The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2015

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may 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  97 SPEED TASTING REPORT BOURBON & BARBECUE Eat This: Pulled pork sandwich on a challah bun* Sip This: Lexington Bourbon Named after one of horse racing's most suc- cessful athletes, Lexington Bourbon is a thor- oughbred itself when it comes to its category. At 86-proof, and aged seven to eight years, the blend of the highest quality select grains of rye, malted barley and corn proved worthy of a 95-point score from this publication. *The free-range pork was cooked for 18 hours in a sauce of cherry wood-smoked bacon, with a base of Lexington Bourbon, apricot preserves, garlic, ginger and rosemary. Neat Notes: "Lexington is grain forward with caramel, vanilla-spice and a high rye peppery- orange peel middle. It finishes with a toasted nutty, marzipan memory. The richness of the whiskey was a natural segue of flavors with the pulled pork sandwich." —Tony Abou-Ganim "The nose and palate of Lexington is classic Kentucky: caramel and nougat. The pulled pork brings out a blackstrap sweetness, a hint of smoke and a dash of paprika from the bourbon."—Erik Adkins WESTERN SPIRITS SAVE THE TIGER Eat This: Russian caviar Sip This: White Tiger Vodka This Siberian vodka has a heart; a portion of profits from sales go to the World Wildlife Fund for tiger conservation. But White Tiger Vodka also shows its stripes in its flavor and textural profile. A combination of 50% wheat and 50% rye helps retain a sweet and peppery mouthfeel and a full body. Distilled two times in a 130-year- old distillery located in the Russian Far East, the technology is modernized to bring out the best for this high-quality wildcat. Neat Notes: "This clean, pure, generous vodka prepares your palate for that salty bite of caviar." —Brian MacGregor "Clean vanilla-citrus aromas—soft and balanced. Hints of sweet rye are present. The vodka washes away the oiliness of the caviar, but leaves behind a slight salinity; very pleasant, and it turns creamy and lush on the palate."—Brian Bowden AMUR SPIRITS "I've been cooking my whole life, and the transition from food to spirits is a natural one, allowing me to come up with recipes to liven people's palates," says "The Natural Mixologist," Marsha Meyer. White Tiger's brand owner is Russian-born Ilia Lerner. "In Russia, caviar is consumed by the tablespoon. Geographically, vodka and caviar are from the same area so it makes sense that they connect on our taste buds as well."

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