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LiquorHound's Best Spirits of 2020

LiquorHound's Best Spirits of 2020
hello again welcome back everyone liquor hound here with you and thank you for joining me once again for my year-end

best

of

2020

spirits

video so what we have here on this table are all the

spirits

that made the biggest impression on me throughout the year in their respective categories now as i do each and every year when i do this i do not include allocated or really hard to find

spirits

or at least i try not to there is one in here that might kind of rub into that category uh but you know you won't see any buffalo trace antique collection so no george t stagg or william larue's running up there we don't have any multiple thousand dollar cognacs up here either but what we do have are bottles that with a little searching you can probably find and if you can't find my named in that category hopefully you can find one of the runner-ups or honorable mentions that we have uh behind them okay so let's go ahead and get started because we've got a lot of bottles to go through starting with bourbon of the year this was a category that i kind of struggled with this year because while i tasted a lot of bourbons there weren't a whole lot that made a big impression on me you know we we saw a lot of really young stuff or you know poorly finished products and it was rough but um one that jumped out to me that i was when i was you know kind of remember thinking this list over and everything for the months that i've been doing this was the baker's 13. i...
liquorhound s best spirits of 2020
kept coming back to that because this bottle in the bourbon category the baker's 13 year old single barrel as you can tell by that level i've been loving it the baker's 13 single barrels were really really solid and you can tell their little barrel numbers on these little metal tags that they have and while i've tasted several single barrels of this they've all been really really solid okay price point on it it was around 100 retail right now i think i can't really find any in stores you can find them on secondary um but you know you know they're going to be coming i think they're going to be coming out with more of that here shortly it's not like they're just going to have a huge success and then just turn away from it so i expect to see some more of these 13s coming out very soon and i know i'm going to be ready to pick some up when they do now as that's my bourbon of the year the runner-up very solid and i tasted you know the batches of this the larceny barrel proof at only 50 dollars is going to be a very solid recommendation for a runner-up bottle again some of these were pretty spicy and hot when they were first open they need a little time to open up and kind of um you know show their

best

let's say but for fifty dollars very satisfied with larceny barrel proof if you can't find that uh the stack juniors are very solid this year you know they always are um the doc swensons uh 15 year olds were pretty good some of...
liquorhound s best spirits of 2020
those batches i know they just came out with batch nine still really good so price points on those that's where it starts you know 150 ish it's okay is but you know when we're talking 150 that's why they are where they are but even price point i don't want to say it like that because even price point aside doc swenson is not going to beat those for me but if you can't find those two just know the stag juniors and doc are available now rye whiskey of the year this one i had a late entry kind of uh steal the thunder and that is the jack daniels barrel proof rye now the jack barrel proof ryes are single barrel products all these single barrels are running right around 130 that i've seen 130 point you know this one's 133.2 there's 130s and stuff like this but these are really solid bottles at only about 65 now unfortunately when the first wave came through they immediately got bought up matter of fact these just hit my shelves near me this past week they got bought up right away so i was just lucky enough to even find the one but solid and then for the three single barrels i've had yeah they were all very very good so i'm very proud to showcase this one not that it was the

