Some very interesting labels cropped up in the late summer... here are some of the ones that caught our attention.
- Pusser's Nelson's Blood 15yr Rum nailed a great score from BTI this month with a 95pt rating. It was their highest rating for an aged rum category. It's also a great story.
- One of the bigger players in the gin world came back with a vengeance! Tanqueray No. 10 showed up as the #1 rated gin in the 2014 Wine Enthusiast set of reviews with a 96pt rating. They called it "gin and tonic" perfection. Perfect for summer. The Malacca scored almost as well at 94pt.
- We've always been partial to the work at North Shore Distillery and they re-entered the review market with a 90pt Wine Enthusiast score for their No. 11 gin, which we always found to be aimed squarely at the Gin Martini crowd. Their No. 6 came in right behind at 89pt.
- Not all the scores were great... the flavored rum category struggled with the Beverage Tasting Institute and the new Bacardi Pineapple Fusion came in as the caboose with 80pt and a "powdery" finish.
- Flavored vodka is another category that struggles with the pros but it's worth noting that Van Gogh Double Espresso picked up an impressive 94pt score from the BTI. They thought it would be "fantastic" in cocktails and great if you're leaving summer and looking forward to winter.
- Unflavored vodka does not suffer with the pros and Stolichnaya reasserted its dominance with its Stoli Elit nailing a 97pt score from BTI.
- As rums go, Appleton Estates is a big player and their 21yr premium expression received a near-unheard of score of 98pt from Wine Enthusiast. If you're wondering if rum can be as good as whiskey, this is your answer.
- Right on Appleton's heels, the new line of premium Bacardi rums called Facundo all received excellent scores, headed by the Facundo Paraiso XA rum at 97 pt (and $250).