Ingredient Hunter: Duty-Free Spirits
A big perk of flying internationally is shopping for liquor at the airport. But the selection can be a bit overwhelming. So what spirits should you buy at duty-free that you can’t purchase at home? Here are six bottles to bring back with you. (Just keep in mind that prices may vary by region.) Safe travels!
Johnnie Walker The Gold Route Scotch Whisky ($95):
The Gold Route debuted last month and is the second release in Johnnie Walker’s Explorers’ Club Collection. It’s in duty-free stores all over the world. The Scotch, according to master blender Jim Beveridge, was inspired by Latin America and has exotic fruit notes.
Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select Tennessee Whiskey ($175):
One of Jack Daniel’s biggest fans was none other than Ol’ Blue Eyes. To honor his loyalty, the brand introduced Sinatra Select, which is in many international airports. (You can also buy it in Tennessee.) It’s 90-proof, and master distiller Jeff Arnett used heavily charred barrels; as a result the whiskey has big, spicy flavor.
Gran Patrón Piedra Tequila ($389):
The only place you’re going to find Gran Patrón Piedra is at duty-free. (It should be on shelves by May in Asia and Europe.) It’s Patrón’s first extra-añejo tequila and was aged in both new American and French oak barrels for more than three years. The product will eventually be sold in the US as well.
Absolut Denim Vodka ($24):
Absolut recently partnered with Brooklyn clothing designer Loren Cronk to produce a limited edition (pictured above) that features a denim wrapper. The sleeve isn’t just decorative; it’s actually lined with a high-tech insulator that helps keep the vodka cold. It’s currently at Singapore Changi Airport and will soon be available in other countries.
Laphroaig QA Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($70):
You don’t need to go all the way to the tiny Scottish island of Islay to get a special dram of Laphroaig. QA just came out this month and is in duty-free shops around the globe. It was matured in both former bourbon barrels and in new, un-charred American oak casks.
Brugal Papá Andrés Arcos Rum ($1,200):
Every year, the Brugal family privately bottles a specially selected rum. Now, for the first time ever (except for a handful of charitable auctions), the family is offering the desirable liquor for sale and parting with 500 bottles. Arcos comes in a crystal decanter and is in about a dozen airports worldwide.