We’d love to take the easy way out and tell you that all tequilas are the same, or that every whiskey is similar. It’d be nice if we could tell you not to worry about which one to buy—but that’s simply not true! Every spirit is different and unique, and especially the three brands we’re showcasing this week. Those include The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes Classic Blend Whiskey, The Glenlivet 15-Year-Old Scotch Whiskey, and Z Tequila Blanco. Check out our full reviews and delicious drink recipes below… Cheers!
Double-distilled and matured in expensive single-use white oak barrels that were previously used to produce bourbon, The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes Classic Blend is said to be a smooth whiskey with no lack of character. Early last week, we were given a chance to find out the validity of the distiller’s claims!
Accolades: Bronze Medal – New York International Spirits Competition 2011. 86pts/100pts - Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2011.
Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
Flavors: vanilla, oak, honey and nutmeg
Taste: A- (Excellent)
Mix-ability: A- (Excellent)
Buzz Factor: A- (Excellent)
Price: $29.90 USD (750ml)
Overall: We give The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes Classic Blend an A- (Highly Recommended). It’s ultra smooth and mixes dangerously well. The name may be a bit wordy, and the packaging may not grab your attention straight away, but this whiskey’s soft profile and rich flavors stand out where it counts. If you have the opportunity to give this Irish whiskey a go, we suggest you don’t pass it by!
MIX IT UP WITH: “Irish Punch”
Ingredients: 1.5 oz The Wild Geese Rare Irish Whiskey, 1/2 oz liquid honey, 1 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice. Top with sparkling wine.
Directions: Shake all ingredients (except the sparkling wine) with ice and strain into chilled flute. Top with sparkling wine and snap lemon zest.
Aged in new French oak casks made from Limousin Oak, The Glenlivet 15-Year Scotch Whiskey is distilled, matured and bottled in Moray, Scotland at the oldest legal distillery in the parish of Glenlivet. The water used to produce this scotch is sourced from near-by “Josie’s Well,” and the barley is grown in Portgordon. The Glenlivet, of course, is a powerhouse in the scotch industry, and produces more than 6 million bottles annually worldwide. A few weeks back, we were invited to give their 15-year vintage a whirl.
Accolades: Master Award at the 2009 Scotch Whisky Masters, Gold Medal at the 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and the Silver Medal at the 2009 International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
Age: 15 years
Flavors: Oak, vanilla, fruit, nuts, and honey
Taste: A (Amazing)
Mix-ability: Mixing this scotch would be a sin!
Buzz Factor: A (Amazing)
Price: $45 USD (750ml)
Overall: We give The Glenlivet 15-Year Scotch Whiskey an A (Highly Recommended). This is truly one of the finest scotch whiskeys we’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. It’s soft, subtle, and extremely drinkable. If you need to stock your home bar with just one scotch, then The Glenlivet 15-Year would be a great choice. Not to mention it’s the perfect complement to a steak dinner!
MIX IT UP WITH: “Rocky Top”
Ingredients: 3 oz The Glenlivet 15-Year Scotch Whiskey and 3 large ice cubes
Directions: In a rocks glass—add ice, cover with whiskey, and enjoy!
Founded in 2008 by Pepe Zevada in Austin, Texas, Z Tequila Blanco is a 100% pure agave premium tequila that is produced in the lowlands of Jalisco, Mexico—and that place is the Mecca of agave! Z Tequila Blanco is produced by a hard working staff with more than 30 years of experience in the tequila industry. They utilize a combination of all-natural ingredients and demineralized water while mixing traditional and high-tech methods to create their final product—which is a crystal clear tequila that begs to be consumed.
Proof: 80 (40% ABV)
Flavors: Agave, citrus, pepper
Taste: B+ (Very Good)
Mix-ability: B+ (Very Good)
Buzz Factor: B (Good)
Price: $23 USD (750ml)
Overall: We give Z Tequila Blanco a B+ (Highly Recommended). Its flavor is bold with peppery spices and agave, but also comes across with a subtle sweetness that balances it out overall. Z Tequila Blanco is best served mixed, but can also be enjoyed on its own as a 2-oz. party starter!
MIX IT UP WITH: “Très Amigos”
Ingredients: 2 oz. Z Tequila Blanco, 2 oz. sangrita, 2 oz. lime.
Directions: This is a variation of a drink that has long been enjoyed in Jalisco, the Mexican state where Tequila in made. Pour the Tequila separately into tall shot glasses. First, take a sip of the Tequila, then chase it with a sip of sangrita and lime juice. Take it slow & enjoy!
Josh is COED Magazine’s resident testing and review specialist, and has a keen eye for all things tech, booze, and sports-related. When he’s not contributing for COED, his latest work can be found over at BeSportier.com. To have your products tested, reviewed, and featured on COED, shoot Josh a quick email. You can also follow Josh on Twitter–@JoshHerder