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  1. #1

    palate; putting words to it..

    I know good whiskey when I taste it. I probably take 5-10 "sniffs" for every little sip I drink, I'm aware when there are multiple "layers" and very aware when those layers of complexity are missing. Of course I easily pick up on the level of sweetness, vanilla, caramel, oak. Just as well, I savor the finish, enjoying it on my tongue. I know what I like and what I don't. Luckily, I do enjoy most bourbons I try (certainly not all) and love a few of them. What I cannot do (sense) is break the flavors down to often seen descriptions as in.......red plums, nut meat, ripe pear, milk(not dark) chocolate, bitter orange rind, clove, anise and toasted Capn'Crunch!
    Again, I know when I like or dislike something, when its sufficiently complex vs one dimensional. Can one train their palate to ascertain such fleeting aromas or is it something you're born and live with?
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Whisky writer Jim Murray commented one of the more difficult parts of his work was thinking up new descriptions.

    I've read descriptions that contained such things as "wet slate" and I'm thinking whoinhell goes around licking slate?
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  3. #3
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    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Whisky writer Jim Murray commented one of the more difficult parts of his work was thinking up new descriptions.

    I've read descriptions that contained such things as "wet slate" and I'm thinking whoinhell goes around licking slate?


    I am pretty unsophisticated. I do rate bourbons (and any alcohol) on a scale of 0-100. However, it comes down to GREAT, GOOD, NEVER BUY AGAIN. I have found that I sometimes notice different aspects of a bourbon with each pour. Depends on a lot of factors. In the end, if I enjoy a bourbon each pour then it falls in the GREAT or GOOD category. Things like anise, I don't even know what that is. A flower? I have drank hibiscus water but I don't typically taste flowers.

  4. #4
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    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Anise is very similar to black licorice.
    "The light music of whiskey falling into a glass -- an agreeable interlude." -- James Joyce

  5. #5
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    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Nillion beat me to it and I don't care for licorice. Sometimes I wonder if folks aren't just repeating things without fully realizing what the taste is they're ascribing.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  6. #6

    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Whisky writer Jim Murray commented one of the more difficult parts of his work was thinking up new descriptions.

    I've read descriptions that contained such things as "wet slate" and I'm thinking whoinhell goes around licking slate?
    Years ago I was sharing a great glass of port with a friend. He stuck his nose deep into the glass and sucked in with his nose for all he was worth, lifted his head up and exclaimed..."it's like drinking road tar"! It was true, I confirmed with my nose, but it was lovely, sweet road tar.

  7. #7
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    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Quote Originally Posted by toddinjax View Post
    Years ago I was sharing a great glass of port with a friend. He stuck his nose deep into the glass and sucked in with his nose for all he was worth, lifted his head up and exclaimed..."it's like drinking road tar"! It was true, I confirmed with my nose, but it was lovely, sweet road tar.
    Our buddy Troyce was the first to get a "sheetrock mud" out of a bourbon. Not in a negative way, mind you. I gave him shite for it at first, but he was spot on. Since, I've picked that up in a few other bourbons. Slate, tar, sheetrock mud...yeah, I believe it...
    JOE

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    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  8. #8

    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe View Post
    ... Slate, tar, sheetrock mud...
    hum, maybe you're right. I always thought it tasted like limestone, but maybe sheetrock is better. Unless it's that deep limestone, like ya get in the bottom of a cave, like licking clay from the wet cave wall.

  9. #9
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    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    If you want to be able to discern "nut meat" flavor in a bourbon. May I recommend ECBP? I get it on the start... and on the end I usually feel like a squirrel after loading up on late summer mast preparing for winter (full, most content and ready to hibernate). As to the limestone flavor, my first thought is the initial taste of EC12. But oh, what a finish!
    Last edited by Paddy; 08-30-2013 at 22:24.

  10. #10
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    Re: palate; putting words to it..

    Yeah, some of those descriptions are way out there. But on the other hand, I'm still discovering new flavors, so I try not to be too cynical.

    Orange rind I recently discovered in OGD BIB. Well, I would say it was somewhere between plain ol' orange (sweet) and the more bitter rind.

    Never tasted milk chocolate, but definitely got dark chocolate notes a few times. Notably in EC12, but I'm sure a few others that I can't quite remember right now.

    I've gotten floral notes a lot on Bulleit and 4RSmB, though I doubt I'd ever be able to describe a specific flower. (And isn't Bulleit distilled by 4R?)

 

 

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