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View Full Version : Update for the week (my taste tests).



thanis
03-18-2010, 23:32
It will be nothing exciting for a while, but so far...

Tried some brandy and cognac. Not bad, but I'll continue on the whiskeys for now. Going to be a slower process, as I decided to finish open bottles first, unless I can find 50 ML samples.

I also came up with a 5 star rating system. 2 stars for drinkability, 2 for flavor, and 1 possible bonus star for category favorite, good given price, something unique, etc. The bonus star is likely to be adjusted as I go.

Out of 5 Stars:
4 stars - Jim Beam White
2 stars - Jack Daniels #7
3 stars - Johnnie Walker Red
1.5 stars - Canadiian Mist
2.5 stars - Crown Royal
3 stars - Segram's Seven Crown

Many like Crown Royal, but given the price, I think there is better out there. I don't like its burn (odd, as I like this most times). I've always liked Segram's. Ok price, and just a good average whiskey. So far, tops on my list of Canadiian whiskey's.

So a few open bottles now finished. Next up, Wild Turkey (bourbon) and I think George Dickel (the other TN whiskey).

Also have some single malt scotches already purchased (Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, and Macallan).

Lastly, found a 50 ML of 12 year Dewars, so will be good to sip and compare to Johnnie Walker Black.

Dramiel McHinson
03-19-2010, 17:56
Thanis, what are the particular things that are beginning to stand out as things you look for or like most in a bourbon, whiskey or scotch?

p_elliott
03-20-2010, 01:03
Not to be critical but of the 6 whiskeys you mentioned only one was bourbon and a poor one at that. Just a friendly suggestion you spend some time reading the forums on here before you make any whiskey purchases.

thanis
03-20-2010, 01:22
Thanis, what are the particular things that are beginning to stand out as things you look for or like most in a bourbon, whiskey or scotch?

I can't figure it out yet. I've read a few reviews where people talk about noise, etc. I don't have the jardon.

I taste the peat in scotch. Hard to miss. I think I can tell bourbon is a little sweeter (hope that is right). I get a vanilla and I swaer a citrus more from Jim then say the others.

I can clearly tell there is something about a scotch before a bourbon that allows me enjoy bourbon a little more more. Nothing wrong with scotch, but that order does something I like.

After the next few purchases of some basic bourbons (Evan Williams and Wid Turkey) will hopefully be able to read a few reviews on the forum and start to understand the jargon.

thanis
03-20-2010, 01:37
Not to be critical but of the 6 whiskeys you mentioned only one was bourbon and a poor one at that. Just a friendly suggestion you spend some time reading the forums on here before you make any whiskey purchases.

Fully agree. Just getting past some open bottles and 50 ML samples I've had. In addition, just hitting the basics of all whiskeys, as I have never really done this.

smokinjoe
03-20-2010, 10:10
Fully agree. Just getting past some open bottles and 50 ML samples I've had. In addition, just hitting the basics of all whiskeys, as I have never really done this.

I can't say that I fully agree with Paul. I kinda like the idea of you going into it blind. As you say, you're still very early in the whiskey game. At this early juncture, I think you are better served to determine a little something about your own preferences and palate, rather than reading about what others prefer. If we all did that, nobody would try pours like the JB Whites of the world, and that would be a shame. Your Grab n Growl method is a good way to dive in and find out a little bit about your tastes, IMO. I think that in too many instances, new people to bourbon and SB are influenced too much by the opinion of others. "This one is better." "Don't drink that one because the company is bad." "Nobody likes that one." "Consensus is that this one is THE BEST." " XXX is too dry." "That one's not worth the price." "The only people who like that one are not serious bourbon drinkers." Etc., etc. Get your feet wet, try and figure out what your own preferences are, and then use the info here to try and figure out what it all means and what direction you want to go.

I like that you're "just hitting the basics of all whiskey's." Get a good baseline. I also like your idea of rating them. I would only suggest that you jot down some notes on each. What you liked or disliked, any distinguishing characteristic of each, how one compared to another, etc.

