Year in Review: Best Spirits and Liqueurs of 2011

Simon Difford and CLASS Magazine round up the 50 best spirits and liqueurs of 2011. They combed through their reviews of the past year and culled out only those spirits that receive a "5+" review (out of a possible score of 5). In Difford's words, "not only do we consider them faultless, but they also have that something which makes them extra special."

Only one of the spirits on the list is in my collection: Ron Zacapa XO Solera Grand Special Reserve, an aged rum from Guatemala. I haven't cracked the bottle yet, so I can't give you my opinion, but it gets very high marks across the board.

Several other spirits that CLASS singles out are ones that I've had my eye on.  High West Double Rye Whiskey. Pierre Ferrand "Selection des Anges" 30 Year Old Cognac. Dolin Dry Vermouth. Plantation Extra Old Barbados Rum. Gonzalez Byass Sherry.

Some others that I'd like to try: Hakshu 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky. Adnams First Rate Gin. Sipsmith Summer Cup 2011. De Kuyper Apricot Brandy XO. Giffard Muroise du Val de Loire

Finally, for those who have an extra $700 to drop on a bottle of booze, there's Grand Marnier Quintessence. One can always dream…

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