We do a decent amount of drinking at Gear Patrol. One question we get often is what are the best bottles of alcohol to buy. While answering that is a nearly impossible task, we have found some bottles that are a combination of good value and good taste. So when someone asks us, "what's the best spirit to buy," we can lead them to our Just Get This picks. These aren't the only spirits to have on hand, but with these five bottles you'll be set for whatever boozed-up journey you want to embark on.
The Bourbon: Knob Creek 9-year-old Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
There is no such thing as the "best bourbon." But there is one bourbon that you really should keep stocked on your bar cart. Knob Creek's 9-year-old brings back the age statement it had dropped not so long ago, and it makes its low price, of around $30, feel like an absolute steal. While the 9-year-old is a delicious sipper, it's also an all-around great mixing bourbon for all your old fashioned and mint julep needs.
The Rum: Plantation Barbados 5 Years
Sure, go ahead and buy a cheap bottle of Bacardi. You'll just be missing out on all the glory of Plantation Barbados 5 Years. The rum spends a few years in bourbon barrels then gets a final year or two in French oak, and the final product is a highly drinkable rum that tastes like toasted coconut, vanilla and orange peel.
The Vodka: Reyka Vodka
Vodka should not be bland. It should actually taste like something, and Reyka went ahead and made a tasty vodka that is way cheaper than it should be. Made in Iceland, Reyka vodka harnesses the environment it's made in to distill a crisp spirit that gives off notes of grass and black pepper. No more industrially produced vodkas for you.
The Gin: The Botanist Gin
The predominant flavor of gin should be juniper berries, but most gin producers take that a little too seriously. The Botanist Gin uses juniper berries, of course, but expertly blends 21 other botanicals for a complex spirit that's good for more than gin and tonics (but it's great in a classic G&T). Plus, the bottle looks really nice on a bar cart.
The Tequila: Espolòn Blanco Tequila
Never again drink the tequila you drank in your college days. Just from the process alone, Espolòn Blanco is a far superior product. The agave is cooked low and slow, which makes the spirit naturally sweet, versus the industrially made tequilas that add sweeteners, much to their detriment. And if you didn't think tequila was good for more than just shooting, this is the one that may get you to start sipping it. It's sweet, it's spicy, a bit vanilla-y — it's your new favorite tequila.