I guess it might be a bit helpful to discuss what goes into the criteria for selecting the best spirits of 2011. We think about quality, sales reports, customer feedback, our own personal taste, and general drinkability when determining these picks. It's not an exact science, but we know better than to just choose the esoteric thing that no one bought, but we absolutely adored. There needed to be a substantial consumer response in addition to our own positive feedback.
David Othenin-Girard chooses: Boyd & Blair Vodka - Potato vodka from Pennsylvania. This bottle took our store by storm this year. We sell a case a week just out of Redwood City alone and the word seems to be spreading. Creamy, soft, easy going and textural - all things we want from vodka. Great stuff.
David Driscoll choses: Potocki Polish Rye Vodka - Not only my vodka of the year, but maybe the absolute best vodka I've ever had. If the goal of a vodka is to be pure, clean, smooth, soft, and textural, then this is the jackpot of all vodkas. I could sip this stuff out of the bottle - no problem. A milestone for spirits. Purists - rejoice!