The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2017

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Page 78 of 148

78  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2017 PUBLISHER'S PICKS Camparo 2011 Barolo Boiolo DOCG, Italy ($93) Rosebuds and new leather are the nose- greeters, followed by coffee and black raspberry. Tannins are dry and dusty, spreading cheer of cranberry and cherry throughout the inner and outer layers of this elegantly powerful red. Strapping acidity brushes the tongue, further painting it with violets and coffee-mocha. A food-pairing beauty. 95 THE ORGANIC CELLAR SPIRITS She's Wild Vodka, USA ($25) Celebrating the Northwest's prestigious Lewiston Roundup, She's Wild Vodka was created to support this no-frills Idaho-based rodeo. Idaho wheat and water from the Snake River aquifer combine to offer up a spirit with a fruity, floral nose. There's no buck or kick to the vodka's character, but a sassy hint of white pepper, licorice and vanilla candle on mid-palate. You have more than eight seconds to determine its smooth mouthfeel and you won't be thrown off by its unique name. 90 HELLS CANYON SPIRITS LLC Cotswolds Dry Gin, U.K. ($40) Lavender and coriander are fragrant on the nose and play through to the first sip. Savory herbs like sage and bay, bright citrus and black pepper add depth. With nine selected botanicals, there are vast amounts of aromas and flavors coming through this floral beauty. 94 COTSWOLDS IMPORTS El Rey Zapoteco Ultra Premium Estate Joven Mezcal, Mexico ($50) Crafted by the Hernández Escobar family for more than 50 years in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, from Espadín agave. Aged in white American oak barrels for 30 days, this joven delivers aromas of lemon zest and clay with just a whisper of smoke. The mellow perfume becomes assertive on the palate, with a black pepper/jalapeño spice, charcoal and an edgy lime finish that practically sizzles on the palate. 92 BOCK WINES & SPIRITS Cali California Sipping Whiskey, California ($29) Aromas of baked pumpkin bread, orange peel and baked apples waft from the glass, so fresh and fragrant. Nutmeg, allspice, molasses and dark bread are an all-star cast on the palate, making for a truly distinctive whiskey. At 85 proof, it warms the mouth as well as any hot toddy, the cinnamon notes increasingly sweet to the finish. Handcrafted from a mash of bourbon, rye, hand- ground botanicals and aromatic spices. 92 SUKKAH HILL SPIRTS Sonoma County Distilling Co. West of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey No. 1, USA ($55) Double alembic pot–distilled, 95.6 proof, this cherrywood smoked bourbon is made from unmalted Canadian rye and malted barley from Wyoming but produced in California. Sweet cherries adorn the line of scent-sations that include orange peel, allspice and apple pie. A bouncy body brings in toffee, sweet cream and peppercorns that lengthen the glide to the woodsy, cream soda finish line. 94 The Hilhaven Lodge American Whiskey, USA ($50) This 80-proof spirit blends bourbon, Tennessee whisky and rye whiskey and is named for a 1920s Beverly Hills entertainment escape for an American real estate mogul. Hand- bottled in Kentucky, it's a Double Gold medalist from the 2016 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for its complexity and lush mouthfeel. The nose offers up almond fudge, orange marmalade and brown sugar. From first sip, an expansive array of caramel, clove, caraway and candied fruits come to the fore. This collaboration between Diageo and Hollywood director Brett Ratner (current owner of The Hilhaven Lodge), finishes with a nuanced woodsy, floral tone. 93 DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA Tin Cup American Whiskey, Colorado ($28) The glass bottle is embossed "5,657." That's the elevation of the Rocky Mountains, where the pristine waters flow that go into this 84-proof gem. The nose speaks of apricots, peaches and Mandarin orange zest, with a touch of maple brown sugar. Spiced cinnamon, minerality and a wash of white pepper gently treat the palate to a glowing warmth from oak tannins. The transitions of flavors make this special, not to mention the actual tin cup—you can drink from it!—that's snapped onto the bottle. 93 PROXIMO SPIRITS

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