A stunning American Whiskey is cited as the new "Top Spirit in the World."
Since 1991 has reviewed thousands of beverage alcohol products, mostly distilled spirits, in an independent and advertising-free forum. F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal has spanned 90 editions.
Founding editor F. Paul Pacult and Managing Editor Sue Woodley describe their unbiased and candid subscription-only newsletter as "a pander-free zone, free from the demands, implied and overt, of advertising dollars." Said Woodley of the Spirit Journal mission, "By not accepting advertising, the Spirit Journal is free from the pressures that publications like magazines and newspapers have to endure. For better or for worse and within the context of contemporary beverage alcohol standards, we have, do and will continue to tell the truth about spirits as we see it."
The internationally read publication has spawned two highly acclaimed compilations of reviews and ratings in book form, "Kindred Spirits" (1997, Hyperion Books) and "Kindred Spirits 2" (2008, Spirit Journal Inc.). Pacult estimates that he has formally reviewed over 21,000 spirits since he began his career as a spirits critic in 1989.
In addition to owning Spirit Journal Inc., Paul Pacult and Sue Woodley are also founding partners in Ultimate Beverage Challenge LLC. Now, in recognition of spirits brands that have consistently exhibited extraordinary quality over numerous formal reviews, Pacult and Woodley have established a special honor, The Spirit Journal Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall will retire specified benchmark spirits from the newsletter's annual "Top Spirits" list and place them in perpetuity in a pantheon of Super Star Spirits.
The first five inductees in the inaugural class of 2011 are:
Highland Park 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, Scotland
Cointreau Liqueur, France
Midleton Very Rare Blended Irish Whiskey, Ireland
Nonino Cru Grappa Di Monovitigno Picolit, Italy
Frapin Extra Grande Champagne Cognac, France
Said Pacult of this illustrious quintet, "Among the scores of superlative spirits that have received five stars in the Spirit Journal, these five have come to represent distillation and production at their finest. These spirits are bonafide icons."
Top Spirit in the World with regard to the 2011 roster of The Spirit Journal Top Spirits in the World, a new No. 1 spirit has been chosen from the ranks of 140 five-star rated distillates: George T. Stagg Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Antique Collection 2010 produced at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Ky.
Said Pacult of the new number one spirit, "The selection of a cask-strength (71.5% abv) whiskey from the American heartland may come as a shock to many spirits diehards who lean towards traditional European-style distillates. I understand that viewpoint but the time has come to recognize a new standard-bearer for innovation and unswerving overall quality, year after year. The experimental work being conducted by Mark Brown and his remarkable team at Buffalo Trace is expanding the horizons, not just of American distilling, but of global distilling at large. It is time to salute the fruits of those homegrown labors.
"Yet the reality is," continued Pacult, "distilling on a worldwide basis has never been better. With well over 4,000 spirits available within the U.S. marketplace and thousands more available outside American borders, just the inclusion of a rum, vodka, liqueur, tequila, gin, brandy or whiskey on this best-of-the-best roster of spirits rock stars is a tremendous accomplishment. Yes, we placed them in a numerical order, but the fact is No. 89 might well be No. 1 in someone else's mind. All 140 are world-class."
The June 2011 edition of F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal is now available. Photographs available on request.
F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal is a quarterly (March, June, September, December), hard copy newsletter that does not accept advertising and is not available at newsstands. Subscriptions may be obtained via the official website, www.spiritjournal.com or by calling 1-800-560-7273 in U.S. or 1-845-895-8910 outside U.S.