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Thread: Smooth

  1. #1
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    Smooth

    When I am drinking with people that are not as familiar with bourbon as they should be, usually the first thing out of their mouth is "Smooth."

    I am curious. What did they expect and why don't they say "spicy" or "sweet" or "I can barely choke that down?"

    Maybe its just a regional thing.
    Joel

  2. #2
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    Re: Smooth

    Back before I began sipping and actually tasting spirits I was under the impression that pretty much all spirits were harsh or unpleasant to drink straight and thus would use the word “smooth” to describe ones that went down easy with little burning and/or bad taste. We drank primarily in shots or swigs from the bottle and drinking cheap liquor like E&J used to make myself and several others do a quick cringe/shiver almost involuntarily right after it went down. Spirits that caused this reaction were not “smooth” spirits but rather “rough” ones. I guess the people you drink with who are unfamiliar with bourbon are also unfamiliar with decent spirits in general like I used to be and have the same expectations I had a few years back.
    /\../\

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

  3. #3
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    Post Re: Smooth

    There was a thread that discussed this same point a few months ago. My opinion is that "smooth" means the relative absence of alcohol burn. This seems to be unrelated to proof, as many 80-proofers can be quite harsh while others over 100-proof can be quite smooth.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

  4. #4
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    Re: Smooth

    This thread reminded me of a thread like that but I could not find it. I remember someone giving a pretty good explanation as to why “smooth” is not a good term to use to describe bourbon. It was that thread that convinced me to try and be a little more creative in describing bourbon. The only word I could think of to search for it was “smooth”, which yields almost 29 pages of results. It’s no surprise, I hear this word a lot in many places.
    In response to my own post, since I can’t edit at this point, I should have said “liquor’s” instead of “spirits”; I don’t think I ever had a liqueur that I thought wasn’t “smooth” , even the 100 proof ones.
    /\../\

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

  5. #5
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    Re: Smooth

    Try this

    The "smooth" discussion starts on post #4

    Dawn

  6. #6
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    Re: Smooth

    Quote Originally Posted by luv2hunt View Post
    Try this
    Yep, that's the one. Thanks!
    /\../\

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

  7. #7
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    Re: Smooth

    Thanks!

    So a bourbon that gives you that retch feeling and causes cold chills up your back but has a absence of burn is "smooth"

    Now that is good to know!
    Last edited by TnSquire; 03-16-2007 at 19:40.
    Joel

  8. #8

    Re: Smooth

    So, what's the opposite of a smooth bourbon -- a bumpy one?
    Tim

  9. #9
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    Re: Smooth

    Quote Originally Posted by TnSquire View Post
    So a bourbon that gives you that retch feeling and causes cold chills up your back but has a absence of burn is "smooth"
    Nah, not in my book anyway, a bourbon that causes the retch feeling and the chills without the burn, somehow, would not still classify as "rough" in my book. Fortunately the only stuff I'd really classify as "rough" would be the cheap brandies I used to drink. In retrospect I don't know why we kept having our friend get us E&J, the last time I bought it for "a trip down memory lane" it had a horrid metallic taste to it and burned a hell of a lot for something that was only 80 proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    So, what's the opposite of a smooth bourbon -- a bumpy one?
    Actually, I prefer "rough"!
    /\../\

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

  10. #10
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    Lightbulb Re: Smooth

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    So, what's the opposite of a smooth bourbon -- a bumpy one?
    I would say, harsh.

    Tim
    Self-Styled Whisky Connoisseur

 

 

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