Our new 2014 extra virgin olive oils should begin appearing on store shelves over the next few months – although their exact availability at a particular store will depend. You’ll recall we had a bumper olive crop last fall. And the quality of the oil is excellent, thanks to good weather and growing conditions. We checked in with Master Miller Bob Singletary – who regularly tastes the oil during the milling and blending process – to compile tasting notes for our 2014 lineup.
Before we get to the oils themselves, it helps to first explain that olive oil is similar to wine. Different grapes – like Merlot or Chardonnay – produce different wines. Sometimes winemakers combine grapes to make a blend. Ditto for olive oil. We make two specialty oils from single types of olives: Arbequina and Arbosana. Our Miller’s Blend specialty oil, by contrast, combines the three olives we grow: Arbequina and Arbosana – both originally from Spain – as well as the robust flavored Greek olive, Koroneiki.
We’ll also tell you about the flavor profile of our most widely available oil: Everyday Fresh, which also is a blend.
Arbequina: Our 2014 Arbequina shares much the same flavor profile as last year’s high-quality oil. It’s very complex with a medium nose and a medium floral and fruit profile on the tongue. That’s followed by a slight hint of picante at the finish. We especially like drizzling this oil on good vanilla ice cream followed by a sprinkle of artisanal sea salt. It’s good in salad dressing, too, and basil pesto.
Arbosana: This medium-robust oil is special thanks to its grassy, herbaceous and green fruit flavor profile. It’s important of selecting just the right time to harvest the Arbosana olive. Good timing is critical for making a well balanced oil. If you’re too early, the flavors are green and harsh and take time to settle out. Arbosana is one of our more distinctive oils, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it. Drizzle it on soups. Arbosana also pairs beautifully with chocolate. Use it to make chocolate cake or brownies.
Miller’s Blend: This peppery oil is Miller Bob’s favorite. Our taste panel selects the perfect combination of Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki olives to make this very complex flavor profile. It’s the best selection of all three olive varieties. And it has all the attributes of each one. Given the percentage mix of each olive, Miller’s Blend has it all when it comes to taste: fruity, ripe green olive, floral, grassy – with slight pepper at the finish. It’s great on bruschetta. It also pairs well with dishes containing blue cheese or strong, spicy flavors.
Everyday Fresh: Our Everyday Fresh combines the best selection of oils from our olive varietals. When selecting the perfect oil for Everyday Fresh, we consider three key factors: the aroma (medium profile), bitterness (mild profile), and pungency (medium profile). All three taste factors are critical to giving our customers the same profile from season to season. This combination usually includes Arbequina olives, which have intense notes of green grass and a hint of green apple with a floral aroma. This oil is ideal for everyday use: sautéing, roasting, baking, you name it.