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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    Personally I find a detailed description based on simile or metaphor referring to the tastes or odors of other drinks, or of foods or other objects, informative to learn what a drink might taste like.Gary
    I can agree to a certain degree. The odd metaphor can certainly enrich a tasting note, if used in a sparing manner, but when the writer starts to pile them upon each other in an orgy-like fashion then he or she loses me.

    It is also relevant to ask yourself whether your personal notes are to any help or not. I seem, for instance, to be the only one who finds the scent of fulminating powder in the Bakerīs nose.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Here I agree with you. I too have read my share of descriptions which jumble a bunch of impressions and use different metaphors, to wit, "the whisky evoked the smell of coiled rope on the fantail of a diesel teak vessel loitering the coasts of Old India, with a touch of gristy tea biscuit as cooked on an iron griddle in the damp Essex of my youth, yet the final and decisive impression being one of permeating and ever-dominant flowery notes recalling the scent of first girlfriend, and...". Well you get the picture, and so do I.

    The main whisky writers actually avoid this, though. And each develops a vocabulary of his own. E.g., Murray speaks of the "rigid" character of Irish pot still and I know exactly what he means but it took me a while to figure out his lingo, his frame of reference.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-23-2006 at 12:15.

  3. #13
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    Hijacking of Thread Narrowly Averted

    Click here.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Last edited by bluesbassdad; 03-23-2006 at 13:14.
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  4. #14
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    Chuck, re: tasting notes: I have been learning about bourbon and whiskey and you know one day I like one thing and one day the next. Its like it changes day by day what I like. One day I think Evan Williams Black is the Gold Standard and then the next day I think its Very Old Bartons. And the next day I think what I used to like bites! too much....... its not a thing you can really grade. Thank God I can be a bourbon afficionado and nearly trailer trash in income.

  5. #15
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    As for Randy's original comments, isn't it the same with film reviewers, music reviewers or anything else. Sometimes you find someone whose tastes are so perfectly opposite your own that anything they like, you know you will hate, and vice versa. That's as useful, in its way, as finding a reviewer with whom you always agree.
    Yes, Chuck, yes! I remember when there were certain reviewers that I read over a period of years and when they said something was great, I knew that I should avoid it. And vice versa.

    It actually grew to where I looked forward to reading their reviews, even though I knew they had opposing views to mine, because I knew I could depend on them to let me know whether I'd enjoy something. Just in the opposite direction!

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  6. #16
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    I also like to read Jim Murray's books. However, I totally agree with Chuck Cowdery that whiskey tasting is a very personalized experience. I can think of 2 whiskey brands that Jim Murray totally blasted as the worst he had tasted in their respective categories, one being a bourbon and the other a Canadian. I found both to be quite acceptable brands. I don't generally write off a whiskey until I have tried it in every way I like to drink it, including with my favorite mixers. Whiskey is to be consumed in whichever way the consumer likes it most, regardless of its price or book review!

  7. #17
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    I generally agree with his tasting notes for American whisky, and often (but a little less) with his rankings. I tasted MM black for the first time recently, wrote notes and they very similar to his.

    Personally I think he rates young cheap whiskies too highly - JB white label and Pikesville spring to mind.

    However, I think JM is honest when he writes his rankings and notes. Whether you agree or not is a matter of personal taste.

    As an aside, I agree with him that the VW 20 is the worst of their bourbons, but I still think it is a good whisky. Just some way behind the great ones they have produced. I recently bought the new Old Rip 10yo 107 and it is the bourbon I reach for most, even with WLW and GTS eyballing me.
    Cheers,

    Sion (AKA Bamber).

  8. #18
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006
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    Critics as a reference point

    I find that if I read a review beforehand, I have an expectation and its almost never met, good or bad. I can't be objective.
    If I read it afterward, I either get "Ahas" when something nails what I experience or "What the heck is he thinking" when my experience is different.
    The disturbing part is inconsistency. If the critic always finds something sweeter or spicier or peppery, I can handle that. Its when I'm at odds with the critic on multiple whiskeys in opposite directions on the same characteristics.
    That's the way it is with Murray. Some its right on, others far apart but without linkage.
    All part of the fun.
    Self Doubt!!!!
    (Not that I could ever be wrong, it must be Murray)
    Colonel Ed
    Bourbonian of the Year 2006

    Comissioned by Paul Patton, 1999

    "It ain't the booze that brings me in here, it's the solace it distills"

  9. #19
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    Gary,
    I am enamored with the evocative prose used to describe the sensory perception experienced by the imbiber of said spirit(s). Actually, I appreciate when Jim describes a taste akin to "burned rubber." Whatever this means, it can not be good!

    I have read some tasting notes on Buffalo Trace and they include dark candied fruit, teaberry, and orange citrus. The fruit (candied and orange)evokes a perception in my mind, however, I have no idea what teaberry is nor can I appreciate the thought being conveyed.

    My basic take on any descriptive taste notes and scores is that they are more pertinate to the person who is more of a novice. Just walk through the wine section of a store and you will see that the bins merchandised with glowing tasting notes and a high score will nearly always be better shopped (more bottles sold) than those without scores. I know very little about wine, therefore, I am more inclined to be influenced by Mr. Parker. Conversely, I am less inclined to be swayed by Jim when he rates bourbons.

    Ken

  10. #20
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Hi Ken. When I started learning about whisky I found writers' taste notes very helpful. Eg when I read Michael Jackson's 1987 World Guide To Whisky, he said a keynote of the Seagram's whiskies is a faint oak taste - he is right. Another company's house flavor (Meagher's) was fruity, he said; and again he was right! This was not self-fulfilling, Jackson is really very good. But sure, once you are familiar with the whiskies in a given range his or any expert's opinion becomes less important. Other writers are good too, e.g. Murray. Dave Broome of Whisky Magazine tends to use a lot of different associations when describing whisky but I learn from him, too. And I like still to read what others think of the things I buy, so I will certainly buy Murray's 2006 Whisky Bible.

    Gary

    N.B. About teaberry: I have never had it as far as I know but to me it connotes a tannic flavor. Tea is tannic. Teaberry may be a berry which if infused in water produces a tannic, tea-like drink. And in fact, Trace does have a light tannic edge. So there you go. Another example: A cooking author once said judging by the number of recipe books which vaunt their offerings as ideal for a picnic you would think the hills and vales of the land are covered 24 hours per day, 7 days a week with picnicers. But if someone says this dish will go well at a picnic you get a certain impression, even though you may never go to picnics.
    Last edited by Gillman; 03-24-2006 at 14:23.

 

 

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