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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon
    In other words, the absense of 'distinctive' taste means they all taste alike, not that they all have no taste..
    Very interesting .... I must say I did not think of it that way. But then why would one have a preference of brand? If they all taste alike...
    Dale

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  2. #12
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    Most interesting comments and I'll address only Tim's interpretation, which raises a legal construction point.

    When the statute states, "without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color" does the word distinctive modify character only or also aroma, taste and color?

    In other words maybe the author of the law meant to say, "without ... taste...". We know he or she did about color.

    There are rules of interpretation which assist to decide which meaning was meant. I know in Canada what we would use; what are the U.S. rules?

    Gary

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    Most interesting comments and I'll address only Tim's interpretation, which raises a legal construction point.

    When the statute states, "without distinctive character, aroma, taste or color" does the word distinctive modify character only or also aroma, taste and color?

    In other words maybe the author of the law meant to say, "without ... taste...". We know he or she did about color.

    There are rules of interpretation which assist to decide which meaning was meant. I know in Canada what we would use; what are the U.S. rules?

    Gary
    I'm not sure of the exact rules, but they must be pretty lax otherwise we wouldn't have flavored vodka.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by barturtle
    I'm not sure of the exact rules, but they must be pretty lax otherwise we wouldn't have flavored vodka.
    Flavored vodka must be labeled as such, just as the Phillips Union cherry and vanilla whiskeys must be labeled "flavored". Also, they are generally under 80 proof.
    Tim

  5. #15
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    I remember on a visit to one of the Sam's Wine & Spirits locations, there was someone offering tastes of a Swiss vodka. This was distilled from rye, and even though it was a vodka, it seemed almost whiskey-like to me. I tried it neat, and I could taste a rye influence despite it being vodka.

    Maybe this was akin to the 1970s-era "light whiskey?"
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  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    True. But I was thinking that to flavor vodka makes it fundamentally not what the definition of vodka is (even more so when it smells like what it is flavored as and is colored to match).

    Whiskey is still whiskey, due to how it is made, but once you flavor it it is not longer straight whiskey (and I'm not sure about those folks from Lynchburg, but my bottle of Dickel makes no mention of the word straight either).

    Back when I started bartending, I was working with this old dude, someone asked him for flavored vodka, he looked'em right in the eye and said "Well, hell son-I got some gin right here"
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  7. #17
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    I just meant the legal rules of interpretation, which would tell us if the modifier distinctive applies to each of the other words in the sentence (odor, color, etc.). But that is really aside from the point I think although not unconnected: if the government thinks alcohol has no taste, maybe it doesn't in other words, but that isn't definitive. Probably the person who wrote the law meant that alcohol has no distinctive character BECAUSE it has no odor, taste or color. Statutes are rarely written perfectly logically.

    In fact though Tim may be right, alcohol can have a taste but not such a taste as you can tell what it is made from. The law as I noted earlier has a context (or operates relatively), which was the known drinks of the West at the time: brandy, lees-brandy (i.e., marc/grappa - now that has taste!), malt whisky, bourbon, etc.

    And thus again, what does pure alcohol, including when chilled, taste like to people? We have some good responses such as sweet, maybe grainy and also that some of the taste may be its physical sensation on the palate, a kimd of irritation at high strength (this is what Jeff, Doug and Bettye Jo waere driving at).

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 11-08-2006 at 04:53.

  8. #18
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    This thread is leading to a blind tasting party.
    Dale

    "All I want to know is who's the player on second base?"

  9. #19
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    Do you mean the tasting party will be blind after they taste all of the straight alcohol? haha...
    "Too much of anything is bad, but too much of good whiskey is barely enough." -Mark Twain

  10. #20
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    By the way I didn't mean to refer in my original question to pure alcohol but any kind of vodka or GNS. Water may vary in taste but not significantly and I was trying to determine if people think the ethanol component has a taste.

    I think it does, it tastes like ethanol (which may be sweet, grainy).

    And it doesn't taste like corn, rye (usually anyway), potatos, grapes...

    Gary

 

 

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