You know who knows best which bottles to buy? The people who pour and sell drinks—that’s who. We asked dozens of top bartending and spirits industry professionals to tell us which bottles they love and why. Heads up: The numerical order below is not organized by importance or quality; it’s a list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary state to state.
“An amazing whisky that has a subtle sweetness with hints of raisin and coconuts. It has a great long and dry finish with some fruit notes.(Coming to the States next year!)”—James Bolt, beverage director and host bartender at The Gin Joint
“As the name implies, this is a limited bottling out of Midleton’s distillery and the bottle I saved up for to buy on my 30th birthday. Venerable and delicious.”—Michael J. Neff, bar director at Holiday Cocktail Lounge
“The best Irish whiskey I’ve ever had. It’s finished in first-fill oloroso sherry casks and is so rich and concentrated. Tons of rich tropical fruit followed by savory barley. Just unbelievably delicious.”—Zac Overman, mixologist at Rob Roy and head bartender at Sitka&Spruce Bar
“If you don’t know Nicolas Palazzi’s name and you love great spirits, then you’d better pay attention. This is a Spanish pot-still malt finished in Valdespino palo cortado casks.”—Neal Bodenheimer, mixologist at and co-owner of Cureand owner of Cane & Table and Café Henri