The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2014

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november 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  1 19 Alfalfa Orange Blossom Clover Wildflower Buckwheat Grain Vodka Accents bitterness of the vodka. A direct extension of the honey. Sweet with vanilla and toffee. Smooths out the vodka. Tastes like dark chocolate; really interesting. Potato Vodka Downplays spicy vegetal notes of the honey. Great creaminess. Creamy vanilla with sweet cream. Creamy and smooth. Cocoa powder and black tea; creamy. Feminine Gin Highly Recommend. Grassy, lemongrass, lemon candy. "It tastes extra pretty," said Kathy Casey. Gives a floral gin a soft mocha-like flavor. Good pairing; black tea notes. The honey overpowers this gin. A strong chocolate orange flavor, but not a great pairing. Citrusy Gin Amazing! Sun tea with a lemon wedge. Soft spice and strong citrus. Slight toffee flavor, light citrus. Just okay. A little too perfumey. Really nice pairing. Milk chocolate with subtle orange notes. London Dry Great pairing. A direct match for the gin's flavor profile. Bitter and citrusy, with softened spice. Interesting with a black pepper-caramel flavor. Really nice, with spicy, pepper notes. Great pairing! Like a chili pepper chocolate flavor. Light Rum Okay. Vegetal and pleasant. Beautiful! Floral sugar cane, sweet grass. Highly recommended! An exact match in flavor profile. Vanilla and butterscotch. Great! Lots of vanilla bean, Marzipan and milk chocolate. The honey overpowers this rum. Aged Rum Okay. A bit spicy and bitter. Fantastic! Brings out barrel influences with lots of vanilla. Amazing for a Daiquiri. A great pairing. A sweetened extension of the rum. Great! Dark chocolate, caramel, toffee. Pancake syrup and strong molasses. Spiced Rum Accentuates spice and cinnamon notes. Nice pairing with strong citrus notes. "It tastes like cotton candy," says Layla Lynn. Fantastic! Baked chocolate cake, cocoa, walnuts. Great! Spiced cake, chocolate cookies. Good, but overpowering. Dark Rum Coffee with cream, mocha and dark chocolate. The honey may be too soft for the rum. Milk chocolate, chocolate mousse, Sherry undertones. Amazing! Rich chocolate ganache. Amazing pairing! Rich milk chocolate, subtle spice; chocolate mole. Agricole Rum Interesting, with accented spicy vegetal notes. Honey is too soft for this rum. Very good, with an almost bitter tonic note. Not a great pairing. Very woody. Sweet and spicy, with grassy hay notes. Silver Tequila Accents herbaceous and smoky notes. Really pushes up flavors. Great pairing, with smooth pepper and herbaceousness. Great! Makes the tequila taste like a reposado; subtle vanilla and spice. The honey is too strong for this tequila. Surprisingly interesting! Gives the tequila a tea quality; light tobacco. Reposado Tequila Really interesting. Downplays barrel notes and accents smoky vegetal notes. Changes the flavor of the tequila. Orange and barrel influences play really well together. Great for a Margarita. Beautiful! Lengthens the tequila with smooth oak, vanilla and nougat. Elevates barrel influences; baking spices, cream. Too strong for the tequila. Tones down barrel influence too much. Anejo Tequila Really Interesting. Downplays barrel influences even more, to taste more like a reposado than añejo. Bright with orange candy; strong vegetal notes. Amazing! Sweet with a long finish and rich spiced cake. Amazing! Chocolate, toffee, caramel, spice; long finish. Beautiful! Black coffee, chocolate; decadent brownie. Bourbon Okay. Makes the whiskey a little hotter. Honey is too light for the spirit. Nice! Accents subtle barrel influences. Great! Strong toffee; melted caramel. Hot and creamy; graham cracker and cinnamon. White whiskey Okay. Very vegetal. Adds depth and smooths out the whiskey. Smooths out the whiskey; caramel corn. Cooked creamy corn; sweet and savory. Not great. Too much vegetal corn. Irish whiskey Pushes up earthy spice notes. Beautiful! Pushes forward florals in whiskey. Amazing! Salted caramel, toffee, crème brûlée! Great! Rich caramel, creamy toffee. Too strong for the whiskey. Rye Brings out spicy rye even more. Tones down the spiciness; light citrus. Sweet bread; dough; soft spice. Richer spice notes; burnt toffee; strong. Great! Spicy and creamy. Blended Scotch Earthier and spicier. Great! Light and long with vanilla. Beautiful! Lots of vanilla, light smoke and sweet grass. Accents barrel influences and subtle peat. Honey is too strong for the Scotch. Single Malt Pushes the peat up a bit. Smoky and sweet grassy notes; long. Great! Smoky, salty caramel. Very woody; toffee and vanilla. Good with smoky butterscotch. Islay Scotch Overpowering grassiness and smoke. A nice extension of the Scotch itself, but may be too light. Beautiful! Sweet and savory; tones down the smoke a notch. Woody butterscotch; mellows the flavor. A match made in heaven! Sweet, smoky, salty and grassy. Cognac/Brandy Too woody and spicy. Beautiful! Floral with subtle oak and a long finish. Wonderful! Enhances barrel influences; makes V.S. taste like a V.S.O.P. Fantastic! Caramel and butterscotch; lengthens finish. Too strong for Cognac or brandy. Perfeet Pairings Looking to explore with honey varietals? Let this chart, prepared by Liquid Architecture's Kim Haasarud for the National Honey Board, be your guide. The best recommended pairings are noted in bold.

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