Binny's employs the best people in the industry. We asked Binny's specialists from Chicago to Champaign, Evergreen Park to Highland Park, for their top picks of 2015, with an emphasis on value and on availability. The response was huge, and distilling all the great suggestions down to a list of ten wasn't easy.
#1 4 Hands Resurrected IPA
The perfect expression of the Mosaic Hop - one of the hottest hop varieties around! From St. Louis, this 6.5% abv IPA is huge on flavor but drinks easy. We were thrilled to see 4 Hands bring it back, and available year round to boot! And in cans!
Picked by Mark M. - Beer Consultant, Glencoe / Dan K. - Beer Consultant, Highland Park / Mike O. - Receiver, Glencoe
#2 2014 DAOU Cabernet Sauvignon
Paso Robles cabernet sauvignon possesses a softer, more balanced quality that isn't always found in more expensive and famous regions. A steakhouse selection and a favorite with grilled meats, Daou has delivered knockout value several vintages in a row.
Picked by Dan M. - Wine Consultant, Glencoe
#3 Wathen's Single Barrel Bourbon
Your new go-to bourbon. The price is reasonable and the quality is nothing short of spectacular. A classic bourbon driven by corn sweetness, great for cocktails or neat. Full of vanilla, cherry and citrus flavor with a sweet peppery sting on the finish. By the way, don't miss our Binny's Handpicked Wathen's Single Barrel selections while they last.
Picked by Ryan D. - Store Associate, Orland Park
#4 Brickstone American Pale Ale
From Bourbonnais, Illinois, and new in cans for 2015, this American pale ale sets the benchmark for the style. The malty backbone offers a perfect foundation for aromatic hops before a clean, hoppy and refreshing finish. What a way to enter the market!
Picked by John T. - Beer Consultant, Downers Grove
#5 2005 Les Armoiries de Belcier Cotes de Castillon Bordeaux
Possibly the best buy of the year: an 11 year old Bordeaux drinking at its peak. The 2005 vintage was a fabulous year for merlot; it rings true to type and finishes with a nice tannic chew.
Picked by John P. - Wine Manager, Skokie
#6 Copper & Kings Craft Distilled Brandy
What do you get for the bourbon drinker who has everything? How about brandy aged in bourbon barrels in the very heart of bourbon country, Louisville, KY? Not only does this bottle compliment any whisky or brandy aficionado's collection, but we have a Binny's Handpicked expression bottled at a 120 proof.
Picked by Anthony N. - Store Associate, Glen Ellyn
#7 2013 Dr Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling
A stellar dry riesling from the iconic Finger Lakes region wine producer. Sourced from vines planted as far back as the 1950s, this wine opens with beautiful aromatics of lime zest and ripe honeydew. Harmonious balance on the palate, crisp acidity, citrus, fruit and tremendous minerality bring this wine together seamlessly, making it an outstanding value.
Picked by Chad C. - Wine Consultant, Des Plaines
#8 Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch
A Scotch that perfectly illustrates just how much complexity a few drops of water can reveal. If you enjoy your dram without much smoke, drink it neat - the soft orchard fruit notes are lovely. If you like graceful smoke, add some ice. A Scotch for any Scotch drinker at a great price.
Picked by Joseph K. - Cigar Consultant, Bloomingdale
#9 El Centurion H-2K-CT Box Pressed Toro
One of the absolute best releases from My Father Cigars, the El Centurion H2k Connecticut is a labor of love. Features a revolutionary Cuban seed that was transplanted to Connecticut and carefully cultivated. The result: a delicious and balanced cigar that brings Cuban class and flavor with the subtlety and nuance of the Connecticut River Valley. Light up this wonderfully constructed cigar and relax.
Picked by Josh C. - Cigar Consultant, Des Plaines
#10 Great Divide Hibernation
Pouring a mahogany hue with a tan head, this malty old ale is rich with flavors: toffee, caramel, cocoa powder, chocolate, roast coffee and cherry. Bright citrus with a resiny hop counterpoint lends a spicy complexity that evokes sweet holiday breads. Complex and layered, and a holiday classic.
Picked by Larry N. - Beer Consultant, Chicago Lincoln Park