Binny's Top 10 of 2012

  Binny's Beverage Depot has the best and brightest people in the industry. Over the last calendar year, we have studied, handled, sampled and sold over 50,000 products. We asked Binny's specialists from Chicago to Champaign for their Top Ten picks from 2012. The only ground rule was these items must still be available at most Binny's stores. Distilling the list down to .02% of everything that passed through our 29 stores wasn't easy.   W.L. Weller 12 Year Old BourbonFirestone Walker Wookey Jack #10  W.L. Weller 12 Year Old Bourbon The perfect wheated bourbon for every day. Butterscotch, cinnamon, nutmeg, toffee and custard all in one easy sipper. Ever hear someone say they don't like bourbon? Weller might change their mind. - Will Heine, Assistant Manager at Binny's Downtown Chicago, Chuck Campagna, General Manager at Binny's in Niles,   #9 Firestone Walker Wookey Jack We always love rye IPA, and Wookey Jack isn't just a rye IPA, it's a Black Rye IPA! Love that bite of rye malt, plus the lively citrus. Wookey Jack is another outstanding beer from Firestone Walker. - Martin Elkmann, Beer Consultant at Binny's in St. Charles,   Bodegas Borsao Berola El Credito El Perrito #8 Bodegas Borsao Berola Ripe black cherry and more tannins and acidity than the price suggests. Ten months of oak aging adds balance and vanilla notes. Another ten months of bottle aging makes this Berola ready to pop right now. - Cristian Martinez, Wine Consultant at Binny's Glen Ellyn,   #7 El Credito El Perrito Cigar A powerful little Dominican dogwalker - el Perrito means "little dog" in Spanish - and a howling success. Rustic and gutsy with a Connecticut broadleaf binder and an Ecuador Habano wrapper. Give you and your canine a new leash on life when you're out for a stroll. - David Stevens, Cigar Consultant at Binny's in Highland Park,   2011 Domaine Laroque Vins de Pays de la Cite de CarcassonnePlantation 20 year Anniversary Rum #6 2011 Domaine Laroque Vins de Pays de la Cite de Carcassonne A ridiculous value. Savage elegance defines this stunning Bordeaux lookalike. Cabernet franc driven, its big herbal flavors are enhanced by ripe black fruits and a richness that belies its reasonable price. - David Poweska, CSW, Wine Manager at Binny's in Bloomingdale, Michael Bach, Wine Manager at Binny's in Arlington Heights,   #5 Plantation 20 Year Anniversary Rum Our favorite rum under $40. This is a blend of old Barbados rums aged in Bourbon barrels for boldness and then in Cognac barrels for elegance. Notes of vanilla, banana, coconut and toffee. An ideal sipping rum, light and easygoing. - David Bond, General Manager at Binny's in Algonquin, Dan Culen, General Manager at Binny's in Glen Ellyn,   Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' AleAndre Tissot Cremant du Jura  Extra Brut #4 Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale This California (soon to be Chicago!) brewery has many great beers, but none as popular as Lil Sumpin'. The flavor, a touch of wheat and a blast of fresh hops, makes this one of the best beers we've ever had. Its loyal following made it a top seller. - Trevor Hagen, Beer Consultant at Binny's in Glen Ellyn, Jerry Krzak, Beer Consultant at Binny's in River Grove,   #3 Andre Tissot Cremant du Jura Extra Brut From traditional Champagne varietals, this sparkler shows subtle notes of almonds, pastry dough, baking spice, and red apple skin that all meld together in a cider-like aroma. The QPR is fantastic! Seek it out because bubbly at this price is just too good to pass up. - Don Sheil, Wine Manager at Binny's South Loop,   Revolution Eugene PorterBuffalo Trace Bourbon Handpicked #2 Revolution Eugene Porter Well balanced and on the sweet side for the style, which only adds to its drinkability. Black as night, robust, big notes of cocoa and a touch of coffee. From a great new Chicago brewery, finally in cans. What's not to like about that? - TJ Glovan, Beer Consult at Binny's in Skokie, Chuck Campagna, General Manager at Binny's in Niles,   #1 Buffalo Trace Bourbon Handpicked No Question, the champion this year is Binny’s Handpicked Buffalo Trace. Not only are these barrels hand selected by our experts, but this is one of the most versatile and value driven bourbons out there. With its inviting bouquet, notes of caramel and cocoa, and endless finish, Buffalo Trace is the old friend you hope to meet again (and again). - Andy Heiden, General Manager at Binny's in Champaign, Gregory Fullham, Wine Consultant at Binny's in Hyde Park,     What do you think? Leave a comment with your favorites of the year!