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A Selection of Global Spirits to Get You Into the Holiday … Er, Spirit
Looking to get into the holiday “spirit” this year like never before? Here’s a list of high-end spirits you can give to loved ones or simply enjoy yourself in front of the tree.
(Note: Every use of the word “spirit” in this post is fully intended as a cringe-worthy cliché. We apologize in advance.)
With the release of the Ferrand Cognac Single Cask Collection of unique cognacs, Master Blender Alexandre Gabriel shares part of his private collection for the very first time. Until now, these cognacs have been locked away in the original earthen cellar of the Ferrand family manor. To commemorate the ephemeral nature of this collection, each limited-edition bottle and box is customized with images discovered among the enormous treasure trove collected by generations of Ferrands. This spirited collection is available in select markets:
Plantation Rum offers a portfolio of rums from around the world – distilled and aged in their country of origin, then transported to Cognac, France, for Plantation’s proprietary second ageing in ex-cognac casks.
The limited-edition Plantation Birds of Paradise Vintage Collection: Barbados 2011, Peru 2006, Trinidad 2009, Australia 2007 (SRP: $80/expression), which join the 2020 releases, Fiji 2005 and Jamaica 2003, showcases exclusive vintage rums curated by Alexandre in collaboration with like-minded rum producers and pays homage to the terroir of each rum-producing country. In tribute to their exceptional character, these vintage collection spirits honor an indigenous bird from each country. Available in select markets.
From the Highlands of Mexico where the finest agave is grown comes El Tesoro Tequila. It tastes like no other because it is a spirit made like no other – 100% estate-grown agave, 100% tahona crushed, double distilled to proof and a production process that is never rushed and has been handed down from generation to generation.
Beginning in 2021, El Tesoro will release highly limited Single Barrel “Mundial” expressions each year, aging El Tesoro tequila in casks from like-minded brands across the. This inaugural release – El Tesoro Mundial Single Barrel Laphroaig Edition (SRP: $125) – taps one of the greats in Scotch Whisky – Laphroaig. Aged in ex-bourbon barrels for 9 months, with secondary 4-month aging in single Laphroaig 10YO casks. If this doesn’t get you into the spirit, nothing will.
The House of Suntory recently unveiled a limited-time only edition of Hibiki® Japanese Harmony (SRP: $125). The specially-designed bottle is adorned with painted flowers and flowing ribbons of water, representative of the vital force of Japan’s everchanging twenty-four seasons.
Embraced as the paragon of Japanese Whisky, the Hibiki brand is Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky and among the most prestigious and honored spirits in the world. Hibiki Japanese Harmony is a meticulous blend of the finest selection of malt and grain whiskies from the House of Suntory Whisky’s Yamazaki, Hakushu and Chita distilleries.
Made at the first distillery on Islay since 1779, Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is known as one of the most balanced Islay whiskies, which are often thought to be the smokiest Scotch whiskies in the world. The latest in a series of spirited collaborations between Bowmore and Aston Martin, the U.S. release of Bowmore Masters’ Selection (SRP: $400) marks the first time Bowmore has adopted the “Golden Ratio” principle – the mathematical ratio found in nature that creates aesthetically pleasing compositions – which sits at the heart of the design of every Aston Martin.
Taking inspiration from an engineered approach, Bowmore Masters’ Selection incorporates the divine proportion of 61.8% formed from a base of 21 year old Bowmore matured in first fill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry casks. The remaining parts are made up of exact ratios of each other, in line with the Golden Ratio theory, and include Bowmore matured for over 35 years.
Alfred GIRAUD French Malt Whiskies are produced in Cognac, France, and developed by renowned Master Blender Georges Clot, who spent decades at an acclaimed cognac house. With close to 100 years of experience crafting some of the world’s most coveted cognacs, the Giraud family draws on its mastery of blending to establish a new tradition of French malt whisky.
VOYAGE by Alfred GIRAUD French Malt Whisky (SRP: $180) is the first release in the Exploratory Blends Range, a series of rare, limited whiskies that see only periodic and exclusive releases at the Giraud family’s discretion. Showcasing two of the best French single malts, one leaning on fruity notes and the other on cereal notes, each is matured in casks with bold characteristics: new French Robina casks, a powerful and rare wood found locally in France, and Sauternes wine casks sourced from nearby French wineries. The spirit then sees its final aging stage, reaching maturation just in time for the spirit of the holiday season.
Spirit. There, that’s the last one.
(Featured photo at top courtesy of House of Suntory.)
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