Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Top 10 Spirits 2012

Straight, No Chaser

Distillerie Berta Bric del Gaian 1998 Moscato d'Asti Grappa, one of our Top 10 Spirits

The Best Liquor Money Can Buy

First there was the Cosmo craze of the naughts, followed by a lasting love affair with all things vodka. Then "Mad Men" came along, ushering in a nostalgic reverence for the drinks of yore, Old Fashioneds and Rye straight-up. These days, bartenders add a bunch of organic veggies to a highball and call it artisanal, and there are folks who think you can pretty much mix anything with Red Bull and call it a cocktail. But above the changing tides of trendy sips, there are spirits that need no frills and embellishments, that exist in a league of their own. New to the top shelf of the top shelf, as it were, is a bourbon so strong the FAA won't allow it on airplanes, an eleven-year-old tequila and a spare-no-expense gin that costs $700. Our list of the ten best spirits features the nec plus ultra, standard-bearers in their categories for those who wouldn't be caught dead with an appletini. And those who can afford it.

by Adam Carmer

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Top 10 Rums
Made from high-quality sugarcane crops and patiently distilled and aged in oak barrels, our selection of Top 10 Rums represents the finest output from across the Caribbean.
Bacardi Reserva Limitada, one of our Top 10 Rums

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This clear spirit may come from the Russian word for water, but the best vodkas pack a punch and taste far beyond anything that naturally springs from the earth.

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Four Roses Small Batch, one of our Top 10 Bourbons

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