The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2013

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BRAND PROFILE Southern Sippin' Takes Manhattan MIXOLOGY STAR DALE DEGROFF DISCOVERS CLYDE MAY'S ALABAMA STYLE WHISKEY by Lana Bortolot / photos by Doug Young B Clyde May's VP/Marketing Director Jay Liddell (left) with celebrated mixologist Dale DeGroff at Keens Steakhouse in New York City. ringing a dose of suave Southern style into New York City, Clyde May's Whiskey threw an Alabama-style dinner party for on-premise buyers and mixologists at Keens Steakhouse in Manhattan. The fare was classic steakhouse, but the Southern flair was courtesy of Clyde May's Alabama Style Whiskey (SRP $29.99) in cocktails crafted by Dale DeGroff, a recent convert to the spirit. To illuminate the whiskey's compatibility with meals—from smoked Arctic char to roasted lamb chops au jus—DeGroff worked with the Keens kitchen on a menu that elevated the approachable and supple nature of the spirit. DeGroff first experienced the spirit at New York's WhiskyFest last year and put it though his own litmus test: a Manhattan with his own brand of bitters. He said the whiskey and his pimento aromatic bitters were "a good match, complementing the flavors" and a relationship was born. The dinner series with DeGroff started in Dallas at the Crescent Club, and will move along the East Coast to Washington D.C. and Boston by the end of the year. These dinners will support the investment markets chosen focusing on trade, retail and bartender adoption and endorsement, according to Jay Liddell, Vice President and Marketing Director. "It was our tactic to treat this as a culinary experience but not be stuffy about it," Liddell said. "The food takes it up a notch, and we have to applaud Dale and the chef for coming up with exactly the flavors that pair together'" Clyde May's may be making a splash now, but the eponymous whiskey has been around since after World War II, when its namesake founder changed careers from war veteran to Alabama farmer to moonshiner. The whisky was distilled illegally for more than 40 years along the Conecuh Ridge, all the while gaining a reputation for the finest whiskey in the region. In summer of 2012 the company brought Clyde May's Whiskey to the marketplace as the only Alabama-style whiskey with a unique heritage and approachable spirit. Clyde May's is now an award-winning whiskey, most recently taking "Best in Division - Whiskey" in the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition receiving the second highest rating in the competition with a 96. Distilled in Kentucky, the whiskey is aged for six years in charred barrels and finished with Clyde May's "secret sauce": green apple, cinnamon and vanilla and bottled at 42.5% ABV and is available only in 750ml size. "The heart and soul of this whole brand is Clyde," said Liddell. "We're looking at his whiskey as being a longtime player in the craft world." Watch for the story behind the Clyde May legend in the August issue of The Tasting Panel. july 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  49 TP0713_034-65.indd 49 6/24/13 5:40 PM

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