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Sep 14, 2012 11:32 AM

Gift Spirits

Hello all:

Receiving a gift soon in the $30-60 range (wide, I know, but I can't narrow it down much further) and I'm debating what to request. I realize now that I've made my bar too broad and failed to emphasize depth so I want to start focusing on categories I only have a couple bottles in so I can have a better basis for comparison.

Three categories that pique my interest are:
Reposados- I've got Espolon and Corralejos and am thinking of Herraduras next.
Blancos- Have Dos Lunas, Patron, and Camarena.
Ryes (toward the upper end)- Only have Handy. At the lower end I've got baby Saz, Jim Beam, and Old Overholt. Thinking maybe Whistlepig (probably dreaming though) or Templeton.

Any better suggestions?

I'm also coming up on my tri-monthly bottle allowance. I'm thinking Maraschino (so many cocktails), a good dark rum mixer/sipper (tikis and sipping), or bourbon (my bourbon shelf/knowledge is in despairingly poor condition).

Which should I pick and what are good dark rum- mixers, sippers, and crossovers?

Many thanks for all suggestions.

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  1. On the Rye, WhistlePig is good. I'd also recommend High West Rendezvous Rye, which is excellent. Skip the Templeton.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sku

      I was reading up on High West a bit, per your recommendation. Have you sampled the rest of their ryes? From what I've gleaned, it sounds like Double Rye is also a very acceptable –and perhaps even superior– rye. In addition, the 16 yo seems to be even better received, albeit at over twice the price.

      1. re: alphanumeric

        The 16 is, indeed, excellent but very expensive and harder to find. I prefer Rendezvous to Double Rye. Double Rye is a bit younger. All are good, but I think Rendezvous is your best bang for the buck.

    2. There are many excellent blanco tequilas you could get in that price range. Siete leguas, Fortaleza, Casa Noble. Or as far as reposados the ones listed above or Don Celso, Don Julio. Or go one step further in the aging process, a couple excellent anejos in that price range are the same blancos listed above as well as Don Pilar or Corrido.

      Any of these are IMO much better than the ones you have listed above. The problem is they are far too good for mixing, you will only want to sip them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ncyankee101

        Thank you for your suggestions. I was hoping you'd chime in with some blanco wisdom.

        As for those listed above, they are simply the ones I own already. I haven't been terribly satisfied with any of them (although Camarena does do well for the price as a mixer) but they've still managed to show me the way of pure agave.

        1. re: alphanumeric

          You're welcome - I'm not sure where you are located, selection can vary a lot in different regions of the country, some of the best brands such as Fortaleza / Los abuelos can only be found in the southwestern US - or via mail order if you can ship into your state.

          Herradura is not bad, it has an unusual flavor, some describe it as bubble gum, not one of my favorites but is interesting. It would be a step up from Patron, the repo is the one of the line I like the best.

          Casa Noble is probably the best one that is widely available, and all are outstanding - they are the favorite of many tequila lovers.

          Back to the ones you have -
          I didn't notice your Corralejo, I like their blanco though it's a little raw but very flavorful - only had the repo once at a bar and have an unopened bottle, I thought it was pretty good.

          Espolon is good but a little mild for my taste compared to my favorites, comparable to Patron at half the price.

          Camarena is not bad especially for the money, I bought a couple bottles in PA for $15 a couple months back, definitely a good mixer.