The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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1 14  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2014 SPEED TASTING REPORT EVERYTHING'S COLDER IN TEXAS Frio Light Hailing from Memphis, TN but made with the Texas market in mind, this pilsner—sold in 30 packs—is a newcomer to the beer scene in the Lone Star State and has made great strides since its launch last year. From the Experts: "A definite session beer—wonderfully easy to drink with an aroma of slight grain. On the palate, there is some maltiness, but it leaves you with a nice, clean, crisp finish." —Marcus Zimmerman, Category Manager for Beer, Walgreens, Chicago MEXCOR INTERNATIONAL WINE & SPIRITS ACE IN THE HOLE Ace Perry Cider Made with both apples and pears and fermented using Champagne yeast, Ace Perry Cider—the first Perry (aka pear-based cider) to be made in California—launched in 1996, and today, it stands atop the pear cider category in the U.S. From the Experts: "This cider has a very nice, dry finish with very little carbonation. It remains quite smooth throughout, balanced with lovely pear undertones. Ciders are doing very well in the military." —Vicki Venables, Buyer for Wine and Beer, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Dallas Ace Pineapple Cider Perfect straight up or mixed into a cocktail during a hot afternoon, this cider has pine- apple juices added to the fermented-apple base. It was inspired by trips to the Hawaiian Islands and may very well be the first of its kind in the world. From the Experts: "On the nose, it opens up with nice tropical and floral notes. Bits of apple and butterscotch shine through the pineapple, leading to a tart finish." —Joshua Nees, Category Specialist for Beer, Walgreens, Chicago THE CALIFORNIA CIDER COMPANY WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS (OR BLACK CHERRIES) Mike's Hard Lemonade The malt base to this beverage begins its life with the same brewing process as beer, but then evolves into the flagship product that has been an industry mainstay for the last 15 years. From the Experts: "Sweetness offset by nice levels of lemon and citrus. No overwhelming flavor elements, balanced and refreshing. Great beverage to carry to the pool!" —Steve McGinty, Category Manager for Beer and Liquor, Giant Eagle, Cleveland Mike's Hard Black Cherry Lemonade A more recent addition to its line and geared towards men, this member of the Mike's Hard family asks drinkers to follow it to "the dark side." Along with being enjoyed straight from the bottle, the panel decided that it could work well in craft cocktails when swapped for liqueurs. From the Experts: "Strong, but smooth black cherry notes that do a wonderful job of leaving the palate clean with an effervescent carbonated finish. It doesn't hurt that black cherry is one of the hottest flavors in flavored malt beverages." —Marcus Zimmerman, Category Manager for Beer, Walgreens, Chicago MIKE'S HARD LEMONADE CO. Chris Quintanilla, General Sales Manager, Mexcor International Wine & Spirits. Mark Anderson, National Chain Manager, California Cider Company. Doug Rittenberg, Sr. National Key Accounts Manager– On Premise, Mark Anthony Brands.

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