There is no "right" way to do this. Have fun splashing around in the whiskey pool. And, as you throw in a few more bourbons, just be sure to mix up the distilleries that you choose (Here's where Paul is right, and the site can be helpful), and please keep us posted on your progression.
Cheers!

Dramiel McHinson
03-20-2010, 17:24
I can't figure it out yet. I've read a few reviews where people talk about noise, etc. I don't have the jardon.


Don't worry. The worst thing that can happen is there is no one in your area that has the same interest as you, leaving you to enjoy your hobby alone.:drinking:

Take your time and try what interests you. There are two ways that I enjoy exploring a new bourbon, whiskey or scotch. The first is I want to analyze it very closely. I research the distillery and get familiar with its history. I read independent assessments but I form my own opinion through a ritual of slow and meticulous enjoyment, recording my impression as I go. Next I just drink it cause I want to enjoy it and I don't take notes or follow a ritual testing protocol. The nice thing about this hobby is I'm in complete control of it and the chances of me being injured during gameplay is pretty remote. Although I might get just a little woozy if I play too long on a single set. :grin:

The jargon comes in time but what is most remarkable and enjoyable is you will develop a keen nose and palate for hundreds of smells and tastes. Right now if all you can pick out is three or four familiar smells or tastes then you are normal and well on your way to becoming a master taster.

Enjoy!

ErichPryde
03-20-2010, 17:44
Paul and Joe's points certainly make me wonder: How much of our preferences are our own?

I started out with Jim Beam White, Crown Royal, and the occasional maker's & coke (although my first bourbon experience was PROBABLY actually Elijah Craig 12 year and coke- but don't tell Chu'Wuti that! :D)

It took me a longer amount of time to develop a taste for wheated bourbons than ryed ones- is this because no one was around to say that "Pappy von Schnakkkle was the best," or was it because I was raised eating spicy foods? Or was it because my first bourbon experiences WERE ryed bourbons?

p_elliott
03-21-2010, 00:57
My post was poorly worded at best, my thought was that jumping around all the different whiskeys would only serve to confuse you. That maybe you should start with bourbon get some good suggestions from from people on the site for ones to try for a newcomer. Get some experience with bourbon before venturing out with the other whiskies. That's just my opinion as you can see others have different opinions and theirs opinions may be better then mine certainly some or most have more experience than me. I did not intend for my post to come off as rude as it well could be taken my apologies.

Dramiel McHinson
03-21-2010, 11:19
My post was poorly worded at best, my thought was that jumping around all the different whiskeys would only serve to confuse you. .... I did not intend for my post to come off as rude as it well could be taken my apologies.

Every different opinion serves to describe our beloved hobby more completely. Your advice would have served me well when I first started. As it turns out I wandered around considerably until I began to settle down and focus. Of course, some of my fondest memories are of discoveries made while wandering around lost. But having a game plan is a good way to conserve funds and enjoy good spirits. I appreciate your posts.

I've learned more from smart people who had a different opinion than my own than I have learned by listening only to myself.

thanis
03-21-2010, 17:08
...I did not intend for my post to come off as rude as it well could be taken my apologies.

I thought your comments constructive (as well as those others who posted). Thank you for any honest thoughts. I'm like a foodie who lacks the taste buds of a food aficionado. Thank you for the time it takes to reply.

That goes for anyone, please just be honest, constructive is nice, but rude / harsh is fine as well, so long as honest.

p_elliott
03-22-2010, 08:44
Learning the basics of bourbon took a long time but I wanted to learn everything I could learn about it. ( I still have lots and lots to learn) I wanted to know why bourbons tasted the way they did, and how almost every different bourbon tasted. How they were made, why they were made that way, how we got to that point (history). How the business came to the point they are now and where they came from. The rules and regs. This is a lot of information to soak in, I'm not that bright. I have spent two years reading this and other sites, books, magazines, touring distilleries. I just now think I have a working knowledge of bourbon. Not to compare to the likes of many on here (too many to list). In that time I did add some rye to the mix as it is nearly the same as bourbon. With a few exceptions.