best

but it was solid now the one bottle that i was going to put in that rye of the year's plot was the nashville barrel companies ride these are sourced mgps retail pricing around 100 unfortunately the thing about nashville barrel company right now is that...
liquorhound s best spirits of 2020
they're only doing a lot of picks for stores and groups so you know short of your store actually having a pick of this or a group that you might be involved in having a pick of this very hard to get but again retail price 100 you're looking at a six to seven year old mgp maybe somewhere in there i'm guessing but really really solid mgp rise here uh for one hundred dollars and pr proof wise they're always they're right around 120 i believe right around there now one rye whiskey that i had a couple of a few single barrels of this year and i was happy with each and every one of them again mgp rye is the old pepper distillery single barrels bottled at 110 proof so they are proofing these down just slightly but they are very honest with where the they're sourcing from it says you know distilled in indiana which gives us a dsp for mgp really solid rise at about 45 dollars i haven't been disappointed with these so you know if that jack had not shown up that might have been i mean it was going to be behind that nashville okay so very very solid all right irish whiskey of the year this one was a thin category but there was one that stood out right away when i had it months and months ago and it held the spot throughout the year that is coming out of the bone distillery it is the whistler seven-year-old strength batch number one so down here at the bottom it tells you the batch i've had batch one batch two batch two is a little hotter batch one...
phenomenal abv wise 118 proof irish whiskey again seven year old at only 55 yeah killer so that was easily number one back up for that man that was rough because again there wasn't a whole lot of really good irish coming out in my opinion this year or that i got to experience let's just say it like that the red breast cast strengths are still pretty good they're not as good as some of the older red breasts to uh castrate 12s but retail pricing on them now is i think it's about 85 dollars and they're still solid so if you can't find uh the whistler then look for the red breast 12 cast strength at 85 bucks all right now last year single malts of the year last year i actually split this category just into peated and unpeeded and i could have done that this year but i really had a few that were making making me do a little more so i was kind of busted these into categories uh space side of the year these two i don't know these two i almost consider these a tie okay matter of fact yeah a tie because i really enjoyed the glen alecky 10 year old cast string this happens to be batch two retail pricing on it's only 75 dollars a very solid very viscous little single malt coming from them of course usually those go into chevis so the blends but now we're starting to see a product line coming out of single barrels 12. i've even seen some that are much older and in the 300 400 price range for them but the glen alkeys have been very solid actually...
have the the virgin oak 12 and it's it's good but it was 100 110 right around there i still preferred this one slightly but the honorable mention which could be i consider a tie the kirkland 22 that came out you know again this from me came to texas they didn't come to texas but i was able to get it early this year matter of fact they've now come out with a 23 year old on these shelves they're at the costco's that do get this but the 22 year old retail price on it was retail pricing was about eighty dollars and it's a sherry space side single malt very delicious for only 80 dollars i don't know about that 23 yet i'm gonna try to get one it might be it might make an appearance in next year video who knows alright now we have uh highland malt of the year this one yeah so last year i did show i think a runner up was the glendronic 15. glendronic 15 still very solid could have been right here in this first spot but i went ahead and gave the nudge to its older brother the 18 year old at a price point of 175 dollars this is going to be my highland malt of the year there was a lot of color in some of these 18s there's a story behind that you can google it but gundronic 18 175 that's going to be my highland malt of the year now the runner up this one oh faithful klein leash 14 a buddy of mine you know kind of i will say reintroduced me to this recently um the klein league 14 has always been solid i ran out of one a few years back never...
replaced it and then he was telling me he's like you you haven't replaced it in your bar and i was like no he's like you really need to uh get another bottle he's still really solid went and picked one up he was absolutely right matter of fact we even cracked his and it was equally delicious but klein leach 14 retail price about 60 70 70 now solid saw a little highland back up all right campbelltown whiskey of the year um again these two battling really battling and i really kind of wanted to put this one up there could i make that change right now maybe because i they're really that close for me the long row 14 sherry cask now this one actually i think was released around the country in 2018 late 18 i think is when it was started coming out uh but it i didn't even hear about this thing until 2019 and it didn't show up in my specs until this year but this model at 115 dollars very solid long row good color getting good influence out of that sherry cask that's yeah it just has a little of course that spring bank deep you know profile that they're able to get is kind of what nudges it over this runner up the runner up is the 85 dollar glenn scotia victoriana i really enjoyed this whiskey for several years now to be honest um it's just that each and every year there's always usually something that's just slightly better and then next thing i know i have two in front of it and it just doesn't didn't make the list before but...
this year again times and you know a little rough and this one not that it didn't deserve to be here it's a very elegant little pour so if you can find victoriana around 85 dollars very solid selection another one that if you can't find either of those two the uh cucharans the eight-year-old cast strengths and these white tubes pretty solid they're a little aggressive they're a little aggressive uh but for 80 a nice honorable mention there let's see they did a sherry version as well but that was that came out 2019 um again didn't hit my area until this year that shared version is really solid but again they have an ex bourbon barrel and a sherry either one all right all right now we're at isla whiskey of the year for isla um again a kind of a late entry uh this bottle showed up in texas for me two weeks ago and up until then it was going to be the laphroaig 16. but this one kind of just came in and stole the show as octamors tend to do and i actually picked up the octamore 11 one and the 11.3 the 11.3 was where it was at retail pricing on it is 230 240 dollars for this one but i will say this 11 3 it's close it's it's not the 6'3 the 63 was phenomenal uh but since the 6-3 all those point threes they've been okay they've been good i think this one's probably one of the better ones since that 6-3 again 240 dollars now here's that runner up one more time uh the laphroaig 16 it was a limited release very solid...
release from them i know they did a 16 once before in the half bottles but this one for retail pricing on it was 110 it's a very kind of lively little laphroaig it's got a lot of citrus going on it's not what the old 15 not even the old 15. that 200th anniversary 15 that they released a few years back that one had a lot of tropical fruit kicking this was more on that kind of vanilla icing lemon peel type essence but the smoke is very nice and it's just well integrated whiskey so very happy with that one being a runner up all right moving on into the brandy category armagnac of the year uh this category was pretty full this year there was a lot of good arminiacs coming out but the one that made the

