"Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility." - Peter Drucker
We are fortunate to have the opportunity to taste the finest spirits The World has to offer here at Glace Luxury Ice and Mahesh Patel’s Syndicate 58/6 Exclusive Limited Edition is no exception. You can read all about the story and naming of this whisky on the official Syndicate 58/6 website, we will focus on the tasting experience.
As you can imagine and appreciate, of significant lore in the world of whiskies is the story and often the accompanying acquisition cost of a whisky. In order to normalize for these factors our initial tastings often happen from a ‘brown bagged’ bottle and are followed by a casual non-leading interview of the tasters.
The words used to describe Syndicate 58/6 by our tasters were: “wow” “smooth” “flavorful” “no burn” “full of character” “fireworks on the palate” and “exceptional” among others. Walk with us through this experience...
Upon your fingers circumnavigating the perforated black foil guarding access to the bottle and removal of the cork top, the scent of oak and scotch sufficiently permeated the outside air. With so much character on the nose, there would be no need to hunt for clues or burying the nose in our scotch glasses. A proper scotch tasting requires not one, not two but three complete and deep breaths while holding the glass near your chin while keeping your lips slightly apart. This allows the whisky to amply register with your tasting sensors. Once prepared for a taste, Syndicate 58/6 did not disappoint, but rather impressed us awakening our tastebuds all over the palate and more so as we chewed it and allowed it to permeate our tastebuds. The experience was reminiscent of our tasting experience of the now sold out Tullibardine Sherry Finish.
The Scotch Whisky Syndicate 58/6 finish is nearly imperceptible going down and leaves everything up front on the palate, making it incredibly easy to drink, dram after dram.
As an end note, and matter of practice, we are usually inclined to taste most sprits over Gläce Ice, however in this instance the delicate nature of this 43% blend was such that we simply preferred it exactly as it emerged from the bottle. It was the responsible thing to do, after having the privilege of tasting it.
The Tasting Panel Magazine, The Rock Star of Scotch
We are honored to have been invited to join the team at The Tasting Panel Magazine for their Speed Tasting of cocktails last month featuring some of the world's finest spirit brands. You can take a peek at the entire issue here: http://digital.copcomm.com/title/3614
We will be featuring some of the cocktail recipes here in the next few days. What makes this set of recipes unique from all others in the world? For the first time in the history of cocktails, you are able to replicate a cocktail exactly as it was designed... right down to the ice!
Ron Diplomatico over Glace Mariko
For our second post in the series ‘Neat and over Gläce’, I took advantage of an invitation to dine with my good friends, Kevin and Karyn. The informal setting consisted of the collaborative preparation of Kevin’s rib-eye steaks, Karyn’s mushroom and red wine reduction, and my bringing of a bottle of Ron Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva (Exclusive Reserve) which I blindly chose as I left my house. I would later discover this to be the perfect diplomatic trifecta.
As we prepared our modest feast on one of the last days of summer evenings, I briefly shared with Kevin and Karyn my intentions of having them experience Diplomático first ‘neat’ and later, over a Gläce Mariko sphere. I would take notes and later share their thoughts here with you.
A little about Diplomático: Fittingly, Ron Diplomático begins the product description by talking about “sugar cane honeys”. Initially I thought these ‘honeys’ were a special part of the sugar cane, but I discovered that it is simply the way Diplomático chooses to describe and differentiate their spirit from the traditional ‘sugar cane’ starting point of most rums. As we would soon discover with our first sip of Diplomático from a brandy snifter, honeys is the perfect way to begin describing the Ron Diplomático experience. Kevin said: “This, I would come home and sip after work” Karyn’s thoughts were: “incredibly smooth, warm heat but no bite!” Ron Diplomático’s color in the snifter is of caramel and amber, reminiscent of a cognac with a sweet and inviting nose. Burying your nose deep into the snifter allows you to take in even more aroma yet it remains balanced and unobtrusive.
The steaks were grilled to a medium / medium-rare and while they were allowed to rest, we embarked on the second portion of our tasting and draped 2oz of Diplomático over a single Mariko sphere resting atop a stemmed glass. This unorthodox serving was ideal in continuing with the spirit of Diplomático; following their juxtaposing of styles and tastes in order to find compromise in diplomacy. Diplomático’s message is one of bringing opposing viewpoints to the middle to share in a drink of their rum, but I assure you, there’s nothing average or middle of the road about this rum. The approach and nose from the open-top glass did the job in diffusing the aroma and scent present in the earlier nosing. This second approach was “almost neutral” said Karyn with the vanilla notes being accentuated. The finish was much shorter over Gläce Ice, with the feeling from Karyn that ‘the shorter finish is ideal for a feminine palate’. Kevin noted that neat allowed for a slower enjoyment, but ‘over Gläce Ice the drinking is much faster’!
We sat down in the summer evening to enjoy our simple feast and chatted long into the night about all things life, liquor and love while smoking cigars and sipping on a snifter of Ron Diplomático to counterbalance the preamble of Fall in the cooling night.
