The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2014

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Page 97 of 136

december 2014  /  the tasting panel  /  97 This Cider House Rules! Calvados Boulard V.S.O.P. Pays d'Auge Family-owned Calvados Boulard was founded in Normandy in 1825, more than a hundred years before official recognition of Normandy cider appellations began in 1942. Boulard V.S.O.P. Pays d'Auge is a specialized, terroir-driven 80-proof apple brandy that is aged up to six years and distilled twice in a pot stills. A veritable paradigm of the distillate made from the region's apple orchards, it has a rich, fruity nose, filling the air with apples, toasted nuts, honey and holiday cooking spice. The spirit is a perfect foundation for fall and winter cocktails, whether it be the complex notes of its cinnamon spice or its evocation of apple earthiness. Our Panelists' Critique: "This spirit has a bitter nose, but is sweet with layers of honey and mandarin upon tasting. The cocktail was bal- anced and complex, but very approachable." —Alberto Battaglini "Like a firm Sherry, it is very floral with hints of apples, honey and cooking spices. The fig and cherry notes remind me of the upcoming holiday season, and it added a beautiful texture to the creative drink." —Meridith May The Colonel's Solera ◗ 1¼ oz. Calvados Boulard V.S.O.P. ◗ ½ oz. Dry Sack Oloroso Sherry ◗ ¾ oz. cinnamon syrup ◗ ¾ oz. lemon juice ◗ Lemon rind for garnish C raft. What began as a movement to increase the quality and integrity of the spirits, wine and beer industries now gets used more often than not as a marketing buzzword. Although imita- tors may have adopted the term and, in turn, watered down its meaning, we still find companies that exemplify the original sentiment of the word—they stand behind tradition; they stand behind their process; and most important, they stand behind their product. To prove that "craft" is not just a gimmick, we gathered nine of these artisanal brands at The Chestnut Club in Santa Monica for a Speed Tasting, featuring brands out of the Southern Wines & Spirits of CA Artisanal Group, in front of a panel of L.A.'s top tastemakers. SPEED TASTING REPORT State-of-the Artisanal CRAFTING AN ARTISANAL SPIRITS SPEED TASTING AT THE CHESTNUT CLUB IN SANTA MONICA by Meridith May and Emily Coleman / photos by Dustin Downing Diana Novak, National Director of Craft Spirits Education for Palm Bay International.

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