El Tesoro Tequila’s Farm and Distillery, Arandas

Exploring the Jalisco region's agave treasures with Master Distiller Carlos Camarena

“Historically, these plants can provide people with shelter, food, spirits, of course— tools with their needles to sow. Everything!” Carlos Camarena tells us, standing on the red clay earth amid a field of agaves. He goes on to explain how the succulent’s dried leaves are still used in the region for roofing and building walls, its quioxotes (long pistols) for fences, and fibers used for …

Kavalan, Taiwan’s First Whisky Distillery

The island's first single malt ages twice as fast due to the sub-tropical climate

While Scotland will always (by law) be the sole proprietor of Scotch, a whole host of nations have embraced the art of whisky distillation. From Japan to Sweden to Australia, several excellent new distillers are popping up around the globe. Local conditions, waters and variations on existing methods make for exciting new expressions, and one of the most alluring comes from Taiwan’s first whisky distillery, …

Ardbeg Whisky Distillery

We visit the wild island of Islay to discover what makes Scotland's peatiest single malt so unique

Those familiar with single malts will recognize the tiny, wild island of Islay as the birthplace of Scotland’s most heavily peated whiskies. Once home to over 20 distilleries, Islay (pronounced “eye-lah”) now hosts just eight, but the few remaining are some of the most recognizable names in Scotch whisky—from Laphroaig and Lagavulin to Bowmore and Ardbeg. With a well-documented love for the more mellow side …

Absolut Elyx

Sweden's new premier export embodies the legendary vodka brand's extensive heritage and progressive attitude

Over the past decade, Absolut became more synonymous with college parties and dance club bottle service than with its artistically-inclined, sustainably-minded Swedish roots. This shift in reputation is undoubtedly a repercussion of its ubiquitous worldwide popularity, which reached a fever pitch when Absolut became the discerning bartender’s vodkaif not spiritof choice in the late ’80s and remained so throughout the ’90s, shortly after it was …

Oola Flavored Vodka

Pepper, citrus and rosemary infusions from a Seattle-based microdistillery

Between 50-year-old whiskey and 19th-century curaçao, vodka has a tendency to fall by the wayside in our hunt for sipping spirits, but a recent encounter wtih Oola‘s flavored vodkas has certainly changed that. Oola, a micro-distillery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, operates under a “grain-to-glass” mantra—a selling point that comes through in the rawness of the spirits, which in the case of vodka …