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DaveOfAtl
02-16-2012, 14:49
So, I'm having my Dad and brother over on Saturday for a blind tasting. They have started showing interest recently, so I want to give them a broad spectrum of the different types of bourbon. Based on earlier posts I've read, I'm going to limit the tasting to probably 4 (though I'm considering adding two ryes as well). I'm thinking I will go with two two wheaters and two rye recipe bourbons. I was considering the following:

Makers 46
PVW20
4RSmB
E.H. Taylor Tornado

Other options include: ER17 2011, GTS 2011, Lot B, PVW 23, OGD BIB, E.H. Taylor Sour Mash and Single Barrel, WLW 2008, and PHC 2010 and 2011.

What four would you pick?

Also, I only have 5 Glencairns and one Riedel Whiskey Glass. Is it improper to just pour 4 and take turns tasting from each? If so, any suggestions on alternative tasting glassses (wine glasses?)

I realize this is sort of a vague post. Just looking for guidance from those more experienced than I on what people think would give my Dad and bro a good lay of the land, both in terms of recipe and quality.

Thanks in advance!

Ejmharris
02-16-2012, 14:58
So, I'm having my Dad and brother over on Saturday for a blind tasting. They have started showing interest recently, so I want to give them a broad spectrum of the different types of bourbon. Based on earlier posts I've read, I'm going to limit the tasting to probably 4 (though I'm considering adding two ryes as well). I'm thinking I will go with two two wheaters and two rye recipe bourbons. I was considering the following:

Makers 46
PVW20
4RSmB
E.H. Taylor Tornado

Other options include: ER17 2011, GTS 2011, Lot B, PVW 23, OGD BIB, E.H. Taylor Sour Mash and Single Barrel, WLW 2008, and PHC 2010 and 2011.

What four would you pick?

Also, I only have 5 Glencairns and one Riedel Whiskey Glass. Is it improper to just pour 4 and take turns tasting from each? If so, any suggestions on alternative tasting glassses (wine glasses?)

I realize this is sort of a vague post. Just looking for guidance from those more experienced than I on what people think would give my Dad and bro a good lay of the land, both in terms of recipe and quality.

Thanks in advance!

Maybe you do a wheater tasting:
Makers 46 Or Lot B
PVW20
WLW 2008
PHC 2010

You have some quality wheaters there. Maybe finish with one the Rye Bourbons, to show the difference in spice. Just my 2 cents.

DaveOfAtl
02-16-2012, 15:04
Maybe you do a wheater tasting:
Makers 46 Or Lot B
PVW20
WLW 2008
PHC 2010

You have some quality wheaters there. Maybe finish with one the Rye Bourbons, to show the difference in spice. Just my 2 cents.

That's not a bad idea. I certainly prefer the wheaters.

dridge11
02-16-2012, 15:20
I feel like standard wine glasses are a bit much. I feel like they let the aromas expand SO much that I can't smell much except the alcohol. The shorter glasses get you a little closer to the bourbon itself and I get a much better smell that way.

Make sure to post the results....also, Go Dawgs. I'm from the class of 1999.

fishnbowljoe
02-16-2012, 15:45
FWIW, here's what I'd do. I'd have a couple of wheaters, and a couple of rye recipe bourbons for the formal tasting. As an example from your list, maybe the Lot B and Maker's 46 for the wheated, and FRSmB and OGD BIB for the ryed.

As a follow up when you are through with your formal tasting, you could bring out the barrel proof stuff. Re: GTS, WLW, and the PHC.

This way you could get a general feel for a little bit of everything. Tasting the barrel proof bourbons at the end would be a nice way to cap off your evening.

As dridge11 posted, whatever you do, be sure and post the results. Hope you all have a great time. Cheers! Joe

DaveOfAtl
02-16-2012, 16:00
That makes a lot of sense, Joe. Thanks. I like the idea of taking the barrel proofs out of the tasting and offering them afterwards. I'll definitely make sure to let y'all know how it goes.

Anybody have thoughts on taking turns tasting from four glasses? Is that poor form? They are family, after all.

Oh, and GO DAWGS!! (Class of '03)

bourboncc
02-16-2012, 16:43
Anybody have thoughts on taking turns tasting from four glasses? Is that poor form? They are family, after all.

I was thinking you could pour small samples, finish them, and then have a non-participating person pour more samples each round. This would give you guys a bit of a break, allow you to cleanse your palate.

DaveOfAtl
02-16-2012, 16:50
I was thinking you could pour small samples, finish them, and then have a non-participating person pour more samples each round. This would give you guys a bit of a break, allow you to cleanse your palate.

That is actually a great idea. That's what I'll do. We won't have a non-participant, but I can just do the pouring since I'm primarily conerned with helping them figure out what they like. Thanks!

bourboncc
02-16-2012, 16:59
That is actually a great idea. That's what I'll do. We won't have a non-participant, but I can just do the pouring since I'm primarily conerned with helping them figure out what they like. Thanks!

Glad I could be of assistance. I've done quite a few craft beer tastings and this is how we've done it. It's amazing how quickly your palate can become fatigued, especially with spirits.