best

impression on me as far as both the combination of price point and quality was the derose 20. now the derose20 is an assembly of barrels it's called grand assemblage and it is um really well blended by mark derose and what makes this so phenomenal for me at the price point of only about 75 80 dollars is how some of the barrels that were put into this blend have those deep rancio tones those kind of earthy mushroomy kind of cheesy notes um that you find in really old cognac really old armagnac well this 20 has some of that and it's really well balanced with the freshness or the fresher fruits of a younger armagnac but again every bit of this is 20 years old all right so that's going to be my armagnac of the year runner-up honorable mention you could...
kind of take your pick a lot of these line cantatas are very solid i tend to prefer the ones coming out of wet cellars that are about 30-ish years old i think this one was a 34 year old coming out of lincoln road uh 35 year old coming out of lincoln road but retail pricing on these are about they run anywhere from depending on their age and where they're from about 175 to 250 so they're not the cheapest thing but loads of depth in these as well so if you can't find this 20 which i think you should this is pretty available but if you want to splurge long guitars are solid all right cognac of the year cognac of the year is going to go to maison faran so farron did this sda the selection of the angels and this one is basically a it's a non-age statement cognac but they are using some older damps you know wet cellar cognac's in this one so they're getting a lot of those deep kind of heading towards those rancio tones as well this one's a more elegant uh brandy it's a cognac but it's a more elegant brandy than let's say even this 20. as much as i love this 20. this one was just a little touch more in my style my wheelhouse let's say retail pricing on this for on is 180 dollars lots of chocolate tones in it all right runner up honorable mention in the cognac category one that could have been in here again the last few years it's always been solid uh the kelt vsop tour de monde sixty dollars for this bottle it was forty five dollars...
just a year or so ago but even at sixty dollars very very well done uh cognac readily available lots of places so that's a good one to have in your collection all right now we're moving on to canadian whiskey of the year canadian whiskey of the year again was a very thin category for me now here in texas we don't get a lot of really good canadians a lot of the good releases we don't get those and until this model showed up two days ago um i would say that that a crown 16 rye was nice enjoyable and great uh but for the price point solid um and the hand selected barrels coming out of crown i still see these on shelves these uh 110 proof no no no 100 proof uh little canadian rise very good retail pricing on them was only 50. they're not everywhere but i do find that version of those blended crowns one of my um kind of an easy go to let's just say it like that but the alberta premium the cast strength ride 100 rye that came out hit our shelves i was lucky enough to go grab a bottle 55 132 proof it's a beast and that price point you can't beat it now is it aggressive a little bit when you first open it i have a pour of it right here but a little thrill on the kind of confectionary side of things what made you salivate um really solid i'll do a proper review of it eventually hopefully on youtube matter of fact i'm going to start doing more and more youtube videos here shortly uh this may be one of them but 55 stole the show easily my favorite...
canadian ride of the year all right now the one category i don't have in here japanese whiskey or anything like that i don't have a japanese whiskey that was really there was one that stood out i liked the akashi five-year-old the sherry cask i i enjoyed it um but at a price point of 240 dollars it's a little rough it's five year old you know and as good as that sherry cask was i i haven't added it to my collection i've been on the verge of adding it so if i was to pick one that probably would have been it i just had struggled with that price point and at that young age so i didn't include it in here yeah but i am at least talking about it i guess so if you feel like splurging on that go ahead all right now we're moving into the agaves category so we're talking tequila and moscow tequila category there's another good category that was pretty loaded this year i found i had a lot of good ones the g4s fantastic line old school you know they do a lot of the tejona crushing and and stuff like that but copper pot stills they do a little hybrid on their tohono it's not a circular lava rock wheel going around in a circular pit it's kind of the spiky steam roller was that rolls down a line crushing but anyway g4s very very solid tequilas pure unadulterated great greatness all right they do the blancos pick those up they're great reposado aniejo they even have a hundred and ten dollar extraneous solid it's three years old this one...
that i'm showcasing as my tequila of the year is the 55 month one so that's how you can tell their specialties are usually on the neck tag right here of course this one did come in a wooden box as well price point on this one though was 280 dollars that's rough um i will say that it there is one characteristic of this tequila that i haven't seen since the la leake patron the lily patron was like six seven thousand dollars but that one has strawberry essence in it this one also has that kind of essence not as big as the lily but at 250 280 for that experience that's why it's in my bar now if you can't again splurge on a 280 dollar 55 month bottling they did have a 200.5 uh has the five right there five year old and that one was very solid as well and of course again just the regular hundred and ten dollar extra anejo can't go wrong with it now one that was battling in my mind again very similar i was battling with the space side i was kind of doing that with this tequila because the winter blend fortaleza

