To be sipped, savored and shared slowly, these elite spirits were handmade with generations of artistry and pure ingredients, and can’t simply be compared with their retail cousins. Exclusive and impressionable they are collectable and sensational experiences that lingers. Here are some select spirits for consideration in your private bar.
Vodka- Stolichnaya Elite Vodka
There are a lot of vodka brands which ask you to pay top-shelf price for packaging; Imperial Collection Super Premium Vodka which comes in a gilded Faberge egg or Swarovski Alizé in a pink bejeweled bottle, come to mind and are great spirits and great gifts.
However, if you want to focus on purity of spirit and quality it has to be Stolichnaya Elite Vodka. This vodka is made using pure water from underground reservoirs in the Himalayan Mountains, mixed with Russian winter wheat. They have also recently released a version using New Zealand water and wheat.
What you get compared to their retail lines is purity of taste and an extreme softness in your mouth. It doesn’t need to be mixed and at very cool temperatures you’ll notice lemon and pepper notes.
It comes in a handsome bottle made of hand-blown glass with a gold-plated ice pick.
Tequila- AsomBroso 11 Year Anejo
Tequila is pre-Colombian drink produced from agave (cactus) plant and is unfortunately badly represented thanks to frat boys and tourists. Under Mexican law tequila only must be only 51% agave to call itself tequila (the rest in cheap tequilas is often rice wine).
The best tequilas come from Jalisco in Mexico, 100% blue agave and are aged. Look for reposada (aged for at least 2 years) or extra-añejo (aged for 3 or more years) in barrels.
AsomBroso 11 Year Añejo is a pure blue agave tequilas produced from 10 year-old plants and matured for eleven years in a French-oak barrel, taking in total more than two decades to make. The tequila imparts a sweet, smooth, intense caramel and butterscotch tangs that transform into oak, honey and a bit of cinnamon as you swallow. The after taste is warm, soft and almost peppery.
It comes in an intricate bottle which is a conversation opener- inspired by an eighteenth-century crystal decanter discovered in an English castle by founder Ricardo Gamarra and stained with minute flowers.
Gin- Nolet’s Reserve Dry Gin
The Nolet Family first established a gin distillery in 1691 in the Netherlands and have been producing for the Dutch market for ten generations. This limited addition is their first dry gin taking generations to perfect and years to make. Just 1500 bottles have been produced since 2010 using of the highest quality ingredients. A limited annual reserve if offered to the public annually.
This collectable gin offers unprecedented complexity and balance; warm, spicy saffron and subtle, delicate verbena play off each other in perfect harmony.
Bourbon- A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16-Year Old Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bourbon has come a long way from boot-legging and moonshining in America’s south. This 16-year old spirit was distilled in Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania and matured in handmade mahogany barrels from 1974 to 1990.
There is a subtle orange and honey fragrance with the mildest of cloves and cinnamon twists that make a complex, smooth sweet musk flavor. The quality is so smooth and the whiskey almost evaporates on the tongue and yet it has a rare texture that bourbon lovers rave about but find hard to explain.
Single Malt Whisky- Macallan
A bottle of Macallan’s 1946 single malt whiskey in a LaliqueCire Perdue decanter was sold in 2010 at an auction $460,000 single. This whiskey was made with peated-malt because of the then-prohibitive prices of coal that shot up because of World War II.
Selling for $75,000 was their distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986 single malt. There were just 40 bottles made and the last known one was snapped up by a Korean businessman in 2005 for $75,000.
What you can get your hands on, is their less limited lines, series released every two to three years that while less unique offer the same spirit of production and attention to flavor. Our picks include their 17-year old for summer months offering twists of tropical fruits, wood smoke, jasmine and citrus or their 12 year old which boasts a heather honey taste and is great for cooler climates.