Also, where in Atlanta are you based? I was born and raised in Tucker, went to Tucker High, lived in Decatur while attending Georgia State. My brother is currently at UGA studying Large Animal Veterinary.

smokinjoe
02-16-2012, 17:03
That is actually a great idea. That's what I'll do. We won't have a non-participant, but I can just do the pouring since I'm primarily conerned with helping them figure out what they like. Thanks!

Yep, BBCC's idea sounds like a good one. And, just have a roll of paper towels handy for your folks to wipe out their own glasses between pours. Absolutely no need to have new glasses for each pour. I'd go with Viva brand, as they are pretty soft and pliable.

FWIW Dave, keep the pours small. Go smaller than you think is "right". After the tasting, you can always (and I know you will! :D) go back for extras. I've made the mistake of too big of pours during tastings, and it can become a chore. Leave them wanting more. Maybe, a Round 2?

Your fellow comrades in GBS eagerly await your results...If you should hear shuffling outside your window during the event, pay it no mind....:D

dridge11
02-16-2012, 17:33
I was born and raised in Tucker, went to Tucker High, lived in Decatur while attending Georgia State. My brother is currently at UGA studying Large Animal Veterinary.

Your brother sounds like a cool guy :lol:

DaveOfAtl
02-16-2012, 17:41
Yep, BBCC's idea sounds like a good one. And, just have a roll of paper towels handy for your folks to wipe out their own glasses between pours. Absolutely no need to have new glasses for each pour. I'd go with Viva brand, as they are pretty soft and pliable.

FWIW Dave, keep the pours small. Go smaller than you think is "right". After the tasting, you can always (and I know you will! :D) go back for extras. I've made the mistake of too big of pours during tastings, and it can become a chore. Leave them wanting more. Maybe, a Round 2?

Your fellow comrades in GBS eagerly await your results...If you should hear shuffling outside your window during the event, pay it no mind....:D

Sage advice there, Joe. So, 4 oz per round instead of the normal 8 oz, then?? :lol: We are headed to dinner afterwards (Rathbun Steak), so I'll make sure not to light everyone up before such a good meal. And, with 4-5 small tastes, they can decide exactly what they love and want a full pour of when we get back from dinner.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. Full report to follow.

DaveOfAtl
02-16-2012, 17:45
Also, where in Atlanta are you based? I was born and raised in Tucker, went to Tucker High, lived in Decatur while attending Georgia State. My brother is currently at UGA studying Large Animal Veterinary.

I'm in Collier Hills (South Buckhead). I grew up in Gwinnett (Lawrenceville). My Dad is from your kneck of the woods and went to Lakeside High.

dridge11
02-16-2012, 17:59
I grew up in Gwinnett also, I was just around the corner in Lithonia, but right on the edge of Lawrenceville. Went to Shiloh High School.

Bourbon Boiler
02-16-2012, 19:03
Depending on how new they are, the whole event need not be blind. Sometimes it's better to help people find a few flavors on their own at first, and then they can extrapolate from their in their own. Price tag bias probably isn't a factor for a new taster.

Just an idea, but the most important thing is to have fun with it. Like hte others have said, record the notes however you chose to proceed.

DaveOfAtl
02-20-2012, 07:49
This ended up being a ton of fun. Both my dad and brother wanted to do a blind tasting, especially because they had heard me talk about Pappy and the BTAC so much. They also wanted to try as many different recipes as possible, so they could figure out what they preferred. For these reasons, I set up a 6 round tasting consisting of 2 wheaters, 2 rye recipe bourbons, and 2 ryes. The rounds were as follows: (1) MM46; (2) 4R SmB; (3) PVW 20; (4) ER17; (5) HW Rendezvous; (6) Ritt BIB.

I gave everyone some paper to write down notes and explained the process of evaluating nose, palate, and finish. They were a little tentative about picking out specific notes, especially at first, but as they got into the tasting, they really made some very good observations. I asked them to rank each whiskey from 1-6. Their scores were as follows:

Dad: (1) MM46; (2) ER17; (3) PVW20; (4) 4R SmB; (5) Ritt BIB; (6) HW Rendezvous.

Brother: (1) ER17; (2) MM46; (3) 4R SmB; (4) Ritt BIB; (5) PVW20; (6) HW Rendezvous

The experience was very interesting. I am really not surprised by the HW being ranked last. It is a very different whiskey than all the rest. During the tasting, they both described it as "different." My dad was disappointed with ranking it last, as he loves the double rye for his Old Fashioneds.

I was suprised, however, about the PVW 20 scores, especially relative to the MM46. I consider the PVW 20 to be the best of the group. My dad said that it was very close between the ER17 and the PVW20 and he considered ranking PVW #2. My brother, however, found the PVW20 to be "intense" and slightly harsh. The first word used to describe the MM46 by both of them was "smooth," which, in my opinion, is what MM seems to shoot for at the expense of flavor. After the tasting, my brother had another taste of the PVW20 -- knowing how good it is "supposed" to be -- and changed his opinion a little but not too much.

