The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2012

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Page 55 of 124

INDUSTRY EVENT Pssst . . . O ver 500 trade guests turned out for the Spirits Confidential tour when it rolled into Scottsdale, Arizona on Tuesday night, April 17. They attended the highly anticipated event for a rare opportu- nity to get up close and personal with six of the industry's most famous Master Distillers and Spirits Ambassadors. The program was sponsored by Beam Inc. and hosted by Southern Wine & Spirits of Arizona. "People have been looking forward to this event since we announced the date," said Rich Paulsen, On-Premise General Manager for Southern Wine & Spirits of Arizona. "This is an exclusive opportunity for our on- premise clients to mingle and learn from the people who make the products they pour every night. These distillers and ambassa- dors are passionate about what they do and are at the top of their craft. Their passion and commitment is contagious and we just wanted to give our clients a chance to experience that." The evening started with a presenta- tion by the distillers in which they shared confidential information about their brands. Among the prestigious panel of experts was Carlos Camarena, master distiller of El Tesoro de Don Felipe Tequila. The renowned tequilas are handmade at La AlteƱa, a small distillery located high in the Los Altos Mountains. The 3rd generation distiller makes his 100% agave tequilas the same way his family have for the past 75 years, relying on methods long ago aban- doned by other distillers as too expensive or labor intensive. "My great-grand father was the first per- son to begin cultivating blue agaves in the Highlands of Jalisco," Camarena told the assembled guests. "But it was my grand- father told me that if we concentrate on making the highest quality tequila possible, someday even people in Minsk, Russia will be drinking it. If there's no quality, it won't even be drunk around the corner. That's stuck with me all these years. And yes, El Tesoro is available even in Minsk." Next to take the stage was Rob Samuels of Maker's Mark, who told the crowd about how his grandparents created the now iconic brand. The premium 94-proof bour- bon is produced at the Star Hill Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, a small facility listed on the registry of National Historic Landmarks. june 2012 / the tasting panel / 55 BEAM INC.'S SPIRITS CONFIDENTIAL COMES TO SCOTTSDALE Pass It On! by Robert Plotkin / photos by David Huff Master Distillers Carlos Camarena of Sauza and Fred Noe of Jim Beam behind the bar with Beam Inc.'s mixologist "Bobby G" Gleason.

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