The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2015

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RHUM-INATE ON THIS Eat This: Ceviche and banana custard tart Sip This: Clément Canne Bleue Rhum Agricole and Clément Mahina Coco Rhum agricole is a French term for rum made from freshly squeezed cane juice, rather than from molasses. "Rhum is the Wild West of spirits," claims Kiowa Bryan, Brand Liaison for Rhum Clément, "but we have guidelines from Martinique." Pointing out the parallel to agave, Bryan explained that we were tasting the terroir from a microclimate in this French Indies island, an official overseas département of France where Martinique Rhum Agricole has its own Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC). Clément Canne Bleue is produced from only blue sugarcane—a single variety. The rhum rests in a stainless steel vat and is slowly reduced over time with distilled volcanic spring water. Neat Notes: "It's a matter of tasting French culture from Martinique's AOC—this 100-proof rhum is aromatic: rich with an earthy, teeth- coating sugarcane/marshmallow which is lifted with bright lemon- lime, almost herbal cleanness. The ceviche brings out the lemon, a natural for seafood!"—Bridget Albert "Rich, dark spice notes with a clay-vanilla base and a lovely roundness on the palate for Clément Bleue—much softer than most agricoles. The Mahina Coco has a nice, thin texture—not cloying—authentic coconut freshness. While the ceviche brings out the rhum's acidity, Clément Coco Mahina's coconut-nuttiness streamlines the banana tart's pastry and custard combo."—Michael Logan Kiowa Bryan is Brand Liaison for Rhum Clément. She offered treats that were savory, neat and sweet. Clément Canne Bleue calmed the bright and spicy flavors of ceviche while the ethereally textured coco- nuts in Clément Mahina Coco acted as an accompanying ingredient for a banana custard tart. SPEED TASTING REPORT THE APPLICABLE APPLE Eat This: Apple pie Sip This: Berentzen Bushel & Barrel Combining an aged Kentucky straight bourbon with an authentically flavored Berentzen liqueur results in a craft product that tastes like just-sliced Granny Smith apple. The 60-proof liqueur, originally founded in 1768 in a German distillery, introduces a bit of dusted cinnamon, orange peel and apricot notes. Neat Notes: "Bright, fresh, honest apple flavor with barrel notes of clove, cinnamon and vanilla. It paired well with apple pie but would even be more sumptuous with thick-cut bacon!"—Tony Abou-Ganim "Berentzen Bushel & Barrel tastes like fresh apple pie right out of the oven. Add a thread of oak, a smooth layer of bourbon, loads of apple, spices, nutmeg, maple—all the won- derful stuff is in this liquid. And paired with the real pie—what a natural. The liqueur complements the flaky rich- ness of the crust."—Bridget Albert VISION WINE & SPIRITS The revered apple is an icon in pie and a star in Berentzen's Bushel & Barrel Liqueur. 98  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2015

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