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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    232

    Question about nosing

    Hi all. I've got a couple posts on here but still have somewhat of a dilemma. When nosing different whiskeys, I have a hard time differentiating them. They all sorta smell and taste the same to me. Is there any techniques or tricks, something, that I can do to try and "learn" the differences between different whiskeys? I hope its just a matter of inexperience rather than my senses being dull. Thanks.

    Eric

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northwest of Peoria
    Posts
    4,437

    Re: Question about nosing

    This is how I "nose" using a snifter. First I hold the glass a few inches from my nose gently inhale deeply but slowly, (this saves nose hairs from being "scorched". Then I move the glass forward away from my face while I exhale. Then bringing it back to my nose (varying the distance depending on the proof) Inhale again. Repeat the process. Then take a sip.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    232

    Re: Question about nosing

    Thanks. I tried your method last night with Makers Mark. I tried it neat, then added a small piece of ice and got some different smells and tastes. Now I just need to work on naming the different flavors that I find.

    Eric

  4. #4
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Chester County, PA
    Posts
    360

    Re: Question about nosing

    It is important to allow the bourbon to "breathe. After pouring into your preferred glass, swirl, nose, wait, swirl, nose, and wait. With time, the bourbon will open. During our group's tasting events, we have noticed significant changes over time as the bourbon "breathes".
    Doug

  5. #5
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,886

    Re: Question about nosing

    A lot of it is probably just your nose overwhelmed by alcohol. As Brad suggests, try nosing with your nose a little further away. But I think it is something that will come with more experience - you'll be able to filter out the alcohol smell and recognize other scents. If you continue to have a hard time, buy some whiskey that's very different, like a scotch, and compare the nose of it with bourbon.
    -Dan

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  6. #6
    Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    2,726

    Re: Question about nosing

    In addition to the recommendations above, print out the SB.com tasting list (under tasting notes) while you nose. Circle the ones that you nose over a 20 min period (as you are sipping on your bourbon)

    I recommend you use a diff color for every 5 min and watch things change...

    The rest is practice...

 

 

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