The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2013

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Page 24 of 162

Fred's Top Five Whiskey Tips Y our bar is crowded. And every week, your distributor comes to you with a new product that will catch everybody's attention. "Oh, this flavored vodka is endorsed by a celebrity," she says. So, what do you have to do to make room for Sally Celebrity Vodka? You start pulling bottles that don't move. In my personal quest to make sure American whiskey never gets bumped for flavored vodka, I offer these five tips that will hopefully save a few bottles. 5. Carry at least one bourbon 12 years old or older. Even though age doesn't necessarily mean better bourbon, the bigger the number the more appealing the bottle can be to scotch drinkers. So look to add product with big, bold age statements. Elijah Craig 21 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon will be released this month. If you can grab a bottle, make it your shelf's star. Everybody likes the number 21 when in a bar. 4. Jim Beam, Jack Daniel's and Maker's Mark are the trifecta of recognizable American whiskey bottles. Whatever you stick next to one of the Big Three will sell just by being next to it. BAR MAnAGERs, HERE's hOW nOT TO DITch bOuRbOn FOR THE LATEsT FLAVOREd VOdKA 3. Buy your own barrel for a private selection. Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, Jack Daniel's, Old Forester, Knob Creek, Elijah Craig and Evan Williams are among the many brands available for your exclusive barrel. Just think what you can tell a consumer: You can't drink this anywhere else in the world. 2. Know your classics. When a veteran Old Fashioned drinker sees you looking at your iPhone for the recipe, that's a good indicator you're not selling much bourbon. Whiskey drinkers are not a complex bunch. But we expect you to know how to make a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Whiskey Sour and Perfect Manhattan. 1. Let the whiskey speak. In 2011, Patricia Richards, Master Mixologist at Wynn Las Vegas, created a Jack Daniel's cocktail called the Sinatra Smash, a Gentleman Jack–forward masterpiece that let the berries subtly meet the whiskey. I've judged my share of whiskey cocktail contests, and there's one common element in the winners: They let their whiskey stand out. Like I said, we whiskey drinkers are not complicated. We just want to taste the whiskey. 24  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2013 TP0913_001-33.indd 24 8/22/13 9:16 PM

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