This episode of “The VinePair Podcast” is sponsored by The Prisoner Wine Company. Uncork something unexpected this holiday season and beyond with audacious, rule-bending wines that will impress even the most discerning wine drinker in your life. Head to to shop now.

‘Tis the season for VinePair’s annual 50 best lists, and earlier this week, The 50 Best Spirits of 2023 list was unveiled. Throughout the year, VinePair tastes a number of spirits for our Buy This Booze column, compiling our favorites — along with some spirits that don’t fit into a traditional category — for a final, year’s end tasting. The 50 spirits that make it onto the list reflect not only the most exciting things that landed in our glasses this year, but also the spirits categories that represent how the majority of Americans are drinking.

As such, bourbon and tequila are two of the most well-represented liquors, with six of each wowing our tasting panel this year. But there are also plenty of bottles with wonderful stories behind them, like a Mango eau de vie from Oaxaca distilled with the same traditional methods as mezcal.

On this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” Zach is joined by VinePair managing editor and “Cocktail College” host Tim McKirdy to break down some of the bottles and trends showcased on The 50 Best Spirits of 2023 list. The two discuss dynamism in Cognac, a range of Mexican spirits, and the fact that 2023 was a very strong year for seasonal and special releases in American whiskey. Tune in for more.

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