Recently, I chatted with a friend about the robustness of each of our spirits collections. Yet we felt frustration when going to fix a drink and realizing we seem to be one ingredient short of what we needed. During those times, I often end up pouring a plain spirit over Gläce Ice. This inspired the idea of writing a series tasting various spirits neat and over Gläce. The differentiation of Gläce Ice versus ‘regular ice’ or ‘well ice’ is obvious to us, however, I also want to highlight the importance of having a consistent product embodying the characteristics of a deserving cooling component when enjoying something ‘on the rocks’.
For our fist post on the series ‘Neat and over Gläce’; we tasted Sagatiba Velha Esplêndida, a Cachaça. Cachaça is Brazilian aguardente (fire water) and has been produced in Brazil for over 400 years. The Velha (aged) that we tasted was aged 2 years in tropical wood casks and handcrafted from fresh sugar cane grown in the farmlands of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Although Sagatiba labels this cachaça as “Brazilian Rum”, it differs from rum in that cachaça is made from fresh sugar cane juice that is allowed to ferment and rum is distilled from molasses.
Neat: On the nose: Sagatiba Velha neat in a Glencairn Glass yielded concentrated aromas, sweet smells and smokiness.
Neat: On the tongue: Up front heat, waking up the taste buds on the side of your tongue with a woody finish. The second and third nosing release new scents of smoke. The third sip is slightly less ‘hot’ yet leaves you with a residual smoky taste. Initially, this cachaça is not as sweet as your nose would have you anticipate upon nosing. Subsequent sips give way to more nutty flavors reminiscent of drinking a smoky and peaty whisky.
Over Gläce Ice: On the nose: In a crystal tumbler the approach revealed a sweet scent, albeit slightly subdued from the first impression experienced with the snifter nosing. The approach from the tumbler was crisp and fresh, as though smelling the earth after a tropical rain burst.
Taking a page from the master, Francesco Lafranconi, we followed his tasting technique by first tasting with our nose; then opening our mouths a bit and inhaling again through our nose for a ‘back of the throat’ taste. This second draw yielded a neat earthy taste which immediately gave the transformative essence of a humid climate.
After letting our pour of Sagatiba Velha ‘rest’ a few minutes over G³, we tasted again. The smoky flavors remained, yet the heat of the neat pour was less intrusive and allowed the back of the tongue to experience the flavors without combating the early assault. After a few more minutes it remained smooth, maintaining its apricot color. Over Gläce the smoky flavor had a chance to shine through and the aftermath of a sip compared to taking a long draw from a medium bodied cigar.
We hope you will come back again as we continue tasting spirits and sharing our notes with you. If you would like to join and comment, you can now replicate a tasting experience since the spirit and the ice are finally consistent.
My friend Cheryl, a veteran of the wine industry, recently shared some good news about the premium spirits category, to which we feel we are a complimentary necessity. I wanted to share the excerpt below with you. Stop by again as we continue to post relevant news and reviews that affect our industry, lifestyle and pursuits.
To help you make your party extraordinary and celebrate the holidays we are sharing a specialty cocktail recipe we think you’ll enjoy. This cocktail is an international winner created by Mixologist Victoria D’amato which we feel drastically improves when paired with Glace Luxury Ice.
The Ultimate Suntory
1.5 oz Yamazaki 12 yr
0.5 oz Zen Green Tea Liquor
0.5 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1/4 oz Midori
Glace Luxury Ice
1940’s Cocktail glass
Every product has a high-end model these days: cars (Ferrari), clothes (Lagerfeld), water (Bling H2O), and of course vodka (Goose). But, one product has escaped attention, even though it's in almost every drink we consume: ice.
As bartending evolves into the discipline of Mixology, artistry and the use of fine ingredients is sought after by cocktail lovers. If you're one of these self-described 'cocktail geeks', who loves getting lost in the history of a distillery or obsesses over the freshness and origins of your lime, then you should care about the fact that ice constitues a third of most drinks. For me, it only made sense to create a product that uses pure water, shape, and size, while adding a bit of elegance to the glass.
"Gläce adds a little sophistication and celebrity to your evening."
In a high-end cocktail, ice made from poor water will ruin the taste of your drink and incorrect ice size will dilute it. So, what does Gläce do for you? It removes all minerals, additives, and other pollutants found in ice made from the tap. Its perfect 2.5" diameter spherical shape allows for maximum cooling and minimum dilution, while remaining tasteless. Not to mention, Gläce adds a little sophistication and celebrity to your evening. It's a conversation starter!
I must admit, I got some strange looks when I mentioned luxury ice for the first time. It takes some education for people, because I'm asking them to think beyond just keeping something cold. My aim is to teach people to go beyond the utilitarian side of ice, in the same way they've done for so many other goods. Cars, for example, are no longer simply about getting from place to place. They're about the look and style, as well as the function. I hope to capture the same feelings with the Gläce Luxury Ice brand.
Glace Luxury Ice