The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2018

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86  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2018 86  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2018 CATEGORY REPORT Crafted with Care: MOSSBURN WHISKY Established in 1992, Mossburn Distillers and Blenders has emerged as an esteemed ambas- sador of Scottish terroir in the world of whisky as it produces its awarded range of blended and single-malt Scotch for worldwide consumers. For the Signature Cask Series on the blended side of its portfo- lio, Mossburn Island Blended Malt Scotch Whisky ($50) and Mossburn Speyside Blended Malt Scotch Whisky ($40) aim to showcase Scotland regional malts without the use of artificial coloring or chill filtration as they mature under the influence of three different cask woods. Aged in American oak prior to initial blending, both expressions undergo a second period of maturation in custom-made Mossburn Casks with certain specifications for each blend: Cask Bill #1 for the Island (using staves from first-fill bourbon barrels) and Cask Bill #2 for the Speyside (using staves from first-fill Oloroso Sherry butts). The former, with its peated whisky–inspired signa- ture smokiness infused with clove and spice at 46% ABV, has a slightly tannic nature that mellows on the peppery, fruity, and fiery finish. The Speyside blend, meanwhile, emulates the region's characteristic flavors of spice, honey, and floral-tinged nuttiness courtesy of mature whiskies from several Speyside distilleries. —Kate Newton Mossburn Speyside Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Nuts, oatmeal, honeysuckle, and peach perfume this exquisite Scotch. On the palate, heather and toffee warm the back of the tongue while dots of white pepper tingle on the tip. At 92 proof, the heat intensifies and then quickly dissipates, leaving honeyed chamomile, hazelnut, and creamed corn in its path. It's tempered with peach and apricot on the refined finish. 94 —M.M. Mossburn Island Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Smoky and sensual on the nose, this heady 92-proofer goes headlong into a peaty palate. Comforted with butterscotch and seasoned with dill and black pepper, woodsy notes coat apricot for a layered spirit. 95 —M.M. Fruit-Forward Spirits: EDINBURGH GIN LIQUEURS Edinburgh Gin's Scottish heritage has always embraced innovation, and its new category of gin liqueurs proves its brand of experimentation is clearly a hit: The Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur currently sits in the number-two spot on Amazon UK's list of bestsellers in the Beer, Wine & Spirits category. Made with a gin base and real fruit, the trio of liqueurs—Rhubarb & Ginger, Raspberry, and Elderflower—hit the U.S. market in January 2018. Bottled at 20% ABV, they can be added to any cocktail program that emphasizes flavor and speed. Raspberries picked at peak ripeness at a family-owned farm in Alyth, Blairgowrie, are infused into the classic Edinburgh Gin along with sugar to produce the Raspberry Liqueur. Other signature botani- cals present include orange peel, mulber- ries, pine buds, and lemongrass. The aromatic Elderflower Liqueur, meanwhile, exchanges the Raspberry's fruity profile for a floral, honeyed bouquet with flavor imparted by freshly-picked elderflowers. It shows subtle citrus notes and hints of pear and peach. Warmth and spice come through in the Rhubarb & Ginger Liqueur, which melds Oriental ginger and freshly-picked rhubarb—a staple in Scotland. Its bright sweetness and tangy-citrus notes complement cocktails that bring flavors like candied ginger, lemongrass, and cardamom to the forefront. —Kate Newton

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