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TnSquire
03-15-2007, 17:08
When I am drinking with people that are not as familiar with bourbon as they should be, usually the first thing out of their mouth is "Smooth."

I am curious. What did they expect and why don't they say "spicy" or "sweet" or "I can barely choke that down?"

Maybe its just a regional thing.

gothbat
03-15-2007, 18:10
Back before I began sipping and actually tasting spirits I was under the impression that pretty much all spirits were harsh or unpleasant to drink straight and thus would use the word “smooth” to describe ones that went down easy with little burning and/or bad taste. We drank primarily in shots or swigs from the bottle and drinking cheap liquor like E&J used to make myself and several others do a quick cringe/shiver almost involuntarily right after it went down. Spirits that caused this reaction were not “smooth” spirits but rather “rough” ones. :) I guess the people you drink with who are unfamiliar with bourbon are also unfamiliar with decent spirits in general like I used to be and have the same expectations I had a few years back.

ratcheer
03-16-2007, 14:11
There was a thread that discussed this same point a few months ago. My opinion is that "smooth" means the relative absence of alcohol burn. This seems to be unrelated to proof, as many 80-proofers can be quite harsh while others over 100-proof can be quite smooth.

Tim

gothbat
03-16-2007, 15:43
This thread reminded me of a thread like that but I could not find it. I remember someone giving a pretty good explanation as to why “smooth” is not a good term to use to describe bourbon. It was that thread that convinced me to try and be a little more creative in describing bourbon. The only word I could think of to search for it was “smooth”, which yields almost 29 pages of results. It’s no surprise, I hear this word a lot in many places.
In response to my own post, since I can’t edit at this point, I should have said “liquor’s” instead of “spirits”; I don’t think I ever had a liqueur that I thought wasn’t “smooth” :), even the 100 proof ones.

luv2hunt
03-16-2007, 16:28
Try this (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5911)

The "smooth" discussion starts on post #4

Dawn

gothbat
03-16-2007, 17:58
Try this (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5911)

Yep, that's the one. Thanks!

TnSquire
03-16-2007, 18:35
Thanks!

So a bourbon that gives you that retch feeling and causes cold chills up your back but has a absence of burn is "smooth"

Now that is good to know! :lol:

TNbourbon
03-16-2007, 19:38
So, what's the opposite of a smooth bourbon -- a bumpy one?:skep:

gothbat
03-16-2007, 20:05
So a bourbon that gives you that retch feeling and causes cold chills up your back but has a absence of burn is "smooth"

Nah, not in my book anyway, a bourbon that causes the retch feeling and the chills without the burn, somehow, would not still classify as "rough" in my book. Fortunately the only stuff I'd really classify as "rough" would be the cheap brandies I used to drink. In retrospect I don't know why we kept having our friend get us E&J, the last time I bought it for "a trip down memory lane" it had a horrid metallic taste to it and burned a hell of a lot for something that was only 80 proof.


So, what's the opposite of a smooth bourbon -- a bumpy one?:skep:

Actually, I prefer "rough"! :lol:

ratcheer
03-17-2007, 06:11
So, what's the opposite of a smooth bourbon -- a bumpy one?:skep:

I would say, harsh.

Tim

jburlowski
03-17-2007, 07:22
FWIW, for me "smooth" has nothing to do with the presence or absence of alchohol burn. Rather it describes a bourbon that is well balanced with no discordant "notes" In other words, an overall balance of the smell, taste elements, finish, and mouth feel.

nor02lei
03-17-2007, 07:34
I have actually been very unsure about the expression smooth. The word doesn’t come in the Swedish language. The way I have interpreted it it’s the opposite of punchy and punchy don’t necessary have to be lot of alcohol burn to me. It can as well be heavy normal bourbon flavours presented in an aggressive way. I do with a few exceptions prefer punchy before smooth.
To explain what I mean I take a coupe of examples: Of the2 WT brands RB and RR101 I do consider RB very smooth and RR101very punchy.
Of the Staggs I have tasted (2004and later) I do consider all punchy with the 131.8 on top except the fall 2005 with I find much smoother in comparison and also my least liked.
But as I said: I am still unsure.

Leif