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Adding Spice to Modern Gin: Cassia Bark

Cassia Gin

Few people know the aroma of Cassia Bark, an increasingly popular gin botanical. The cassia tree is an evergreen found in east Asia. There is a distinct overlap in the aroma profiles of the oils from cassia and cinnamon. When you smell it, the ravishing, hot, spicy, and distinguishable “cinnamon-like, but heavier” aroma is very evident. This is the archetypal hot, spicy smell. It conjures feelings of being in markets in far-off Asia or Africa. The major molecule with the characteristic cassia aroma is cinnamic aldehyde. It’s a powerful odorant that makes up between 70% and 90% of cassia oils — a greater...

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How Much Water to Add to Whiskey

Bourbon Tasting

It’s a long-running argument: what’s the perfect amount of water to mix with Bourbon to bring out the nose? So there we were, a group assembled to sample the new, Bulleit Barrel Strength, and figure out how much added water produced an optimal tasting experience. Around the table a small group waited – hosted by Old Limestone Mixing Water, which bottles mineral-heavy, incredibly pure water from beneath the Bluegrass specifically for cutting Bourbon. In a line across the table, randomly arranged glasses — each containing an ounce-and-a-half of 119-proof whiskey mixed with from one drop to 1.5 ounces of water. As...

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95% of What You Taste is Really Smell

At the heart of Aroma Academy's training is a set of distinct aromas that combine to create the "tasting" experience. The aromas contained in each kit stretch across the stylistic breadth of the kit's category -- whisky, gin, etc. The training method is to build flavors up rather than breaking them down. Picking individual aromas out of a complex spirit is difficult. Instead, Aroma Academy breaks that complicated nose down into individual elements, introducing them one-by-one. It's like meeting new people; once you get to know them, it's easier to pick them out of a crowd. We've done this with Scotch...

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