My point in all this is I am starting to add some other whiskeys to the mix namely Irish whiskey. It's like starting the whole process all over again. It's a new language, new rules, unlike bourbon there are at least three different types of Irish whiskey. I could not imagine trying to learn this at the same time I was learning bourbon it would just be too confusing.

ErichPryde
03-22-2010, 16:41
It's a new language


I really like this metaphor for the different styles of whiskey. Well said.

+1

loose proton
03-22-2010, 18:10
Books are also a good way to get into the basics. Here's an amazon listing for a great book that doesn't cost three arms and a leg.

http://www.amazon.com/Bourbon-Straight-Unfiltered-American-Whiskey/dp/0975870300/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269302863&sr=1-1

thanis
03-22-2010, 20:43
Books are also a good way to get into the basics. Here's an amazon listing for a great book that doesn't cost three arms and a leg.

http://www.amazon.com/Bourbon-Straight-Unfiltered-American-Whiskey/dp/0975870300/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269302863&sr=1-1

Thanks, had not though about it seriously. Even the public lib may have some books on it. Always to quick to the internet, go figure, read a book. Good idea.

thanis
04-07-2010, 00:01
So been taking it slow last few weeks. Something changed this weekend. I went from liking Jim white over WT 80 and Evan Williams, to now finding the char of WT & EW a little more enjoyable than the sweet low char Jim.

It was a quick change, and I'm not sure how it happened. Maybe that is just how it is as you get use to something new.

Chu'Wuti
04-16-2010, 15:11
Interesting thread with a nice variety of suggestions and ideas for getting to know bourbons. I agree that no one way is "right;" certainly many of us have arrived at our current knowledge & palate through many routes. Whisky is simply to be enjoyed and savored while stretching one's palate and understanding of the complexity and multiplicity of this drink.

ErichPryde said,
I started out with Jim Beam White, Crown Royal, and the occasional maker's & coke (although my first bourbon experience was PROBABLY actually Elijah Craig 12 year and coke- but don't tell Chu'Wuti that! :D)

Well, you've told me yourself--hah! However, I know you didn't drink tons of it, or that I would have noticed! I always believed it was better for you to learn about alcohol at home in a safe environment rather than going out binge drinking, my dear!

thanis
05-06-2010, 23:21
Still just slow sipping. For the price, Evan Williams is great. JB Rye has hardly been touched, but I'm just saving it. I think I like the rye more then most. Maybe next bottle will be WT Rye.

I'm still at the bottom shelf. I've been mostly reading posts, but I'm still around, and really appreciate those of you who keep generating something to read.

PS - Could be a no brainer, but I've taught myself that those little 50ml bottles are worthless. Even as a sample of a make or brand, unless, made of glass, not worth it. Plastic does something.

Jono
06-25-2010, 15:44
1.5 stars - Canadiian Mist

From my experience....0 stars...the only whiskey I have poured down the sink...the bottle I had tasted of formaldehyde.

Good luck in your tasting experiences as you move through the different styles...Bourbons, Ryes, Canadians, Irish, Scotch.

*EP, I am honored...thanks! ;)

thanis
08-04-2010, 20:59
As an update, I'm stuck on ryes, anything rye. Nothing else much to report. Rye has no claim to being a bourbon if I'm not mistaken.

I'm stil sampling bourbons, but everything is at a slower pace.

Love the forum, even if I'm just spying on the threads.

Robmo
04-02-2011, 22:31
I applaud your approach, thanis, of coming to your own conclusions with your own methods. I think it makes sense to start out with JB white in there somewhere, as you do, since that is probably the one bourbon product most non-bourbon drinkers are familiar with. It 'defines' bourbon for many people, if not for the users of this board.





There are two ways that I enjoy exploring a new bourbon, whiskey or scotch. The first is I want to analyze it very closely. I research the distillery and get familiar with its history. ...Next I just drink it cause I want to enjoy it and I don't take notes or follow a ritual testing protocol.

My ideal approach would be 1) drink it because I enjoy it and only THEN 2) analyze, research etc. I don't always live up to this ideal though. I have often used this site and others to try to learn what the "gurus" say about what is good/bad before trying certain products and I am not immune to peer pressure.