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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    I am starting to think that you really only taste bourbon, or any whiskey, i.e., taste it properly in its full plenitude, with the first drink. After that, the palate is always affected, I find I can barely taste anything coming after. If you have a decent interval, and eat something, then the palate goes back, but not otherwise.

    Comments?

    Gary

  2. #2
    Taster
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    Other than time, water seems to do the trick for me. Also, a slow pace is always good with that palate fatigue.

  3. #3
    Guru
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    Then drink the good stuff first.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  4. #4
    Disciple
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    Never noticed or considered a difference. If it's good it's good to the last drop.

  5. #5
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    I am starting to think that you really only taste bourbon, or any whiskey, i.e., taste it properly in its full plenitude, with the first drink. After that, the palate is always affected, I find I can barely taste anything coming after. If you have a decent interval, and eat something, then the palate goes back, but not otherwise.

    Comments?

    Gary
    I do tend to find that particularly with overproof whiskey my palate changes quickly with subsequent tastes. Drinking water in between does help. Lower proof, especially around 90 or so and below it is less of an issue unless the whiskey is pretty raw and fiery or has a significant spice component.

    Whiskey high in congeners or what ever it is that can make cheaper or less "refined" whiskey taste hot, even at lower proofs, can be a lot worse than a good quality overproof whiskey is on the palate. And water seems less able to neutralize the effect.
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    It can but not always. Sometimes I'm picking up crazy levels of nuance three drinks in. Other times I'm a one and done guy. I haven't spent enough time contemplating the matter to hypothesize on cause and effect.
    Richard
    GBS Member rounding out the top 5
    Are you a Whisk(e)y Apostle?

  7. #7
    Enthusiast
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    May 2014
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    I all tastes the same if you hold your breath.

    I generally find my first impression is pretty accurate. In other words if it try something (especially blind) and form an opinion of it, that usually doesn't change. Has nothing to do with "palate fatigue." Has more to do with the pleasure of the taste itself.

    Which is why it's very valuable to know and learn your pleasure and use it as a selective guide over anecdote. For ex, there's a ton of anecdotal feedback on Four Roses and it's a crowd fav to many. I've had enough myself to know that I don't prefer it's taste. I can pick FR out of a lineup fairly well because of previous experience, but I always am eager to be fooled (which I have been). Others are the same way with Beam or Turkey, etc.
    Last edited by BootsOnTheGround; 07-15-2014 at 12:55.

  8. #8
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    This is something that intrigues me. Take two Bourbons, one youngish (36-48 months) firery and hot, and another from the same distillery that is smooth and refined at 6-8 years. Both started the same (mashbill, proof off the still and into the barrel) so what explains the difference except the barrel aging.

    The barrel's the thing wherein we'll catch the spirit of the thing.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  9. #9
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    Quote Originally Posted by BootsOnTheGround View Post
    I can pick FR out of a lineup fairly well because of previous experience

    me too. 4R and Dickel are two brands I can always pick out of a lineup, as they are so unique in profile....dont like the former, love the latter. All the other brands, I may confuse now and then.
    Think about how stupid the average person is.....then realize that half of them are more stupid than that.

  10. #10
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    Re: Can You Really Taste Bourbon After One Drink?

    When I'm doing a SBS, I do try to taste them in reverse order - as I noticed that my second taste was virtually always my preferred (despite them being blind/random). You may be right about not tasting them as completely - but for me it feels like I'm still tasting 80% of what I would have tasted. I have tried different things with mix results (like a small piece of dark chocolate, allowing that to melt on the tongue between, followed by water), and I think those help. Or at least are an excellent excuse to consume dark chocolate
    Gary
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