The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2018

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Page 103 of 112

march 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  103 Reindeers' Mule ◗ 1½ oz. Jim Beam Distiller's Cut ◗ 1 oz. cranberry juice cocktail ◗ 3 oz. Gosling's Ginger Beer ◗ ¾ oz. fresh lime juice Pour the Jim Beam Distiller's Cut into a Mule mug and fill halfway with crushed ice. Add lime and cranberry juice, then stir. Fill mug to rim with crushed ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with expressed lime peel. Beamsicle ◗ 1 oz. Jim Beam Distiller's Cut ◗ ¾ oz. Jim Beam Vanilla ◗ 2½ oz. freshly-squeezed orange juice ◗ ½ oz. cream ◗ 2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters Combine Jim Beam Distiller's Cut, Jim Beam Vanilla, orange juice, cream, and orange bitters in shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into coupe glass. Garnish with expressed orange peel. Clermont Crisp ◗ 1½ oz. Jim Beam Distiller's Cut ◗ 3 oz. apple cider ◗ ½ oz. fresh lemon juice Combine Jim Beam Distiller's Cut, apple cider, and lemon juice in a shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into cocktail glass over ice. Garnish with a turn of cracked black pepper and whole star anise. With several cocktails well within their grasp, the bartenders worked their way through the process of dying, gluing, sanding, stitching, and pressing their initials into the leather under Amblard's gentle tutelage. While the project left the bartenders with mementos they can carry with them on their future travels, it also gave them a chance to take pride in crafting these items by hand: a fitting metaphor for Distiller's Cut itself. In a separate area of the shop, the group swarmed around Beam Suntory's West Coast American Whiskey Ambassador Megan Breier—a frequent occurrence for someone with magnetic charm and a known reputation as a keeper of delicious whiskies. Glencairn glasses brimming with neat pours of dark amber liquid seemed to materialize out of thin air as Breier explained that the assembled guests were the first group of bartenders—or anyone, for that matter—outside of Kentucky to try Jim Beam Distiller's Cut. Breier told the group that the expression distinguishes itself within Beam's portfolio through its lack of "chill filtration," which involves moving the liquid through a filter to remove fatty acids formed during the distilla- tion process. In skipping this step, Distiller's Cut instead undergoes a rough filtration process that only removes barrel sediment. "Since we get the bourbon from barrel to bottle a little differently, the result is pretty unique to most of Jim Beam's other bourbons," Breier said. "It has a fuller taste and palate feel." The bartenders closely examined the amber-hued nectar, with many of them swirling their glasses and tracing the bourbon's trajectory in the light before inhaling the rich notes of oak and dried fruit. As Breier led a brief toast, the chorus of voices combined with the bourbon's warm, lingering finish to echo the day's merriment and the camaraderie of a shared source of passion: in this case, a passion that elevated an unforget- table encounter with a premium handcrafted spirit. Beam Suntory West Coast American Whiskey Ambassador Megan Breier (at left) shows off her handmade luggage tag alongside leather artisan Bea Amblard. Bartender Simone Mims shows off her hand-stitching skills. Spirits industry professionals Engracio Clemena, Tammy Hagans, and Tanya Clark share a Distiller's Cut toast during the day's festivities. Whiskey researcher DG Blackburn (at right) studies proper needle technique from a member of the Amblard team.

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