The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 45 of 136

november 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  45 Legacies DINING WITH THE DUKE by Rich Manning It makes perfect sense for John Wayne's cowboy-clad visage to grace each bottle of Duke Bourbon. The smooth brown spirit derives its moniker from the man nicknamed "The Duke," and it is co-created by Wayne's son Ethan. It would be unfathomable not to feature the legendary actor on the label. But even without these connections, John Wayne should be on a bottle of bourbon. The Duke's larger-than- life swagger creates a mythos forged from a type of hon- est toughness that oftentimes serves as the backbone of American pride. And there is no libation better equipped to accompany that legacy than bourbon, a beverage whose own mystique-fueled existence is a drinkable representation of those very same motifs. "There isn't a spirit out there that is more American than bourbon," states Duke Bourbon founders and Hundred Acre Wine Group proprietors Jayson Woodbridge and Chris Radomski. "It's not just a drink. It's a symbol of the American creative, driven spirit, and that parallels nicely with the kind of legacy that John Wayne built." These dual legends intersect at the ongoing Dining with the Duke competition, as participants in the Vegas-or-bust battle are referencing both to create some truly inspired food and beverage pairings. While the chance to punch a ticket to Sin City is in the cards for a select few entrants, each chef and bartender involved in the throw-down is doing their part to further enhance bourbon's legacy. Legacies Bar Manager Neil Matchko and Executive Chef Josh Severson of Selanne Steak Tavern, located in Laguna Beach, CA. PHOTO: MARGARET SOSS DUKE BOURBON PAIRING COMPETITION

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