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  1. #1

    How would you structure a tasting?

    My friend, my brother-in-law, and I are going to do a little bourbon tasting tonight. We don't have enough glasses to do it right, so it is going to be sequential (or maybe 2 side by side). What order would you put the bourbons in? I was planning to do it like this:

    Maker's Mark
    Eagle Rare 10 yo
    Pappy Van Winkel 20 yo
    Blantons
    Elijah Craig 18 yo
    Bookers

    Curious what you guys would suggest.

    Joel
    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...

    http://vinesnwines.blogspot.com

  2. #2
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    Re: How would you structure a tasting?

    Hey Joel!

    Good choice leaving the Booker's until last! Could be a mistake to sample such a high proof whiskey too early.

    Ask everyone not to wear any aftershave as it may affect taste and nose and avoid heavily spiced food before/with the tasting..

    I'd go Maker's vs EC
    ER vs Pappy
    Booker's vs Blanton's.

    Have water and crackers on standby to cleanse the palate and you are good to go. Enjoy and let us know how it went!
    Philip

    I guess good whiskey really does tickle my pickle!

  3. #3
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    Re: How would you structure a tasting?

    Oh btw...

    If I am talking rubbish please let me know guys! I would be interested to know how some of the SB tasters/gurus/Gods (delete as required) do things as well.
    Philip

    I guess good whiskey really does tickle my pickle!

  4. #4
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    Re: How would you structure a tasting?

    Your line up looks pretty good since in the beginning it alternates the wheat recipe bourbons with the rye recipe bourbons. Iím thinking that maybe you want to switch the PVW20 with the MM since the PVW is the most expensive bourbon on your list and, presumably, you would be tasting it with your palette as clean and as sharp as it going to be during the whole tasting. One other thing to consider is having the EC18 after the PVW20 so that, assuming you decide to do side-by-side, in addition to the wheat vs rye comparison you will also be comparing two bourbons of close age. Then again you may want to do the exact opposite (youngest vs oldest).
    As Philip says, I think it is definitely a good call having the Bookers last.
    /\../\

    "I've had eighteen straight whiskies, I think that's the record . . ." - Dylan Thomas

  5. #5
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    Re: How would you structure a tasting?

    Quote Originally Posted by mythrenegade View Post
    My friend, my brother-in-law, and I are going to do a little bourbon tasting tonight. We don't have enough glasses to do it right, so it is going to be sequential (or maybe 2 side by side). What order would you put the bourbons in? I was planning to do it like this:

    Maker's Mark
    Eagle Rare 10 yo
    Pappy Van Winkel 20 yo
    Blantons
    Elijah Craig 18 yo
    Bookers

    Curious what you guys would suggest.

    Joel
    All very good bourbons and very good advice given in the other posts. My personal preference if I was tasting sequentially would be to try the PVW 20 first and use it as a benchmark for the others. Above all, with this star line-up you can't lose.

    Enjoy and please do give us the results.
    Often I am forced to deal with the fact that I prefer bourbon over dealing with facts.

  6. #6
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    Re: How would you structure a tasting?

    If doing this as pairs, I'd probably try something like this (though if i had a choice I'd replace the Bookers with Bakers to get a better proof match)

    Makers-Pappy (young v. old wheat)
    Blantons-EC 18 ( Pair of SBs)
    ER 101-Bookers (the high proof stuff)
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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

    I'm no Pappyophile

  7. #7

    Re: How would you structure a tasting?

    Ok,

    The tasting is over. We thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very fun taking the time to compare six different bourbons. All of them were well worth drinking, and each of them had a very distinct flavor. We took the advice of many of you and swapped the maker's and the pappy van winkel, just to give the pappy the biggest advantage. In my case, I poured a little larger pour of pappy and compared it to each of the other bourbons.

    We had water and crackers to clean the pallet between pours, and we also had some very nice cheeses (Tete de Mond, a swiss cheddar, a blue cheese, brie, and a very nice gouda). All told it was a great experience.

    My brother in law, Brooks, ranked them as followed:

    Blantons, Bookers, Elijah Craig 18 yo, Eagle Rare 10yo, Pappy, Makers.

    My friend Dave ranked them very differently:

    Elijah Craig 18 yo, Blantons, Pappy, Eagle Rare 10yo, Makers, Bookers

    Finally, I ranked them like this:

    Elijah Craig 18yo, Blantons, Bookers, Eagle Rare 10yo, Pappy, Makers.

    I found the EC18 and Blantons to be a total toss up for 1st place. The deciding factor for me was that EC18 is $10 cheaper than Blantons. I really enjoy both bourbons. The last time I had Blantons I was not very experienced with bourbon. In fact I think I posted my very first post on straightbourbon after tasting the blantons. I didn't realize how great it was until I got to try it against five other bourbons that I quite like.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Joel
    "Oh Bother!" said Pooh as he slapped another magazine in his AK-47...

    http://vinesnwines.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    Re: How would you structure a tasting?

    Sounds like a cool night - you hung with likeminded friends and tasted some top whiskey.

    It surely gets no better? Thanks for the follow up and it was interesting to see the different preferences between you all.
    Philip

    I guess good whiskey really does tickle my pickle!

 

 

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