The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 65 of 152

SPIRITS El Silencio Mezcal Joven, Mexico ($79) More than a whisper of smoke, with a hint of gardenia hiding in pepper cream. That's the first breath you take from this exotic mezcal produced from 250 varieties of agave throughout eight regions in Mexico. On the palate, creamy vanilla pudding arrives with burnt marshmallow. The smoke stays consistent, almost pretty, without masking the underlying floral white tea pleasantries. 93 EL SILENCIO HOLDINGS LLC Masterson's Straight Barley Whiskey, USA ($79) Made from choice Canadian barley and minderal-rich glacial water, the 92-proof spirit is double-distilled and mellowed in white oak casks for ten years. Woodsy and citrus on the nose, its palate sensation is lean and sharp with a briny start. It mellows to a tangerine creamy sweetness that melts with a purr of peach on the tongue. Sensational. 95 SOME OF THE BEST NEW FLAVORED VODKAS Cîroc Amaretto Flavored Vodka, France ($35) In the mood for marzipan? The nose is reminiscent of a French pastry shop—wafts of almonds and sweet coconut swirling through the air in a come-hither aroma. Distilled from French grapes, the Cîroc vodka foundation is smooth and dissipates mildly on the tongue, while the amaretto flavor is more insistent and pleasing. 93 DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA KRU 82 Chocolate Truffle Flavored Vodka, USA ($17) A sensuously delightful nose for anyone who desires the scent of chocolate tipped with marshmallow. The palate is indulgent and unctuous, weighty enough to satisfy your chocolate fix and your liquid intake of this 72-proof beauty. Drink it on the rocks or create a masterful dessert cocktail your customers will never forget. 93 Crop Organic Spiced Pumpkin Vodka, USA ($28) This 70-proof vodka is made with organic American grain. Its spicy oat cereal background is lifted and intensified with roasted and toasty pumpkin notes, from pumpkin-seed earthiness to the sweeter meat of the seasonal vegetable's core. 93 CHATHAM IMPORTS Mojo Baja Lime Flavored Vodka, USA ($24) Infused with real fruit and distilled in an alembic copper pot still, lime oils and a bitter tip of lime rind hits nose and palate in a whoosh. For a split second, you are reminded of an herbal silver tequila, but instead of the earthy agave, you are treated to a peppered grainy middle, the lime rising up with herbal force. Very crafty. 92 SAINT JAMES SPIRITS WESTERN SPIRITS 35 MAPLE STREET Richland Rum, USA ($50) Copper pot–distilled in Georgia and aged in small barrels, this stunningly hued 86-proof brasscolored rum has flavors of seared orange skins and buttered, burnt sugar. Warming the palate and actually heating the back of the throat with a most soothing slide, the handcrafted spirit is mature and regal. 94 RICHAND DISTILLING COMPANY november 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  65 TP1113_034-65.indd 65 10/24/13 9:19 AM

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