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  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    113

    How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    I thought some folks here might find the story of the competition process interesting. Here's the link:

    http://fredminnick.com/the-inside-st...s-competition/

    It'd probably the best insight into the process that I have seen.

  2. #2
    Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    2,500

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    When I googled the "Texas made" bourbon gold winner that's what popped up. Do they not distinguish between straight and other bourbons?

  3. #3
    Virtuoso
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Charleston, WV
    Posts
    1,476

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    Very fascinating read. Thanks for the link.

  4. #4
    Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    Well the first step is... get the judges really drunk...

  5. #5
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    237

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    ... guess the '12 BT version isn't that bad

  6. #6

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    Very interesting that the judges are allowed to comment and try to sway the other judges on their opinions. Thats very opposite from what I would have expected.

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lexington, MA
    Posts
    521

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    "Fascinating" is the word that comes to my mind, too.

    I'm amused that they have to spend a day or two tasting flavored vodkas before getting to the whiskies... purgatory before being let through the gates of heaven, I think...

    Echoing what those have said before me in the thread, I too am surprised that judges can discuss and try to influence other judges' opinions: the power of suggestion is very strong. I'm also surprised that the competition doesn't use "off the shelf" bottles in the proceedings, though I'm not sure how to guarantee that, especially with 35-year-old scotches being priced up to the thousands of dollars these days. Sadly, the value of the awards makes trying to game the system worthwhile, and I would guess it's been that way for a very long time.

    And finally, if the Pappy 15 that won the final round of bourbon is that sublime, well, that may be proof right that the magic isn't entirely Stitzel-Weller's legendary and fast-vanishing juice.

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    433

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    The "taste" of bourbon is so subjective that the winner of any contest is in the end irrelevant unless your most commonly used phrase is "baaahhh". Its like having a pie contest. One judge may truly love apple pie while another"s favorite maybe gooseberry. Apple pie must be compared to apple pie just as a wheater must be compared to a wheater. I enjoy the P-15, but I have read on this very forum that there are those who actually drink and enjoy OGD 114.

    There's no accounting for taste,
    "You can't claim to have been drinkin all day if you don't start first thing in the mornin."

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    230

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    IMHO some of you are just thinking about this the wrong way. I think these competitions help to point out interesting spirits to try. I don't buy that gold/double gold/best in category is actually a better whiskey, but it does point to interesting ones that I haven't tried before. In a world filled with too many things to try and not enough time to try them, it helps identify items to put on my to try/buy list.

    I'm pretty sure the company has to enter the product in to competition (which includes sending a bottle or two of the spirit to be judged). I think Pappy gets entered every year since the payoff is increased demand (their primary business model). I would like to see how some low shelf entries would do in this competition, but they're on the bottom shelf either because they're crap or because the producers don't want to spend more on a particular label (or because the brands want to give people in the know a good bourbon at a good price - HAHA, unlikely business model). I'm ok with VoB BiB (or HH white label) not being recognized for how good they are by the general public as long as the whiskey doesn't change and the product remains on the bottom shelf.

  10. #10
    Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MS
    Posts
    12,466

    Re: How do you win Best Bourbon at a tasting?

    How much do the producers have to pay to enter their bottles for judging.

 

 

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