The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2018

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80  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2018 CATEGORY REPORT JOIN THE TASTING PANEL AS WE HOCUS- FOCUS ON SOME OF OUR FAVORITE BROWN AND FLAVORED SPIRITS New Rum Rising: RON IZALCO "Any press is good press" may be a well-known saying, but it certainly helps when all that publicity is positive—especially for a product that has yet to be released. New super-premium rum brand Ron Izalco took home a Gold Medal at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for its 10 Year Aged Rum, and the accolade—as well as its stellar review from The Tasting Panel—bodes well for the spirit's October release in Europe and its December/January stateside debut. Produced in Central America, Ron Izalco rum is inspired by the volcanic terrain of Izalco in El Salvador. Its mineral-rich black soil, combined with the tropical climate of the region, yields some of the highest-quality sugarcane in the world, spawning a memorable expression devoid of artificial colors or flavoring. Crafted with care, this high- end rum is sure to light up the spirits industry upon its release. —Jesse Hom-Dawson Ron Izalco 10 Year Aged Rum Exotic aromas of patchouli, beeswax, apricots, and jasmine stun. The palate opens slowly, revealing a tongue-coating array of flavors: toffee, almonds, sweet tobacco, and ripe peach. A sweetness comes in mid-palate, warming the mouth with an oatmeal-and- maple fluidity. Enchanting. 98 —Meridith May PHENOMENAL SPIRITS, INC. With October's arrival, the Halloween season is upon us. To pay homage to one of our most antici- pated holidays, this month's Category Report honors brown spirits suited up in their barrel-aged best and flavored favorites decked out in their first-rate finery. While bartenders and mixologists often view the flavored category with skepticism due to its long-held reputation for dubious ingredients and additives, its trend toward craftsmanship—especially under the tutelage of smaller brands more focused on hands-on production methods and natural flavors—has helped its star rise in recent years. Paired with a timeless category like brown spirits, they're sure to keep your guests engaged well into the winter months and beyond. Don't trick yourself into thinking you can pass up these brands: Instead, read on for our top picks of the fall and be sure to treat yourself to some new bottles at your establishment. We promise the only thing spooky about this month's featured products is how good they taste! —Mara Marski SPOOK- TACULAR Spirits b a b

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