I wanted to introduce myself after lurking on this site for a couple ofweeks.
I am originally from Indiana (with roots on the Ohio River), but currently live in California.
I have been strictly a craft beer (homebrewed from 2007-2009, enjoy IPAs and PAs) and wine (can't help it...it's where I live -- see "Sideways",Pinot and stainless Chards) drinker for the past 10 years. In college I dabbled in "whiskey &coke" and drank a little VO (because that's what my Papaw drank). Also enjoy a good margarita on the rocks, but that usually brings out "Frank the Tank", especially in Vegas.
After recently attending various formal events or bars that did not meet my standards for microbrews or wine, I decided that I needed another go-to beverage.
So given my roots and having a few buddies from college from Kentucky that drank Makerís and Woodford, I decided I should make bourbon my drink.
Tonight, with the assistance of my girlfriend, I held my first bourbon tasting ( blind). I bought 50ml samplesof Wild Turkey 101, Makerís Mark and Woodford Reserve.
I blind sampled starting with smelling one, tasting one and then makingnotes on color, nose, taste, finish, and overall comments (if any). I then moved on to the second and thirdsample. After completing all three I re-tasted each and repeated a third time with a splash of Brita filtered waterthat had been sitting out during the whole tasting.
I did not have a list of ďnotesĒ or flavors to help describe what I smelled or tasted, but I have read several reviews and had some common descriptors inmy mind.
Here are my reviews of a completely new bourbon drinker (the bourbons were revealed after I completed my notes, comments and rankings, but for the sake ofthis review, I will label them up front):
A. Wild Turkey 101
a. Color: amber,golden/copper
b. Nose: Light,warm, vanilla, cinnamon, sweet (second pass: toasty caramel, reminds me of VO, funnel cake; third pass with splash of water: astringent, alcohol, butterscotch, sour)
c. Taste: lip tingle, warm, throat burn, oak, roasty, spicy, cinnamon (second pass: atomic fireball; third pass with water: bitter,metallic, mineral)
d. Finish: medium finish,back of tongue, roof of mouth (second pass: quicker finish than first, doesnít linger onlips, a little on roof of mouth; third pass with water: bitter)
e. Overall: not bad
f. Score (1-5, 5 being Excellent, 1 being undrinkable): 3.5
B. Makerís Mark
a. Color: medium dark golden amber color (slightly darker than A)
b. Nose: Alcohol,waters the eyes, burnt sugar, astringent, fireplace (second pass: nothing to note any different; third pass with water: sweet, burnt marshmallow)
c. Taste: smooth,warm, cinnamon, licorice, butterscotch (second pass: warm, comforting; third pass with water: flatter taste)
d. Finish: long finish, front of mouth, nice (second pass: smooth, not as long as first taste, easy; third pass with water: even shorter finish)
e. Overall: Favorite of the three samples (noted after tasting all three)
f. Score: 4.0
C. Woodford Reserve
a. Color: golden,orange
b. Nose: floral,burnt caramel, grass, sweet, perfume (second pass: pungent; third pass with water: sweet, toasty, nice nose)
c. Taste: light onlips, sits on tongue, mild, medicine, not much flavor, sweet (second pass: dry, bread, banana; third pass withwater: metallic, clove)
d. Finish: long,bitter, oak, dry, tannins, finishes light (second pass: nothing different,third pass with water: stays warm)
e. Overall: Ok,best nose of the three
f. Score: 3.0
I was kind of surprised at the results. I guessed the WT101 correctly, but switched the Woodford and Makerís, which seems odd. Shows I have a long way to develop my pallet. From the scores and results, Makerís was #1,followed by WT101 and Woodford last.
Overall, my first bourbon experience was fun and educational. I am looking forward to exploring some more bourbons and definitely want to try some more wheaters.
Thanks for all of the info on this forum!