The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 108 of 136

108  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2015 After John Wayne, whiskey is probably America's most recog- nizable export. After 200 years, bourbon and rye whiskies are on the charts with a bullet. In fact, they have become something of a phenomenon in nightclub and bars. Being tagged as a "good whiskey bar" is like getting a triple-A rating from Standard & Poor's. You're likely looking at a bright financial future. So what's behind the trend? To begin with, there's absolutely no pretense or snob appeal to American whiskies. "The attraction is all about flavor. Whiskey delivers a variety of complex flavors and taste experiences, which consumers are seeking from their beverages," says Robert S. Lipman, owner of the R.S. Lipman Company, makers of Old Hickory Whiskey. "The whiskey industry here in the U.S. is responding and leading this charge by providing new and unique expressions that consumers are obviously embracing. Because of its rich history and the premium price position it now holds, we're confident the whiskey category will sustain this growth. Plus we need to remember that whiskey trends are measured in decades and centuries. And because of this, growth will be led by the distill- ers and brand owners who value quality and innovation through aging, barreling and blending." Americans can relate to bourbon and rye whiskies. They're loaded with big, complex flavors and have about the most captivating aroma of any category of whiskey. Little wonder they are undergoing a popular resurgence. Their outgoing personalities and prominent bouquets are universally appealing, yet they're by nature under- stated, preferring rather to saunter through life without pretense or conceit. Even as they ascend toward stardom, bourbons remain accessible to all palates and are priced for all budgets. Whiskey enthusiasts are typically different from your average light spirits drinker. They're more prone to try new releases and sample products from unconventional sources. They're driven to a degree by the sense of discovery, to experience something new and exciting. It's an urban adventure. The chant "Buy American" can now be heard in bars around the globe. Master distillers from coast-to-coast are releasing the epitome of their crafts—aided and abetted by their Canadian brethren, to be sure. They've cracked open hand-selected barrels and bottled their best. As it turns out, their best is world- class. So now whiskey enthusiasts are beating a path to our shores. The following hot new whiskies may provide the reasons why. Cheers! Taking the World by NORTH AMERICAN WHISKIES COME ON STRONG Storm Storm Storm World by Storm World by World by Storm World by Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm Storm World by Storm World by Storm World by Storm World by World by Storm World by Storm World by Storm World by Legendary moon- shiner Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton was the inspira- tion for Popcorn Sutton.

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