All bourbon drinkers should do this twice a year.
Take 2 bottom rung bourbons(Jim Beam, Early Times etc...), 2 mid rung, 2 premium and 2 single batch and have someone that you can trust pour number them in a shot glass 1-8 in a random manner while you are in another room. Have them jot the brands down by number ( a must)
Take a tasting of each and do not try and guess, but rank them in order of preference, then you can guess which brand is which.
2 things you will be shocked to find. 1. Your favorite bourbon isn't really your favorite. 2. You will make major mistakes in guessing the brands. You'll probably get 50% correct.
Why? Because enjoying a brand is 70% non-taste values. Bottle shape, label, brand imagery, price position, name are much more important than taste. Your mind anchors toward these associations which lead to a better bourbon experience
Many of the average brands do better in taste tests because they actually taste better. Low Complexity and short finishes are what people really like. Don't believe me?
What is the number 1 selling ice cream flavor? Vanilla,
number 2 is Chocolate. Not Blackberry-Butterscotch Chip.
I'm a victim myself of this and even though Bookers is my favorite, I know that I'm anchoring all the trappings that come with the brand. I like how it makes me feel. However, I'm a marketing professional who knows a lot of the tricks.
Do you have the guts to take the test?
The results will leave you puzzled, if you are honest with the results (and no practicing).I bet no one will get all 8 correct and very few will name their alledged favorite as the brand they pick #1 blindly.