The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2016

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november 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  79 by Jessie Birschbach / photos by Hardy Wilson Beam Suntory A mbaador Megan Breier Pairs r Favore Bourbons wh r Family's Typical anksgiving Dinner B eam Suntory West Coast Bourbon Ambassador Megan Breier hasn't lived in San Francisco for very long. Says Breier, "I've been with Beam for a few years now and had been working with the Master Distiller when they asked me to make the move. I've been here since June, but I'm very excited to be in San Francisco talking about Kentucky bourbon. Still keeping my Louisville phone number though!" As the Louisville native won't be returning to Kentucky for holidays this year, The Tasting Panel thought we'd help her to feel just a wee bit closer to home by asking Breier to pair a few of her favorite whiskies with a few of her favorite family Thanksgiving rituals and dishes. Starters: A Knob Creek Rye Manhaan Says Breier, "I'm born and bred in Kentucky. Whenever my family has 'get togeth- ers,' my dad and I always drink Manhattans. My personal favorite for a Manhattan is Knob Creek Rye—nice and spicy, 100 proof and a little bit of extra age. It just lends itself really well to starting your evening off to bring folks together." Main Course: Bacon Skillet Cornbread and Jim Beam Black "My family always made a bacon skillet cornbread. Of course, bourbon and its mash bill of at least 51% corn content naturally goes well with cornbread. The nuttiness and the sweetness in the corn and the smoky bacon is a perfect match to Jim Beam Black. I like to call Jim Beam Black my MVP bourbon. Being a bourbon girl I usually have multiple bour- bons on my bar, but that's the one that's always there. You can drink it neat. You can put it in a cocktail. It's a little bit lighter and sweeter too so it's a good pairing whiskey," says Breier. Desert: Pecan Pie and Maker's 46 "Pecan pie already has all those flavors you're going to get from bourbon, along with the vanilla and caramel," says Breier. "For something like this I'd offer the Maker's 46. I'd suggest neat to really pull the complexity out of the whiskey, a result of the seared French oak staves and aging process." There is one family Thanksgiving standard that Megan Breier would not pair with bourbon. "We make this side dish called the green stuff; it's made of lemon and lime Jell-O, condensed milk and pecans. It looks and sounds unappetiz- ing, but everyone in my family makes this dish no matter where we're celebrating Thanksgiving. It's a tradition in my family; if we don't have it, the disappointment is palpable. Even if we're not together one of us has to make it. The recipe was passed down from my grandmother, and I think at some point it did have a name but now we just affection- ately refer to it as 'the green stuff.'" Although the Jim Beam may not pair well with "the green stuff," it seems as though bourbon is just as much a part of Breier's family Thanksgivings as the turkey. Says Breier, "Bourbon, and specifically our bourbons, are very family-oriented. We have seven generations of Master Distillers on the Jim Beam side. Maker's Mark is also a multi- generational brand. Even at the Beam distillery we actually say, 'You come as friends and leave as family.' You share bourbon, you don't just drink it, and it's something that is much engrained in us, especially being from Kentucky. It's a very personal thing. I grew up around bourbon. You sat around late at night and you would sip and tell stories. Now that I've come out to California, I really hope to share this tradition with other folks as well." Breier's Knob Creek Manhattan ◗ 2 oz. Knob Creek Rye ◗ ½ oz. Dolin Sweet Vermouth ◗ 2–3 dashes black walnut bitters Pour over ice and garnish with a Luxardo cherry. Megan Breier, Beam Suntory West Coast Bourbon Ambassador. Jim Beam® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 40% Alc./Vol. ©2016 James B. Beam Distilling Co., Clermont, KY. Knob Creek® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 50% Alc./Vol. ©2016 Knob Creek Distillery, Clermont, KY. Maker's Mark® Bourbon Whisky, 45% Alc./Vol. ©2016 Maker's Mark Distillery, Inc., Loretto, KY.

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