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.
“Several years ago, while bartending at Herbs & Rye in Las Vegas, I got to try a bevy of spirits. Brenne stood out then much as it still does today. Notes of vanilla, brandied cherry, mango, light honey, baking spices—a harmonious balance on a winter’s night by the fire.”—Joe Pereira, bartender-at-large in New Bedford, Mass.
“Because that’s what my Irish gran would drink in little yellow teacups. Gifts are about love and remembrance. I love and remember all the whiskey my gran Bridget fed me to keep me warm during the holidays.”—Abigail Gullo, bar manager and assistant general manager at Ben Paris at The State Hotel in Seattle
“Try this single pot still Irish whiskey and you’ll understand why Redbreast keeps winning awards for best Irish whiskeys.”—Sanders
“Super developed and nuanced for such a young whiskey, Starward is making some great products, and Nova is no exception.”—Hoard