I have found both a vodka and a whiskey that I actually enjoy. Gentlemen, a new day has dawned!
For team vodka, we've got Effen Blood Orange. Distilled some 100 times, the base vodka itself is extremely smooth; absent is the typical vodka problem of intense burning of one's throat and the death of a massive amount of one's taste buds. Oh no, this vodka is almost hatefully pleasant. But, what really sends this drink into the stratosphere is the blood orange; it adds to this intensely enjoyable drink notes of citrus and general fruitiness that moves it over from the peg of "enjoy drinking" to "actively want to drink." At $30 US for a 750ml bottle, Effen Blood Orange is as affordable as it is delicious. Overall, I'm giving it a 10/10 with the caveat that something this genuinely pleasant might turn one into an alcoholic.
For team whiskey, we've got Gentleman Jack. A fan of Jack Daniel's Old No.7, I was ready to like this right out of the gate. Gentleman Jack did not disappoint. I don't know if its due to it being, as the sampler claims, "double-mellowed," but this whiskey is unbelievably smooth. It does have a notable smokey flavour that some may find repellent, but overall, the flavour is something I find distinctly palatable. For me, finding a drinkable whiskey is very difficult; most of the others that I've tried have such an overpowering, abhorrent flavour that I simply can't drink it. Combine that with the burn of spirits, and you've got a mixture for a class of libation for which there is very little that I find drinkable, let alone actually enjoyable. Gentleman Jack is one of those that broke the mold. Its more expensive than normal Jack, but for something this smooth and this easy on the tongue, it is easily worth it if you're looking for a whiskey that isn't hateful. Overall, I'm giving Gentleman Jack a 9/10; it is, without a doubt, the single most enjoyable whiskey I've ever had and the extra cost is more than made up for by the fact that it is supremely drinkable amongst its kind.