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 an alphabetical list, not a ranking. Prices are averages and can vary from state to state.
“The first time an Irish whiskey—you know, the people that invented whiskey—won the World's Best Single Malt. Only 1,000 bottles were made, but for that special person, a special once-in-a-lifetime bottle is worth that extra effort.”—Nathaniel Smith, creative director of bar and drinks at Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Minneapolis
“I know this it is hard to get and might even be a little overexposed at this point, but don't overthink it, it's wonderful stuff. If you're lucky enough to spot it on the shelves, buy two and keep one for yourself.”—Sean Hoard, bar director at The Mighty Union in Portland, Ore.