The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2017

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96  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2017 Chilled CATEGORY REPORT VODKAS AR E HE R E TO BEAT T HE SUMME R HEAT AND NEAT Up on Top: ROOFRAISER VODKA Utah: home to gorgeous national parks, Mormons and, perhaps surprisingly, vodka. Marc Christensen started Dented Brick Distillery in Salt Lake City in 2013 and became one of five distilleries operating in the state. Originally, from wine country in Idaho, Christensen moved to Utah with the idea of buying spirits and selling them under a private label. Regulating difficulties led Christensen to the decision to build his own distillery. According to Christensen, Dented Brick Distillery got its names from the property on which the distillery was built. "When we were looking for a location in Salt Lake City to build the distillery, we found property that had an artesian well and brick house, which was full of bullet holes. We saved the bricks, including the dented ones, hence the name Dented Brick Distillery." White Rum was the first product that Dented Brick produced, followed by gin, vodka and whiskey. Their Roofraiser Vodka (SRP $23.95)—a name decided on after the distillery's roof had to be raised to fit the 28-foot vodka column still—is crafted from organic wheat and rye, farmed on the Utah-Idaho border. Christensen calls Roofraiser a "unique vodka," explaining, "Unlike typical vodka, it's got a round, viscous mouthfeel, and you can defi- nitely taste the wheat and spicy rye, with black pepper on the end." Christensen adds, "Its flavor makes it ideal for a Dirty Martini. There's something about the vodka and olive juice combination that's really delicious." —Jesse Hom-Dawson DENTED BRICK DISTILLERY Tasting Not es Roofraiser Vodka sends up heady scents of vanilla bean and soothing, soft creamy white bread. Sumptuous texturally, this spirit exudes jasmine and baking spices from start until finish. 92 —Meridith May Made from e Hea(land): TILL VODKA When you listen to the song "America the Beautiful," it is not far-fetched to think that the song's author, Katharine Lee Bates, thought of Kansas when she wrote "for amber waves of grain." After all, Kansas grows nearly one-fifth of all wheat in the U.S. This state certainly knows a thing or two about wheat, so you can trust that a wheat vodka coming out of this breadbasket will live up to your expectations. Produced in the town of Atchison, Till Vodka (SRP $24.99) starts with finely ground Kansas wheat, which is distilled by a 75-year-old company with a proprietary process. "As a heartland distillery with a historic Kansas tradition, we're proud to source the finest wheat for Till Vodka from the farmers in our area," says Andrew Mansinne, Vice President of Brands, MGP Ingredients, makers of Till Vodka. "The quality, smooth- ness and authentic appeal of Till is inher- ently connected to the American heartland and has driven our growth." Last month, Till added Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin to its distribution list, which already included Kansas, Missouri, Indiana and Iowa. All this growth proves that it's a vodka with heart! —Emily Coleman MPG INGREDIENTS Tasting Not es Till American Wheat Vodka's grainy wheat-bread scent speaks of homeland. A touch of vanilla and mocha latte firms up the nose. The palate exudes spiced notes of plum and sweet pea, bright and playful on the tongue. 92 —Meridith May VODKA Mormons Christensen in According

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