This is the time of year when most folks go to their liquor stores in search of the tried-and-true. They're looking for the name brands that will impress whoever's unwrapping the gift-wrapped box under the tree or at the holiday party. But to that I say, BAH! Why be a sheep? There are a bunch of exciting new brands out there. They may not get the same oohs and aahs as the old favorites when they're unwrapped, but once the bottles have been opened and the contents sampled, they're sure to get a lot of "Wow," "Where'd you hear about this one?" and "Holy crap, this is good!" Here are a few of the best newly-released spirits out there, perfect for giving, receiving and of course drinking:
Ron Atlantico Platino Rum ($20)
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White rums are generally used for mixing in cocktails, while their dark, aged brethren are better for sipping. There are a few exceptions to the rule -- white rums that taste just as glorious on the rocks or neat as they do in a daiquiri or a mojito -- and now it's time to make room for another. Atlantico Platino
has none of the harsh, chemical flavors that define lesser white rums (hello, Bacardi!), and while it's smooth, it also packs a lot of flavor. The nose is quite light, sweet and mellow.
On the palate, it's very fruity, redolent of green apple, pineapple and other citrus fruits, with a nice, clean finish. It also makes for a delicious rum cocktail, but while I rarely employ white rums for sipping, I almost prefer this one on its own. Also worth trying is Atlantico's Private Cask
, a beautifully sweet and rich aged dark rum.
*40 percent ABV, not aged.