The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2017

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Page 13 of 133

12  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2017 This issue focuses on what's great in the spirits biz: brands that are getting noticed by our edi- torial team. The Tasting Panel serves as a platform for emerging and established brands and those in between that deserve attention, whether it be via a good back- story, a gold medal or a superb review and high score. As the official publication of the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, for which I have been a proud judge for 12 years, we're thrilled to publish the "best of the best" results of this year's judging (page 110). With more than 2,250 entries pitted against one another, the winners of the coveted Best of Show, Double Gold and Gold medals deserve mention in our pages, along with some standout brands that chose to feature their medals in spotlights alongside the tally of winners. When it comes to pleasantries on the palate, liqueurs hold a special place on nose and tongue: sweet, savory, spicy—these and more complex aromas and flavors are expected, even demanded, from this category. We discover some of today's most intriguing bottlings on page 84. And then there's vodka, a white spirit that has evolved in terms of production, packaging and sheer volume over the past decade and a half—at least since I have been writing about it in these pages. Where once there were dozens of new brands coming out of the woodwork (or via UPS to our offices) every year, the number of debuts seems to have slowed a bit. The law of survival of the fittest means that we are putting only the best in front of you, the beverage directors and distributors making difficult day- to-day buying decisions. I think you'll enjoy perusing our picks, starting on page 96. As a business-to-business publication, we serve the industry. Recognizing accomplishments in brands is our tribute to the people who have had the creative ability, the savvy marketing ideas and that all-important "great palate" to bring great brands to market. We congratulate everyone who graces our pages—it's our love letter, every month, to the industry. —Meridith May Publisher and Editorial Director An Ongoing Tribute LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER PHOTO: JOHN CURLEY As a busi- ness-to- business publication, we serve the industry"

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