I definitely agreed with them on the ER17, which I think is outstanding. I know it always gets a bad rap relative to the other members of the BTAC, but thoght it was killer. The 2011 is the first year I've had the stuff. Maybe that version was especially good?

Both my dad and bro are bourbon drinkers, though neither drinks theirs neat very often. I think that played a role in that both seemed to value "smoothness" a lot.

Anyway, this was a great experience and made me really want to participate in a blind tasting in the future. We went on to have a great meal at a fantastic restaurant. Funny, nobody was in the mood for bourbon there, though we had two great bottles of wine. Afterwards, we went to a blues joint where we drank 24 oz PBRs. At some point, my brother bought us shots of MM . . . funny, that one wasn't so smooth!

Thanks for everyone's input.

bourboncc
02-20-2012, 09:13
This ended up being a ton of fun. Both my dad and brother wanted to do a blind tasting, especially because they had heard me talk about Pappy and the BTAC so much. They also wanted to try as many different recipes as possible, so they could figure out what they preferred. For these reasons, I set up a 6 round tasting consisting of 2 wheaters, 2 rye recipe bourbons, and 2 ryes. The rounds were as follows: (1) MM46; (2) 4R SmB; (3) PVW 20; (4) ER17; (5) HW Rendezvous; (6) Ritt BIB.

I gave everyone some paper to write down notes and explained the process of evaluating nose, palate, and finish. They were a little tentative about picking out specific notes, especially at first, but as they got into the tasting, they really made some very good observations. I asked them to rank each whiskey from 1-6. Their scores were as follows:

Dad: (1) MM46; (2) ER17; (3) PVW20; (4) 4R SmB; (5) Ritt BIB; (6) HW Rendezvous.

Brother: (1) ER17; (2) MM46; (3) 4R SmB; (4) Ritt BIB; (5) PVW20; (6) HW Rendezvous

The experience was very interesting. I am really not surprised by the HW being ranked last. It is a very different whiskey than all the rest. During the tasting, they both described it as "different." My dad was disappointed with ranking it last, as he loves the double rye for his Old Fashioneds.

I was suprised, however, about the PVW 20 scores, especially relative to the MM46. I consider the PVW 20 to be the best of the group. My dad said that it was very close between the ER17 and the PVW20 and he considered ranking PVW #2. My brother, however, found the PVW20 to be "intense" and slightly harsh. The first word used to describe the MM46 by both of them was "smooth," which, in my opinion, is what MM seems to shoot for at the expense of flavor. After the tasting, my brother had another taste of the PVW20 -- knowing how good it is "supposed" to be -- and changed his opinion a little but not too much.

I definitely agreed with them on the ER17, which I think is outstanding. I know it always gets a bad rap relative to the other members of the BTAC, but thoght it was killer. The 2011 is the first year I've had the stuff. Maybe that version was especially good?

Both my dad and bro are bourbon drinkers, though neither drinks theirs neat very often. I think that played a role in that both seemed to value "smoothness" a lot.

Anyway, this was a great experience and made me really want to participate in a blind tasting in the future. We went on to have a great meal at a fantastic restaurant. Funny, nobody was in the mood for bourbon there, though we had two great bottles of wine. Afterwards, we went to a blues joint where we drank 24 oz PBRs. At some point, my brother bought us shots of MM . . . funny, that one wasn't so smooth!

Thanks for everyone's input.

Sounds like a helluva time. I wonder how different the rankings would have been if folks with more experienced palates would have been included? I'll have to do this with my brother and my dad next time we're home.

Funnily enough, I did something similar with a friend of mine this weekend. I gave him samples of the following and he ranked them:

Rittenhouse BIB
Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye
Bernheim
George Dickel 12

He ranked them as follows:

1. Rittenhouse BIB
2. Bernheim
3. George Dickel 12
4. Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye

I found it funny that he picked the cheapest whiskey as the best tasting, but I would probably agree with him.

smokinjoe
02-20-2012, 09:38
Outstanding job, Dave! Thanks for filling us in. As far as the results go, they are a perfect example of how preconceived ideas in our little echo chamber here in Boubonia go out the window when the participants haven't been bombarded with all the negativity associated with those brands. Maker's 46 and ER17 (and regular Maker's for that matter) are terrific bourbons that are very approachable, drinkable, and flavorful. Unfortunately, they have been so taken to task here (unfairly and without merit most of the time IMHO), that we tend to give them short shrift and dismiss them because "everyone else does". The opposite is true for the PVW 20.....Big, positive reputation....

Also, like you said, it's not surprising that the HW brought up the bottom. Just way different from the others. Perhaps, down the road, they'll gain an appreciation for it

Again, very cool and well done. GBS is pleased you have represented us so well. :D

Bourbon Boiler
02-20-2012, 17:23
Thanks for posting Dave. I wonder how different it would have been had all been diluted to the same proof. Sounds like a great evening.

fishnbowljoe
02-20-2012, 18:18
Sounds like y'all had a good time. Like Joe and Bourbonboiler said, nice job, and thanks for posting the results. Cheers! Joe