10 Smoothest Liquors To Drink Neat

To appreciate the real beauty of a liquor, you sometimes have to drink it as the makers intended it: straight, neat, and unencumbered by mixers. Although there are plenty of alcohols and liqueurs you should enjoy on their own, few high-octane liquors like rums, vodkas, gins, or tequilas make the cut. Fortunately, a few rise above, pairing excellent distilling methods with complex flavor palates that make them taste experiences on their own.

With exceptional attention to detail, premium ingredients, and unexpected surprises that just work, these liquors are ones that you'll feature in pride of place on your home bar. So break them out for special occasions or for those times you want a nice treat at the end of a long day. Although the craft and velvety smoothness of these liquors make them fine mixers, why mess with perfection? Instead, get yourself a chilled glass, pour in a splash or two, and kick back for some epic enjoyment.

Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka is a mellow, sweeter riff on your standard vodka, thanks to a grassy infusion from Poland's Białowieża Forest. According to its Facebook page, this vodka is steeped both in delicious bison grass and 600 years of vodka-making technique, rendering it smooth and slightly sweet. It's the perfect aperitif or ice-cold treat after a long day.

Each bottle of Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka has its own slender strand of bison grass inside and has a herbaceous and citrusy blend of flavors. Expect a touch of summery lavender at first whiff, followed by a rich herbal palate, and a lovely, fresh finish that really highlights the qualities of the bison grass (via Master of Malt). Although Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka works wonders with apple juice or ginger ale, it's best when you leave it to its own devices and enjoy it straight up, neat, and chilled.

Siembra Valles High Proof Blanco Tequila

Good sippin' tequilas are few and far between, but Siembra Spirits hits the mark with this endlessly sippable, straightforward, and sophisticated white tequila. At more than 90 proof, Siembra Valles High Proof Blanco Tequila is undoubtedly a heavyweight, but you won't get any harsh burn at the end. Instead, the taste is deliberate and slightly sweet and finishes clean and luxurious.

According to Tequila Matchmaker, you'll find mellow notes of soft mint, sage, agave, and anise and lots of herbal notes in every taste. In addition, there's a light peppery bite at the end that's just enough to make you remember that you're sipping something bold and strong but not overpowering enough to overshadow the subtle spearmint that runs through the drink. A master class in artisan distilling and restraint, Siembra Valles High Proof Blanco Tequila is an excellent example of precisely what a tequila should be, and it deserves a prominent place in your bar.

Laphroaig 10 Year Old

A classic, peaty, smoke-drenched scotch, Laphroaig 10 Year Old is a scotch drinkers' drink. It is best enjoyed in your favorite Glenlivet glass with just a touch of water to open things up. Although you'll get plenty of peat, there's an undeniable sweetness to the scotch too, plus a bit of sherry, honey, and a tiny burst of salt at the end. Balanced to perfection and full of unexpected flavors that simply work together, Laphroaig 10 Year Old is a thick, amber beauty that proudly represents Scotland's Islay region in brilliant form.

Whisky.com lauds Laphroaig 10 Year Old as being an excellent cask-strength whiskey with a rich, bourbony base and a lingering and lovely finish full of round tannins and spices. So if you love your scotches rich, robust, and full of earthy flavor, reach for a bottle of Laphroaig 10 Year Old, pour a chilled dram or two into a glass, and sip slowly.

Absolut Elyx

Of all the Absolut flavors on the market, Absolut Elyx is easily one of the smoothest, most delicious, and best vodkas to drink straight. Absolut Elyx is the ultimate luxury offering from this already stellar spirits distiller, and it comes in an artfully designed black-and-white geometric-patterned bottle. According to Absolut's website, Absolut Elyx is an ultra-meticulous, perfectly curated version of the brand's signature vodka, geared toward refinement and satiny smoothness.

According to Master of Malt, Absolut Elyx comes from vintage, artisanal copper stills, yielding a soft end-product with a traditional, clean vodka taste and minimal residual burn. Although you could elevate virtually any cocktail with a splash or two of Absolut Elyx, it's best to enjoy this liquor neat so as to better appreciate the simplicity and craft in every sip. Serve ice-cold, atop some whiskey rocks, or poured straight into a tall shot glass for the best effect.

Johnny Walker Blue Label

When you think of premium spirits, there's a good chance that your mind goes directly to Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and it should. This standout premium whiskey is one of the best representations of the craft, with tons of honeyed and vanilla notes at the outset, coupled with candied hazelnuts and a brilliantly bold ribbon of caramel. A light but definite smoky flavor wraps things up beautifully, finishing off the taste journey from sugary to savory and smoky with a chic and perfectly executed close.

