For four years Best Tasting Spirits has reviewed some very good spirits and some not so good. Some of these products are brand new and some have been around for a long time. While our reviews have included both a numbered score and a medal award, the focus from a review stand point has been number driven. After four years I’ve come to the conclusion that unless you are a regular visitor to our site the number given is far less important than the medal awarded. When we started Best Tasting Spirits we only awarded Silver, Gold, and Platinum medals. We have since added Bronze and Double Gold. These new awards will help provide more distance between our product reviews. Product reviews will continue to be scored on a point basis with a three point range within each award level. Think of this like a report card where you may receive a B-, B, or B+. This will provide differentiation within each award level. While we don’t have the time to go back and review all 1400 products again, we will be adding a new feature titled What is the Best Tasting. First up will be Watermelon Vodka. Cucumber Vodka, and Coconut Rum will follow. Products within each category will be sampled again and compared. Some previous scores may go up and some may come down. The important thing is all will be sampled within a week of each other. Finally a special thank you needs to go out to Melanie who designed our new Best Tasting Spirits Medals.
On October 30, 2013 I posted my first review. I have posted a minimum of one alcohol review each day ever since. That’s 1057 reviews, including 470 vodka, 150 rum, 111 Hard Cider and Hard Soda, 100 Liqueur, and 82 Tequila reviews. First the bad news. I will no longer be publishing daily reviews. I will continue to post reviews Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This will give me time to focus on feature stories. I already have plans for a Hard Soda and a Coconut Rum feature. Next up is a revamped scoring system. Gone are the number scores and medal awards. Products have the opportunity to be awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold, Double Gold, or Platinum Medal. Those not awarded a medal will receive a number ranking instead. Those numbers can be as high as 83. If you are looking for a number score for medal award winners the following ranges apply. Bronze 85-87, Silver 88-90, Gold 91-93, Double Gold 94-96, and Platinum 97-100. Previously reviewed products will be reevaluated and reposted. I thank my loyal readers and as always I welcome product suggestions and opposing views.
Best Tasting Spirits 2015 Trends of the Year is our take on what’s driving change as we say goodbye to 2015. It may be easier to create a cool product than to take a perceived dud, and make it cool again. That is exactly what happened with canned beer. This is not the first rodeo for canned beer. It was once the golden boy for brewers nationwide. The first canned beer was produced in 1935 by the American Can Company who partnered with the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company. Previous attempts to can beer had failed until American developed a tin can that was pressurized and had a special coating to prevent the beer from reacting with the tin. Partually driven by the fact that canned beer did not require a deposit, like bottled beer did, 200 million canned beers were sold in 1935. Canned beer remained cool for several decades. Beer can collections replaced baseball card collections as boys became men. Somewhere along the way canned beer became the vessel of choice reserved mostly for discount brews like 30 packs of Keystone Light. While major brewers like AB and Miller still canned some beer, consumers overwhelmingly preferred glass bottles. That all changed with the craft beer revolution. Read more
The Best Tasting Spirits 2015 Ingredient of the Year is Hops. While some may say this is several years late, my argument is, this is my first year of awards, and hops are still the most influential ingredient of 2015. Hops were first introduced into the brewing process of beer to balance the sweetness of malt. Hops also provided a natural preservative and their use resulted in less spoilage than the herbs they replaced. While used in all beers, IPA’s, Indian Pale Ales, are most responsible for the increased demand and price of hops. The IPA name comes from a brew developed by English brewers in the early 1800’s that added additional hops to with stand the long boat trip to India. Since then American craft brewers have built an entire movement on this small flavorful flower bud. Anchor Brewing is given credit for crafting the first modern IPA when they released their Liberty IPA. Vinnie Cilurzo the owner and Brew Master at Russian River Brewing Company was the first to make a double IPA when he was a brew master at the Blind Pig Brewing Company. Dogfish Head developed a continuous hopping process used to craft their 90 Minute IPA. These are just a few of the innovations that have resulted in 4144 breweries now in the US. This exceeds the previous record of 4131 set in 1873. Read more
The Best Tasting Spirits 2015 Flavor of the Year is one of four awards we are announcing this year. While maybe unconventional the other three awards will be for Ingredient, Packaging Trend, and Product of the Year. As we close 2015, I would like to thank my readers for a year of exceeded goals, and milestones, including 900 reviews. The first of these awards is the 2015 Flavor of the Year. In March of 2015 I verbally awarded Grapefruit, the Flavor of the Year. By December I felt a little like Steve Harvey when I almost had to remove the crown from the Ruby Red head of grapefruit, and place it on the creamy head of Root Beer. In the end I decided to stay with Grapefruit. After a couple years of dominance by Cinnamon, with successive waves of Fireball and Rum Chata, along with their many clones, Grapefruit started 2015 with a bang. Read more
On October 30, 2015 Best Tasting Spirits celebrated two years of daily spirit reviews. As one of only two daily spirit review sites, our readership has grown significantly, and for that I am very thankful. It took 7 months for Best Tasting Spirits to reach 10,000 views, and now my most popular reviews each pass 10,000 views on their own. With nearly 900 product reviews I needed to make it easier for my audience to find specific product, or category reviews. On October 2013 I posted my first review. A review of Baileys Irish Cream. On October 30, 2015, I posted Kavanagh Irish Cream, my 43rd Irish Cream review. Who knew they made so many. By selecting Irish Cream Liqueurs from my category column on the right side of my site you can read and compare 43 different Irish Cream reviews. You can also select coconut rum and view 20 coconut rum reviews. Maybe you would rather check out Pinnacle Vodka reviews. I have categories for brands also. Finally, if you are looking for a drink recipe for a Christmas or Hanuka celebration. I’ve got you covered. This is our newest feature but in the next 11 months we will have recipes for every major holiday, event, or occasion. One of the best parts of publishing this blog is uncovering great little known brands. Jackson Morgan Whipped Orange Liqueur and Siesta Key Coconut Rum are two spirits I recently reviewed, and enjoyed very much. If there is a spirit you really enjoy, that I haven’t reviewed, let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
Welcome to Best Tasting Spirits, your daily blog source for alcohol reviews and more. Created by Jeff Ellingson this site is designed to reflect your drinking style. While most alcohol is enjoyed cold, most alcohol reviews are conducted with alcohol served at room temperature. Does this make sense? Our alcohol is reviewed at 36 degrees unless stated differently.
Reviews are done on a point scale from 80-100. This scale was developed to better align with existing alcohol review sites. Medals are awarded based on the following scores.
89-91 Silver Medal
92-94 Gold Medal
95-100 Platinum Medal
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