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2020 was… something.
But if this bizzaro year did anything right, it was this: it reacquainted us with the magic of building a formidable home bar. One that could withstand the trials of building out a sweatpants-based wardrobe, ordering too much take out and telling your co-worker Rob to turn off his Zoom mute button for the billionth time.
Out of the countless boozy options you had at your quarantined fingertips this year, five bottles rose to the top of the Flaviar ranks. This box celebrates these spirited soldiers, each one given a rousing seal of approval from our members and staff.
As we kick 2020’s arse firmly out the door, let’s raise our glasses to these Spirits’ boozy honor. After all, not all heroes wear capes — some prefer a bottle. Onto the winners!
What exactly does it take to be a Flaviar Awards winner?
Aside from impeccable taste in ingredients, distillation methods and clubs for Spirit lovers (ahem)...
This crowning achievement in the Spirits world all comes down to you.
Since 2012, we’ve turned to our Flaviar community’s ratings and reviews to select the top five sips worthy of the award. To round out the data, we also look at sales numbers, wishlist information and our staff’s informed opinions (it takes a lot of drams to get there, but don’t worry — we’re up to the task).
Members of this esteemed group run the liquor gamut — from spicy Rum to smokey Scotch... and everything in between. But they all have one thing in common: they’ve received the seal of approval from the largest spirited community in the world.
This year’s picks are no exception. So without further ado, let’s meet the 2021 Flaviar Awards graduating class:
Westward Single Malt
Uncle Nearest 1856 Premium Aged Whiskey
Mount Gay XO
Bruichladdich Scottish Barley The Classic Laddie Whisky
That’s a hell of a list, right there. The line up includes two U.S. underdogs (category-wise), a Rum for everyone, a weird but beloved halfling, and a peaty punch for your palate! Now, it’s time to send off 2020 and look ahead to a brighter, boozier future. We hope this box will inspire you and light the way.
Cheers, Sláinte, Santé, Prost and L’Chaim!
1) There are over 15,000 different Spirits on the market, 99% of which are unreachable to most people as most bars and liquor stores carry 10-50 bottles on average. We here at Flaviar believe in disrupting the heck out of that notion by putting bottles from all around the world right at your fingertips.
2) This year, we’re lucky to count over 600,000 Flavaristas amongst our ranks, with over 2,000,000 Spirit samples delivered and 20,000 bottle tasting notes to date.
3) Hercules Mulligan Rum & Rye is as complex and layered as its namesake, a tailor-spy who plied British soldiers with booze to get their tactical secrets. The bottle marries American Rye Whiskey with aged Caribbean Rum before being macerated with fresh organic ginger.
4) The man who actually trained Jack Daniels (yes, that Jack Daniels) to be the future Whiskey behemoth, was a preacher’s slave, Nathan Green, a.k.a. Uncle Nearest — the first African American distiller in the world.
5) Mount Gay got its start from very "sober" beginnings. Literally. The story of Mount Gay Rum begins on the Caribbean island of Barbados in 1703, when John Sober inherited a distillery and invited Sir John Gay to help manage it.
6) While we haven’t mastered the whole turning water into Wine thing, we’ve come a long way in making Beer into Whiskey. In fact, Westward American Single Malt Whiskey starts its journey as an American Pale Ale that goes through slow fermentation and double distillation, turning this brew-y caterpillar into a beautiful Whiskey butterfly.
7) Bruichladdich is darned hard to say correctly. The trouble is that the "-ick" in Scot’s Gaelic is sometimes pronounced with a hard "k" and other times remains silent. And in "Bruichladdich" there’s one of each. Say it this way: "Brook - laddie" — and you’ll be close.