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  1. #1

    Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    Do people experience day-to-day variation in the taste of juice from the same bottle? Do any of you ever have "off" days with your sense of taste? I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to tasting bourbon or other spirits.

    I bought my first ever bottle of Old Forester Signature last weekend, had some Sunday night and loved it. Every sip was a delight. Then, last night I did a blind tasting of OFS, Jim Beam Black, Evan Williams Black and Woodford Reserve. JBB was my least favorite, hard to describe but it had a fairly unpleasant characteristic. OFS was my second least favorite, it was less offensive than the JBB but not exactly enjoyable. I would rate the WR "ok" at best (but a little better than OFS or JBB). Believe it or not, if I had to declare a favorite it would be EWB. Now it was not particularly exciting or complex but it was the most pleasant tasting of the 4.

    To sum it up, everything I tasted Sunday night was delicious and everything I tasted last night was "unpleasant" to "decent"

    It could have been the fact that I was tasting it blind (which, I believe CAN have a significant effect) or the fact that there was 48 hours of airtime in the bottle (I'm guessing the effect wouldn't be that pronounced but feel free to disagree) or else my sense of taste was just off that night. I'm hoping it is the latter! I want to like Old Forester Signature! I hope the fact that I WANT to like it is not the reason that I enjoyed it Sunday night!

    Taste is a strange sense! For me at least...

    I'll have to try some another time and report back...

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    Hell, my taste changes from the first drink to the third! As a matter of fact, when we are tasting barrel samples .. we make it a must to go back to the first sample a second time. The first taste is always different later. Blind .. that's where the truth lies.
    Jon

  3. #3
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    The following can affect your sense of smell and taste:
    - time of day
    - environment
    - what you had to eat prior to tasting (esp spicy foods)
    - what you had to drink prior to the one you're evaluating (ex. rye before wheated bourbon, high ABV before low ABV, smokey scotch before lighter speysider, etc)
    - who you're drinking with (other people can influence your evaluation)
    - what kind of mood you're in
    etc

  4. #4
    Guru
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    I'm firmly in the maybe camp here. I'm aware various things, amount of sleep, energy level, type of food recently consumed, etc., can all affect taste sensations but the brands of Bourbon I use regularly are very consistent so if it something seems a bit different I know it's me. Good reason to include at least one in the blind tasting that you're familiar enough with to notice if your sniffer or taste buds are not fully on their game.

    I'm as susceptible as the next guy to a great package and marketing story so I'm also firmly of the belief the only accurate way I can asses a Bourbon is by tasting it completely blind.

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
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    Downriver, Detroit, MI
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    All of Portwood's comments are valid; plus anybody can have day-to-day variability in perception of flavors as well as aromas. The 'best tasters' seem to have less of this variation; but, I'm sure still experience it. One can have significantly diminished appreciation of both flavor and aroma with a head-cold or sinusitis, too. Everybody has "off days" for no apparent reason as well.
    My enjoyment of even very favorite drams changes once in awhile. Sooooo, all that said, my advice is: give any and all of your drams several serious tastings before deciding not to stick with a brand.... and, even then; try 'em again after a layoff of a few weex. Reviewing some notes about perceptions of 'em, even when not doing a serious tasting can help with 'final' decisions.

  6. #6
    Virtuoso
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    I think that is why I have so many open bottles. My taste changes day to day. When I start @ noon it changes during the day!

  7. #7
    Taster
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    Mar 2013
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    Durham, NC
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    My tastes are pretty constant, but I drink at the same time of day and not while I'm eating, so that helps a lot. I have the occasional day when nothing I drink tastes right, which is why I keep vodka in the freezer.

    If you like OFS when you know you're drinking it, but not when you don't, I think all that means is you shouldn't be drinking OFS blind.

  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    I do experience off days as well. On those days, I always go to my most favorite and it usually saves the day for me However off I am, my favorites are still good enough for me.

  9. #9
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    I periodically have off days for no particular reason that I can determine. I don't try to fight it, that's when I know it's time to switch to drinking beer for the night.

  10. #10
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    Re: Day-To-Day Variation In Taste?

    I think the more often I drink bourbon, the more consistent my palate is.
    Pete

    I hate scotch.

 

 

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