Good morning and welcome to the Boston Cocktail Summit! Yesterday were a pair of greeter events, the Origin Beverage Company fall portfolio tasting during the afternoon and the SpeedRack competition at night. I am going to give my highlights to the tasting events before I run off to catch my bus to hear David Wondrich's "Greasing the Hub" talk. These are new to me spirits that stood out.
• Delirio Reposado Mezcal - While their joven was good, their reposado had fruit, vanilla, and smoke notes in harmony on the smell and swallow.
• Clandestine Absinthe - Perhaps not new to me since I had a taste back in 2009 at Tales of the Cocktail, but my first formal Boston taste. Peppermint and anise notes; like St. George's Absinthe, the other botanicals diminish the anise-fennel dominance in a pleasant way.
• St. George's Single Malt - Speaking of their distillery, I had not tried their whiskeys. They approached their single malt like a beer by selecting roasted barley for richer flavors and aromas. Smoke was present from alder and beech but was not dominant. Apparently aged in used Bourbon, port, and sherry casks and French oak casks, but such nuances were lost in my small tasting dram in a big plastic cup.
• Uprising Whiskey - Also a beer-driven brew process to proceed the distillation, the Sons of Liberty Distillery in Rhode Island made the mash like an unhopped stout so the roast notes came through. Unique.
• Imbue Vermouths - There were two that I tasted and both were as good as I had heard. The Bitter Sweet was Lillet Blanc-like but with a well-balanced chamomile and tangerine notes on a Pinot Gris-base. The Petal & Thorn took it up a notch with bitter notes though; chamomile and orange on the front with a bitter wormwood-cinnamon like finish.