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  1. #11
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    I agree with Chuck; newbies who have rarely tasted a spirit neat will judge anything "smooth" as the best. They do not judge other characteristics.

    This is probably why Canadian Whiskies and US Blended Whiskies are such huge sellers.

    Of course, we mock them as flavorless.

  2. #12
    Enthusiast
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    I don't know, I think "smooth" is a perfectly valid descriptor for something like, say, Gentleman Jack. But it certainly should not be applied willy-nilly to every good whiskey, as a synonym for "good" (whatever that means).

    I have lots of respect for Maker's Mark, but I would not describe it as smooth.

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    It seemed to be older and deeper as I recall it from 20 years ago but it is still a good whiskey.

    Gary

  4. #14
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
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    I'd like you to know that Jim R. at Four Roses described bourbon as "smooth" at least 6-8 times in his "Let's Talk Bourbon" discussion at the KBF. He pretty much defined the term as "absence of burn".

    Dawn

  5. #15
    Novice
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    Springfield, MO
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    The wheat and good, consistent control of all factors, especially the barrels, make Maker's Mark the smoothest of the bourbons.

    I can understand the frustration with the nebulous descriptor "smooth(est)", but I think the point of the quote is the word "consistent." In many brewing circles Budweiser is considered one of the finest crafted beers. Why? Because millions and millions of gallons of Bud all taste the same. Consistency for the consumer. So, that said, would anyone agree with the quote above if it was rephrased to, "...Maker's Mark the most consistent of the bourbons."?

    Jeff
    Last edited by jeff; 09-25-2006 at 08:05.

  6. #16
    Guru
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by luv2hunt
    I'd like you to know that Jim R. at Four Roses described bourbon as "smooth" at least 6-8 times in his "Let's Talk Bourbon" discussion at the KBF. He pretty much defined the term as "absence of burn".

    Dawn
    That is the way I have always understood it. Not smooth as in to the touch, but as an absence of distressing harshness, i.e., relatively little alcohol burn.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  7. #17
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    I agree that "smooth" seems to mean "an absence of distressing harshness," which makes its use all the more amusing. Smoothness is supposed to be a positive attribute, but all it really means is "not painful to drink." What does it say about a product if the highest praise for it is that it is not awful?

    If "smoothness" is the absence of something, then how can you have "smooth," "smoother," "smoothest"? Can "absence" be relative? Can something be "less unsmooth" than something else?

    If "smoothness" did refer to something more like touch, a lush, velvety quality perhaps, I would like it better.

  8. #18
    Guru
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    Yes, I say there are degrees of smoothness in spirits. Smooth, smoother, smoothest. Harsh, harsher, harshest.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    I would think that absence of something is almost always relative. Think of a flawless diamond: when is it flawless? to the naked eye? to the jewelers' loupe? to an electron microscope? Colorless gases still produce light defraction that results in the change of light color(both visible and nonvisible wavelengths) hence colorless gases still color the light. Tasteless comments tend to add a certain flavor to the conversation.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  10. #20
    Taster
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    Jun 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    59
    I have grown weary of hearing my friends and aquaintances describe things as "smooth, " especially after reading the very descriptive tasting notes in these forums. It seems to me to be overused and, to me, it also very non-descript.

    I guess I like things defined more precisely. I don't think I could spend money on bourbon or cigars or whatever if they were simply characterized as smooth. Hell, the top of my kitchen table is smooth -how does that help me describe bourbon, tequila, cigars, or whatever?

 

 

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