Springbank 12 Scotch Whisky

Springbank 12 Scotch Whisky

I’d argue it’s a great whisky, but Springbank 12 is a study in how great whiskies can sometimes be challenging or outright baffling if you don’t know what you’re getting into. I hope you decide to take the plunge!
Overall Rating: ★★★

Oxley Gin

Oxley Gin

About as close as a gin distillery can get to the phrase “reinventing the wheel.” Not bad, but I’m not sold on the results of the extra labor (or price).
Overall Rating: ★☆☆

Nikka Coffey Gin

Nikka Coffey Gin

It’s sophisticated, it’s doing something new, and it’s Japanese. But at easily twice the price of a “premium” gin, it doesn’t rise to the high standards it sets for itself.
Overall Rating: ★☆☆

Togouchi Blended Japanese Whisky

Togouchi Blended Japanese Whisky

Not only does this stuff flat-out suck, it absolutely strains the limits of credulity to call itself Japanese whisky for reasons I can’t wait to let you in on.
Overall Rating:   

Smith and Cross Jamaican Rum

Smith and Cross Jamaican Rum

Yowza. Like, super fucking yowza. Be warned: maybe this offers up TOO much flavor.
Overall Rating: ★★★

Siete Leguas Añejo Tequila

Siete Leguas Añejo Tequila

If it were cheaper, it would be mostly fine. But it isn’t, and I feel silly paying so much for a study in restraint.
Overall Rating: ★☆☆

Jameson Black Barrel

Jameson Black Barrel

A little pricier than it once was, but it’s still one of the best options a person can consider when it comes to an unquestionably “good” Irish whiskey.
Overall Rating: ★★☆

Fifty Pounds Gin

Fifty Pounds Gin

A sophisticated gin that made a middling first impression. However, it grew on me like a moss once I learned how to make it shine.
Overall Rating: ★★☆

Chivas Regal Mizunara

Chivas Regal Mizunara

A usually-boring scotch label tries out an exciting concept for a brand extension. Surprise! It’s still boring.
Overall Rating: ★☆☆

Tanqueray Ten

Tanqueray Ten

A citrus-forward gin by one of the big boys that’s better than it has any right to be. Absolutely stupendous stuff.
Overall Rating: ★★★

Evan Williams 1783 Bourbon

Evan Williams 1783 Bourbon

Quite honestly, a product in search of a reason to exist. If there’s a niche it fills, I’m not savvy enough to detect it.
Overall Rating:   

Michter's American Rye

Michter's American Rye

Life is hard enough as it is. So when a good thing comes along, why talk yourself out of enjoying it to the fullest?
Overall Rating:   ★★★

Hendrick's Gin

Hendrick's Gin

Often, the very first “good” gin most will have, and thankfully one most will be unlikely to outgrow if they dig deeper into the category.
Overall Rating: ★★★

Speyburn 10 Single Malt Scotch

Speyburn 10 Single Malt Scotch

A “budget” single malt scotch with an age statement? Sure! It’s suspiciously cheap, but don’t let that deter you from a try.
Overall Rating: ★★☆

John Barr Blended Scotch

John Barr Blended Scotch

I’ve had better, but I’ve certainly had worse. Compelling if you can find it cheap!
Overall Rating: ★☆☆

NOY 10 Armenian Brandy

NOY 10 Armenian Brandy

Another Armenian brandy today. Buckle up for a coke-versus-pepsi comparison I think is rather apt!
Overall Rating: ★☆☆

Rebel Yell Bourbon

Rebel Yell Bourbon

We so often ask ourselves whether whiskey is worth the mony mony or whether it’s dead on arrival. Rebel Yell might not leave you dancing with yourself, but the value’s certainly hot in the city.
Overall Rating: ★★☆

Beluga Vodka

Beluga Vodka

The claim is that all vodka tastes the same. What if I told you that a lot of it is also marketed the same way?
Overall Rating: ★☆☆

Rhum Barbancourt 8

Rhum Barbancourt 8

We've talked about aged rums, and we've talked about agricole rums. Here's one that neatly splits the difference between the two styles.
Overall Rating: ★★☆


Edinburgh Seaside Gin

Edinburgh Seaside Gin

Scurvy grass? Bladderwack? It’s hard to justify oddball botanicals and (a higher price) in this also-ran kind of gin.
Overall Rating: ★☆☆