 100% handcrafted, 100% Mexican, 100% Espadin Agave.
We maintain total control in selecting what plants are to be used in creating our award-winning mezcals. Our agave fields are located in San Juan Del Rio, Oaxaca.
La Quintinye Vermouth Royal Rouge is made from a selection of 28 plants and spices, a blend of white wines ( Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Muscadelle, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc) and red Pineau de Charentes, La Quintinye Rouge releases a complex and refined bouquet of aromas. With its vanilla and spice notes, it is extraordinarily long on the palate. Color is deep amber/red, bouquet is well balanced yet powerful with licorice, prune and vanilla. Palate is rich and intense with caramel, burnt vanilla and warm spice notes
Unlike most of the world’s other brandies, cognac is produced by the double distillation of a high-acid white wine. Good cognac must begin with a good wine, such as that made from the Lhéraud family’s vineyards. Lhéraud’s cognacs are made in a traditional alembic copper-pot still. Distillation begins in December, after the second fermentation, and is done by hand, without electronic controls or devices. The choices made during distillation — gentle or strong heating, where to make “la coupe,” or “the cut,” separating the first and last distillate from “le coeur,” or “the heart” — all greatly affect the eaux de vie.
The Cognac Cuvée 20 was aged for 20 years in oak.
La Quintinye Extra-Dry is created with a stunning bouquet of 27 plants and spices, a selection of white wines (Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Muscadelle, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc) and white Pineau de Charentes, where the aromas of flowers and citrus dominate. Gold in color and a bouquet of floral with balanced spiced flavors, blending licorice and anise aromas. Palate is fresh and lively with floral and citrus notes.