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Tony Sachs

Tony Sachs

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What's News In Booze: 5 New Spirits To Tempt Your Taste Buds

Posted: 05/13/11 03:42 PM ET

If you like to drink, you couldn't be living in a better time. Everything from a barrel-aged Negroni to a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich in cocktail form is out there for the drinking, provided you've got the money and the inclination. The fever pitch to whip up new and unique cocktails has had a trickle-down effect as distillers, new and old, rush to create new and noteworthy spirits for inventive bartenders and amateur mixologists to experiment with. Sometimes what hits the shelves is just plain silly, but once you read about these five intoxicatingly delicious newcomers you'll be drunk... with anticipation.

Bulleit Rye Whiskey
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Bulleit Rye Whiskey (aged at least 4 years, 45% alcohol by volume, suggested retail price $30)

Bulleit Bourbon is one of the finest I've tried -- a rich, robust whiskey that's quite spicy for a bourbon, owing to its very high (about 30%) rye content. So it makes sense that the rye-savvy folks at Bulleit would create their own rye whiskey. And it's no surprise that Bulleit Rye does the brand justice and then some.

What did surprise me is how smooth it is. Given that Bulleit's bourbon is a pretty spicy number, you'd expect that their rye (which contains a whopping 95% rye in the mashbill, a high content even for a rye whiskey) would set the alarm bells ringing on your tongue. But go figure -- while it does pack plenty of peppery bite, it also gets a lot of flavor from the oak barrels in which it's aged. A little vanilla, a little dark chocolate, a little citrus (more than a little if you add water or an ice cube), a little caramel... all blending seamlessly and harmoniously. If you love rye as much as I do, it may well make your eyes roll back in your head and a sigh of delight involuntarily spring from your lips. To really appreciate Bulleit Rye, try sipping it neat or on the rocks. As for cocktails, it's brilliant in a Manhattan or a Sazerac, and I'm looking forward to playing around with it more.
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The five new spirits mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg; if you've got a new favorite of your own, don't be shy! Mention it in the "Comments" section. The distillers will no doubt be grateful for the publicity.

 

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