The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2012

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Page 53 of 152

SPIRITS London 40 London Dry Gin, United Kingdom ($25) Lush juniper nose; smooth and creamy with sweet vanilla, bright juniper and notes of keen botanicals and spice; silky, seamless and luscious; rich, mellow and very sleek; long and rich. 93 NICHE IMPORTS Balvenie 17 Year Old DoubleWood Single Malt Scotch, Scotland ($125) Lovely soft heather, new leather and dried fruits on the nose; silky, smooth with toast, coconut and cr��me brul��e with treacle, sweet sherry, dried fruit and a long, smooth, toasty ���nish; elegant and long. 95 Parker���s Heritage Collection Bourbon, USA ($80) Wow! The last version of this remarkable whiskey was 96 proof; now we jump proof considerably for the 2012. (I tasted the 127-proof version, but there are also two other high-proof expressions for this year���s release.) Cutting with water reveals a smooth, rich spirit showing hickory smoke, roasted meats, vanilla, Christmas spice and dried cherries. A bourbon to savor. 94 HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERIES P��re Magloire Calvados 20 Year Old VSOP, France ($65) Dark amber color; baked apple and toasted oak; lush and creamy with stunning tarte tatin ���avors; rich with caramel, treacle and notes of molasses; toasted, rich and balanced with sweet oak, amazing depth and a long, mellow ���nish. 96 WILLIAM GRANT & SONS The Glenrothes 1978 Vintage Single Malt Scotch, Scotland ($695) Smoky and spicy; vanilla complexity and creamy texture; intense and showing hints of marmalade and orange peel; lovely, smooth, lush and long. 96 A. HARDY USA ANCHOR DISTILLING Casa Sauza XA Tequila Edici��n Limitada, Mexico ($150) Medium amber color; smoky nose with lovely agave earthiness; elegant and balanced with smooth texture, sweet, toasted oak; vanilla, creamy texture and a long, mellow ���nish. 94 BEAM INC. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2012 Edition, USA ($50) Floral and toasty with notes of leather and clove in the nose; lovely ripe plum and toasted vanilla oak with hints of chocolate, roses, anise and Christmas spice; mellow and deep, rich and elegant. 93 BROWN-FORMAN Cl��ment Rhum Agricole Grand R��serve Tr��s Vieux, Martinique ($70) Bright amber color; mellow and complex with spice, toasty oak and dry with edgy, ���rm ���avors; hot and intense with clean, dry ���avors long and smoky. 91 CL��MENT USA december 2012 / the tasting panel / 53

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