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View Full Version : Taste Memory Revisited



sailor22
02-11-2012, 10:48
Searching this subject I found a relevant older thread that is now closed so I thought a new post might be interesting.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6782

Taste memory is really difficult for me - I can recall the general characteristics of a Bourbon but never seem to be able to anticipate all the nuance or fullness that a pour of something I haven't visited in awhile presents. It's almost always different than I recall in some important way.

Some of it might have to do with the bottle sitting half open for along time and perhaps the company and location play a part but revisits typically taste better than I recall.

You guys who can identify blind pours are really impressive, Randy, Timothy, Chuck etc. and I wonder if there are any tricks you might use to help with taste memory.

BTW - in reference to the previous thread, it was Cherry Brandy for me.

callmeox
02-11-2012, 11:39
My "bad" taste memory is amaretto due to a few too many Flaming Dr. Peppers one night in college. To this day I can't eat anything with amaretto or even go into the coffee shop near work when their feature brew has amaretto flavoring.

I don't have any tricks for positive taste memory (like with the annual BTOTY) other than rehearsal. I have an easy time picking out the stuff that I drink often. When I encounter pours of my staples like FRSB, BT or VOB they seem easy to pick. Pours with obvious characteristics like oaky EC18 or the minty LDI ryes are also easier.

Like with anything else, practice practice practice. :grin:

I hope Chuck, Randy, TomH and Thad respond as well as they are the recent BTOTY royalty. :bowdown:

T Comp
02-11-2012, 13:40
My "bad" taste memory is amaretto due to a few too many Flaming Dr. Peppers one night in college. To this day I can't eat anything with amaretto or even go into the coffee shop near work when their feature brew has amaretto flavoring.

I don't have any tricks for positive taste memory (like with the annual BTOTY) other than rehearsal. I have an easy time picking out the stuff that I drink often. When I encounter pours of my staples like FRSB, BT or VOB they seem easy to pick. Pours with obvious characteristics like oaky EC18 or the minty LDI ryes are also easier.

Like with anything else, practice practice practice. :grin:

I hope Chuck, Randy, TomH and Thad respond as well as they are the recent BTOTY royalty. :bowdown:

You too were awfully close in that last BTOTY yourself Scott :toast: . I read the original thread and something Chuck said applies for me. It is actually the sensations (smell or taste) I can't describe that seem to stay in my memory for at least a while and help clue me to at least distillery differences. I actually get more confused when I start specifically looking for those obvious characteristics like mint or oak. For example SMOWK talks about Four Roses and what he describes as a Slivovitz similar taste he can't really describe but gets in them and doesn't like. I too get something with all the Four Roses recipes I've had and it's something I can't describe or relate even as Slivovitz but its there for me too. True blind tasting with even other barrel aged spirits thrown in are also incredibly helpful and humbling in attempting to develop taste memory. Randy is still phenomenal in how he can do it with ice too.

Oh yeah, Southern Comfort is the only "bad' taste memory but 40 years later I've actually enjoyed a few pours of it when I have to.

Bourbon Boiler
02-11-2012, 18:55
I always remember various brands being more "extreme" than they actually are. It frequently leads to disappointment initially when reuiniting with an old pour, but then leads to "finding" additional complexity.