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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    Posts
    120

    Greetings from Berkeley

    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...
    Last edited by berto; 03-18-2012 at 15:48.

  2. #2
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    579

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    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.

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    1,009

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    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
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    SW Iowa
    Posts
    2,961

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    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"
    Last edited by p_elliott; 03-19-2012 at 07:39.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  5. #5
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Pelham, AL
    Posts
    3,882

    Lightbulb Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    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
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Suburbs of Houston, Texas
    Posts
    502

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    Quote Originally Posted by p_elliott View Post
    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!

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Napa, CA
    Posts
    298

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    I think NoCal has just reached a critical mass -- may be time for an offline!
    tl; dnr

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    SW Iowa
    Posts
    2,961

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    Quote Originally Posted by weller_tex View Post
    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"
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.

  9. #9
    Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    53

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    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/forum...t.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!
    Whiskey is man's attempt at Heaven.

  10. #10
    Taster
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    53

    Re: Greetings from Berkeley

    Also, try pouring yourself two different bourbons at a time. Side by side comparisons can really help develop your palate.
    Whiskey is man's attempt at Heaven.

 

 

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