2016 Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners


Whiskey List at a Bar / Restaurant – Butcher & the Boar

Butcher Boar Whiskey List

Whiskey at Butcher and the Boar // Photos by Aaron Davidson

Buffalo Trace, Wild Turkey, and Eagle Rare; Evan, Elmer and Ezra; Old Heaven Hill, Old Granddad, Old Forester; Barton, Baker’s, and Booker’s; Jim, Johnny, Jefferson’s, and all the rest. There’s nowhere like Butcher & the Boar if you’re down with the brown.

Bartender – Bennett Johnson, Tattersall Distilling

There are no shortages of places to have a cocktail in Northeast. But there’s nowhere we’d rather be than at the horseshoe bar at Tattersall Distilling, watching Bennett Johnson in all his mustachioed glory, mixing up some of the finest spirits in town.

Cocktail – Red Cow Moscow Mule

Ian Lowther

Ian Lowther at Red Cow // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Red Cow’s spirits specialist Ian Lowther makes some of the most inventive, intriguing cocktails in Minneapolis. His take on the Moscow mule is a pink peppercorn-infused vodka with lime and a tangy housemade ginger beer.

Liquor Store (MSP) – Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop


Surdyk’s // Photo via Surdyk’s Facebook page

Scotch, bourbon, gin, sake—Surdyk’s has all the spirits you need. But wait… enticing aromas from the deli, knowledgeable staff, amazing sales and specials, as well as tasting classes, are the award-winning differences that make the Northeast Minneapolis retailer top-notch.

Liquor Store (Greater MN) – Mount Royal Bottle Shoppe, Duluth

It’s not hard to get lost in Mount Royal’s massive selection of wine and spirits (not to mention their walk-in beer cooler—which has to be one of the largest in the state). The staff at Mount Royal are ardent supporters of all things Duluth and just a genuinely nice group of people.

Wine Shop – Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop

A good wine shop is a seamless blending of selection and expertise. You want some obscure bottles, but some good standbys too. And with a helpful staff to navigate their vast aisles of vino, there’s no place to find a good bottle quite like Surdyk’s.

Distillery Branding – Tattersall Distilling


Tattersall bottles // Photo by Aaron Davidson

“Tattersall” is the name for a pattern of colored lines, forming a grid on a solid background. Unpretentious. Straightforward. Classy. No matter how simple the plaid design is, it’s working for Tattersall Distilling, for their branding is clearly standing out on the shelf.

Rum – Tattersall Distilling Blackstrap Rum


Tattersall’s Blackstrap Rum // Photo via Tattersall’s Facebook page

Now that it’s winter, we want a spirit that will warm us up from the inside out, and Tattersall has just the prescription: their Blackstrap Rum. A smoky, full-flavored, yet cozy spirit made from 100% molasses, it’s a stellar base for your daiquiri or mai tai.

Vodka – Vikre Distillery Lake Superior Vodka


Vikre’s Lake Superior Vodka // Photo via Vikre’s website

Vikre distills the flavors of Northern Minnesota, and their vodka is no different. Integrating the clean cold water of Lake Superior, plus a base of malted barley, their vodka is deep and smooth—an award-winning tribute to the greatest of lakes.

Gin – Vikre Distillery Boreal Cedar Gin

Vikre Feat

Vikre’s Boreal Cedar Gine (third from left) // Photo via Vikre’s Facebook page

When the juniper takes a back seat, a New American gin can be so many different things. The best in Minnesota is Vikre’s Boreal Cedar Gin, a warming, toasty spirit that adds a dash of woodiness to elevate your everyday G&T.

Whiskey – Vikre Distillery Sugarbush Whiskey Lot 3

Made by the Lake

Vikre’s Sugarbush Whiskey Lot 3 // Photo courtesy of Vikre

Looks like third time’s the charm as Vikre takes home this year’s prize for best whiskey in the state. Aged in port casks and bourbon barrels that once held sweet maple syrup, the spirit hints at butterscotch, red berries, and rye characters—terrific in an end-of-the-day Manhattan.

Craft Distillery – Tattersall Distilling


Tattersall Distilling // Photo by Aaron Davidson

With the largest spirits portfolio of any Minnesota distillery, impeccable cocktails served in a stylish cocktail room, and a penchant for collaborative experimentation, Tattersall Distilling is changing the landscape of Minnesota spirits, one bottle at a time. The Northeast Minneapolis distillery is your pick for Minnesota’s Best Craft Distillery.

More 2016 Kind-Of-A-Big-Deal Award Winners:

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