According to The Whisky Exchange, Johnnie Walker Blue oozes excellence and status thanks to its veritable cornucopia of five-star ingredients and satiny mouthfeel. Savvy drinkers might be able to pick up notes of kumquat wafting through each sip, but even if you don't, the dance of dark chocolate, vanilla, nuts, and orange is bound to satisfy. Johnnie Walker Blue's price tag and prestige make it a near carnal sin to drink this whiskey any way but neat and ice-cold.

Heaven's Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey

With a whimsical bottle full of deep penny-colored whiskey, Heaven's Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey has some heavy, bakery-inspired notes of spice and vanilla, plus a beautiful oak foundation bolstered by the non-chill filtration process at Heaven's Door. If you're looking for a solid, easy-going whiskey with a good finish, reach for a bottle of this liquid gold. According to Whiskey Raiders, the artisanal expertise that goes into each bottle of Heaven's Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey isn't lost on drinkers or reviewers.

With consistently high scores on top review sites like The Whiskey Wash, Distiller, and Breaking Bourbon (via Whiskey Raiders), this Bob Dylan brand gets consistent praise for its fiery intenseness, the balance of elements, and layers upon layers of familiar flavors. In addition, the whiskey itself is thick and luscious, going down smooth and leaving a brilliant and long finish at the end.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is everything a fine rum should be: a mature, 12-year-old blend full of big and bold flavors like warm citrus, licorice, and plenty of rich toffee. Its dark, deep-amber color looks handsome in your favorite rocks glass and is the perfect before- or after-dinner liquor to offer esteemed guests. According to The Whisky Exchange, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva has delectable notes of fruit cake and cocoa on the nose with a bit of raisin peeking through to perfectly compliment the tasty rum flavor.

Expect more chocolate at the start of your sip, mingling with fruity accents and then finishing strong with a velvety note of vanilla (via The Whisky Exchange). It's a bold rum, perfect for connoisseurs but accessible to rum novices as well, making it the ideal bottle to crack open on your next special occasion. Enjoy this one straight, as a splash of cola or ginger ale will just muddy the flavors.

Widow Jane 10-Year-Old Bourbon

Brooklyn-brewed Widow Jane 10-Year-Old Bourbon is a cleverly concocted blend of different whiskeys, with a robust ribbon of caramel running through every sip. It's bourbon at its best, relying heavily on tried-and-tested flavors like vanilla and oak while still managing to stay fresh and innovative at the same time. According to Gentlemen Ranters, you can expect some delicate almond, pepper, and honey at the first whiff of Widow Jane 10-Year-Old Bourbon, then delve into cherry, caramel, and dark chocolate in the body.

One thing that makes this bourbon deliciously drinkable and best enjoyed straight is the finish. It's never harsh, but there is a black pepper bite and a hint of smokiness that beautifully plays off the cherry and vanilla flavors. Plus, the mouthfeel is wonderful: slightly viscous but not overwhelming. Enjoy this solidly scrumptious sipper straight or with a few whiskey rocks so as to not dilute the flavor.

McQueen and the Violet Fog Gin

A handsome, art-deco adjacent bottle of McQueen and the Violet Fog gin might look smashingly elegant on your home bar, but looks are only one small part of this liquor's charm. Bursting with botanicals, including unique offerings like pomelo, jasmine, and fragrant lemongrass, this gin is full of surprises from start to finish. According to Drinks Insight, this small-batch gin has 21 unique botanicals on a mellow sugarcane foundation that allows each one to shine.

According to Tastings, sippers get a riotous combination of fabulous flavors, including peppercorn, fresh citrus, and cooling cucumber. Expect a punchy candied ginger burst near the middle of the sip as well. So do yourself a favor and leave the tonic water in the fridge. Instead, sip McQueen and the Violet Fog slowly and deliberately, savoring everything from the initial aroma to the gorgeously complex finish.

Mhoba Franky's Pineapple Rum

Mhoba Franky's Pineapple Rum gets its brilliant, tropical kick from Natal Queen pineapples and two types of rum. The result is a pineapple-heavy, but never cloying, treat that takes the sipper on a glorious journey through different iterations of pineapple. You'll get grilled, succulent pineapple notes on the beginning and middle parts of the sip and a bright, juicy burst of fresh pineapple at the end. Paired with plenty of oakiness and signature char, this rum never ceases to disappoint (via Got Rum?).

In addition, sippers can expect plenty of subtle sugarcane and caramel running throughout the drink. It's a pleasant, tropically infused treat that is great for people who love a luxe fruit bite in their rum but might be a little much for those who prefer more classic rummy tastes (via Reddit). Although it's slightly polarizing, especially for rum purists, Mhoba Franky's Pineapple Rum is a fine, straight-sippin' liquor.