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fussybitch
08-12-2011, 16:51
Hey guys,

I'm doing a tasting with a couple of buddies and need help ordering the list. Does this list make sense as a progression or should we do it as three separate sessions - one for Van Winkle, one for the other bourbons and then one for the ryes?

Bourbons:
7 year Old Charter (bottled 1986)
10 year Old Charter (bottled 1987)
10 Year Rip Van Winkle 90 Proof
10 Year Rip Van Winkle 107 Proof
1997 Evan Williams Single Barrel
2000 Evan Williams Single Barrel
Van Winkle Lot B
Elijah Craig 18
20 Year Pappy Van Winkle
23 Year Rip Van Winkle Decanter

Ryes:
Bulliet Rye
Old Overhold
Old Grand Dad 100 BIB
Rittenhouse 100 BIB
Thomas Handy Sazerac

Thanks!

Bourbon Boiler
08-12-2011, 17:19
Hey guys,

I'm doing a tasting with a couple of buddies and need help ordering the list. Does this list make sense as a progression or should we do it as three separate sessions - one for Van Winkle, one for the other bourbons and then one for the ryes?

Bourbons:
7 year Old Charter (bottled 1986)
10 year Old Charter (bottled 1987)
10 Year Rip Van Winkle 90 Proof
10 Year Rip Van Winkle 107 Proof
1997 Evan Williams Single Barrel
2000 Evan Williams Single Barrel
Van Winkle Lot B
Elijah Craig 18
20 Year Pappy Van Winkle
23 Year Rip Van Winkle Decanter

Ryes:
Bulliet Rye
Old Overhold
Old Grand Dad 100 BIB
Rittenhouse 100 BIB
Thomas Handy Sazerac

Thanks!




It depends on what you really want to do and how much tasting experience your group has. You probably have too many bottles to really do anything too scientific.

If your group is new to whiskey, you may just show them the difference between rye, ryed bourbon, and wheated bourbon, and show the difference between high proof and low proof. If they're experienced and your real goal is to have fun and try a lot of different things, your order probably works.

BourbonJoe
08-13-2011, 07:29
We have many blind tastings during the year. It is our experience that three is the best number to taste, five at the absolute max, because it is difficult to compare more whiskies in one session. Three is ideal.
Joe :usflag:

sku
08-13-2011, 09:05
I usually do tastings of five or six bottles. I've done seven or eight too but anything more than that is pretty challenging.

There are lots of ways to do tastings and there isn't any right way to do it. It's fun to compare very different whiskeys but also very educational to do verticles of comparisons of similar whiskeys. Verticles involve pikcing out subtleties which can be better with more experienced tasters, so if your group is less experienced, I would tend to mix it up a bit more. In ordering them, take into account proof (low to high) and flavors (subtle to bold).


You could do a number of good combinations from the whiskeys you have listed. If it were me, I would probably divide it into at least three tastings. A rye tasting, ordered like this:

Overholt
Bulleit
Rittenhouse
Handy
(Old Grad-Dad is not a rye whiskey)

I would then probably divide your bourbons into a Van Winkle tasting (ordered the way you have it) a tasting of the others bourbons you've got. I might consider putting the EWSBs ahead of the Charters, depending on the flavor profile of those charters, and I would put the Grand-Dad in right before the EC18.

But that's just me.

fussybitch
08-14-2011, 18:58
Everyone was most interested in the van winkle stuff, so we ended up doing a vertical of just those bottles. One of my buddies had a 15 and we all chipped in and purchased a bottle of 23 so we got the chance to taste the entire line except for the rye.

The 20 was the favorite of the night, but after considering the price, it was decided the 15 had the best taste to value ratio. So no earth shattering revelations, but it was still interesting to hear everyone's thoughts.

Thanks for all the help. We ate going to save the other bottles for tastings down the road.