2020

it's killer it's 85 okay it was hard to find that's why i didn't put it up at the very front this one was hard to find um and it probably is really hard to find right now because it's been a month since it came out for at least for me um but the winterberry in fortaleza at 85 was a great great pickup now one that is still around and it's going to be around because it's just the steel strength blanco uh is the...
fortaleza steel strength this one's only dollars and it's a great blanco so i could easily see me throwing this up there just because of the price point and its availability um but i don't think you can go wrong with any of them and both lines the g4 line the fourth eliza line are solid throughout so you're not going to go wrong with any of them all right now the i will say fort delezas do be a little they were a few years getting a little batchy uh but you know some a little funkier than others but they were all really good all right now moving on to the mezcal category uh the aleppo's anniversary the 20th anniversary of santa anna that one was really solid at one hundred and twenty dollars i it's going to be my mascara of the year i know that one's a little hard to find so for the runner-up i chose the yule ball hoven the young yule ball this is only 35. okay i see this in gift packs when i was you know christmas shopping i saw it in gift packs available with some glasses um and you know at 35 dollars you're gonna overlook it you're just gonna think who knows but very solid well-rounded good mouth feel um good balance of flavors in that mezcal so very happy with that one and if you can't find this one that's again solid solid pickup all right rum of the year uh rum i had some good rums this year you know uh four squares always throwing out a bunch of special releases a matter of fact i picked this one up at total wine the...
concierge total wine pick of their masters series edition number one very rich very flavorful but it to me it doesn't beat this one um the pussers this is the gun powder rum now posters have been around forever it's a navy style rum uh but this gunpowder proof is just killer at seventy dollars all right very rich flavor um it's a hint of sweetness but i've had four squares that are sweeter than it matter of fact that one is sweeter than this one so this gunpowder version really something to look for if you happen to see it out there that's my rum of the year the dorlies 12 is going to be the runner up at only 27 this is a foursquare product but 27 dollars unadulterated rum good well balanced rum this is kind of almost similar to how you ball hit me you know it's just rich well-rounded and uh readily available so again twenty seven dollars now this door is 12 is great all right moving on to vodkas vodka of the year this one you know i kept having people all the time uh telling me that the zir vodka you know that's the one to get that's the one to get i went got it the purity vodka though this purity 34 priced at only 25 dollars is going to be my vodka of the year is beluga the one that i named all the time in my previous years better than the 34. it's close it's very close but i think the 34 might nudge it out right now so that's why the security 34 is my vodka of the year and this one honorable mention okay so azir if you see it out...
there retail pricing on it's about 27 it's solid it's just a little more uh it's a little sharp it's a little more aggressive uh whereas the purity 34 is soft it feels elegant it's very neutral this one is a little more vanilla but it's just a little sharper a little more rough around the edges let's say for this one so that's why the purity gets the knot all right gen of the year gin of the year again jen has a lot of you know there's a lot of good gins out there you don't have to pay a lot of money but the sip smith coming out of london 29 says it's hand crafted in small batches 29 dollars for this one i really really liked it again i'm all about balance right i like for something to be very rich mouth coating i like to to see it maybe transition and give you other flavors as it moves along this one does all that but every botanical that's in here is in well balanced alright right so um or it's balanced i guess that's the way we should say that but uh it's very balanced in how the juniper and the citrus and the the cardamom and everything is just working so well together and nothing fills nothing overpowers anything else there's the floral hints in it but if you can't find the sipsmith for 29 then the runner-up is going to be the roku gin coming from suntory 32 for this one this one is a little more bolder in flavor it leans more on the citrus there's that cracked pepper kicking in this one as...
well but the roku gen was very very solid very flavorful gin at only 32 dollars so that's a good runner-up now i did go back when i was trying to run through these because again it takes me a while to come up with all this i'm like tasting and figuring it out so last year's winner was the gray whale gin this is still an honorable mention i really love how well this one is very flavorful how the limes come through the almonds are in there everything really comes through in the gray whale gin so this one's still going to be a good you know honorable mention so if you can't find the roku you can't find the sip smith that gray whale is something to have in your collection as well anyway i hope you enjoyed this video year end and it's i'm pretty glad this year is coming to an end hopefully 2021 is much better for each and every one of you i thank you as always for joining me here on youtube of course i still have my patreon channel rolling at patreon.com

liquorhound

s so you can always join me over there but thank you all everyone have a great day and cheers