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berto
03-18-2012, 16:44
Hello from Berkeley. Been reading a bit here and I love the wealth of knowledge. Getting into bourbon and branching out from the old familiar Turkey 101 and Makers not to mention the Early Times from my youth.

In trying to develop my palette I've put these in the cupboard:

Booker's
Baker's
Basil Hayden
Wild Turkey Rare Breed
Rittenhouse BIB
Buffalo Trace
Blanton's
Very Old Barton
Old Rip Van Winkle 10/90
E.H. Taylor Single Barrel
E.H. Taylor Tornado

Haven't been able to sample much the past few weeks due to a cold, mostly Hot Toddys. Now that the cold's clearing up it's time to start tasting my stash. Just wish I had more friends around who are in to bourbon.

The issue I'm having is in describing what I'm tasting. I definitely get some of the nose, like say vanilla, but I'm not picking up a lot more nose or taste. I found that letting the glass air out a bit opens up the nose but I don't get a whole lot, maybe my sniffer is off.

I did notice that the remnants of a glass of Rittenhouse and an ice cube was much more flavorful than the beginning. I haven't opened any of my more expensive bottles except the Blanton's because I don't feel like I know enough to appreciate them.

Looking forward to the journey ahead...

Tico
03-18-2012, 22:11
Good to have you here Berto! I know there are a number of sf bay area and nor cal folks that hang out around here.

Restaurant man
03-18-2012, 22:44
It takes practice to vocalize what you are smelling/tasting. Try writing down 1 or 2 tasting/smelling notes and then go to a (reputable) website that purports to do the same and compare. Then go back to your glass. Get any new stuff? Remember their are no true "correct" answers. It's all from your own experience. Have fun

p_elliott
03-19-2012, 08:33
Are you even allowed to drink bourbon in Berkeley? Welcome to the site I hope you enjoy it here, post often ask as many questions as you like, post your opinions as well. Come join us in chat it's the gazebo on the top of the main forum page. Don't get to hung up on this I taste this or that thing, if you do taste something that you can describe great if you don't don't worry about it. Parker Beam said "If your bourbon taste like anything other than bourbon there's something wrong with your bourbon"

ratcheer
03-19-2012, 08:46
Don't try to make it such a "left-brain" activity. Taste and enjoy. The flavors will start reminding you of past experiences without your really trying.

Tim

weller_tex
03-19-2012, 09:12
Are you even allowed to drink bourbon in Berkeley? Welcome to the site I hope you enjoy it here, post often ask as many questions as you like, post your opinions as well. Come join us in chat it's the gazebo on the top of the main forum page. Don't get to hung up on this I taste this or that thing, if you do taste something that you can describe great if you don't don't worry about it. Parker Beam said "If your bourbon taste like anything other than bourbon there's something wrong with your bourbon"

That is what I was wondering..I figured they had banned bourbon at Berkeley since it is made in Kentucky..

Glad to hear someone there drinks it. Welcome!

yountvillewjs
03-19-2012, 09:24
I think NoCal has just reached a critical mass -- may be time for an offline!

p_elliott
03-19-2012, 09:32
That is what I was wondering..I figured they had banned bourbon at Berkeley since it is made in Kentucky..

Glad to hear someone there drinks it. Welcome!

I was thinking more along the lines of bourbon being linked to "the establishment" :slappin:

Fpst
03-19-2012, 11:07
Welcome to the boards! Like everyone else said, don't stress too much about being able to describe what you're tasting. It'll come in time and the fun is in the journey.

However, when tasting try asking yourself specific questions like "Am I tasting any fruits? Am I tasting any spices?" You can get even more specific and ask yourself "Do I taste cherries? Do I taste licorice? Cinnamon?" etc. Here's a list of common tastes you may or may not find in your bourbons: http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/announcement.php?f=10&a=6 I find this helps a little more than just giving yourself a blanket question like "What am I tasting?" Its hard to know where to begin and it can feel overwhelming with a question like that.

You can also find whiskey tasting wheels online which I think are nice because it groups different tastes into different categories in a nice visual chart. They can help if you're more of a visual person.

But don't forget in all of this to savor and enjoy!

Fpst
03-19-2012, 11:11
Also, try pouring yourself two different bourbons at a time. Side by side comparisons can really help develop your palate.

berto
03-19-2012, 12:56
Thanks for the warm welcome and the tips.

I'm not your typical Berkeley guy. Born and raised here and found the only way to rebel in a town where anything goes was to embrace the things the hippies didn't like. Bourbon, guns, and a rightward lean did the trick.

I appreciate the advice to not overthink it when enjoying bourbon. I want to increase my enjoyment by noting some of the finer differences. You've given me some great ideas on how to start.

berto
03-19-2012, 17:48
Picked up a bottle of Stagg today. I'll holf off until I figure things out a bit more. Surprised to find it and had to bring it home.

p_elliott
03-20-2012, 08:13
Picked up a bottle of Stagg today. I'll holf off until I figure things out a bit more. Surprised to find it and had to bring it home.

Grab things like that when you can, you can always stick them on the shelf till your ready to appreciate them more. Which won't be long.

berto
03-20-2012, 11:20
Grab things like that when you can, you can always stick them on the shelf till your ready to appreciate them more. Which won't be long.

Shop had a couple bottles of each BTAC minus maybe the Weller. I might go back. Great selection and decent prices for SF.

Tico
03-20-2012, 11:51
Shop had a couple bottles of each BTAC minus maybe the Weller. I might go back. Great selection and decent prices for SF.
definitely grab the stagg and saz 18, those seem the most hard to come by in the btac collection