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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Central Arizona (near Prescott), U.S.A.

    Kindergarten for Bourbon Tasters?

    As much as I am enjoying sipping the dozen or so bourbons I've bought in the last several weeks, I find myself increasingly confused as to what it is that causes me to enjoy one bourbon more than other. Even worse, I find that my perceptions shift from one day (or minute) to the next.

    For example, I revisited Rebel Yell a couple of days ago, and I found it not nearly as "bitey" and thin as I had recalled. On the flip side, I drank some Elijah Craig 12 y/o last night, and the prune flavor that I recalled seemed to be missing, replaced with something more on the order of burned pie crust. In between I took another pass at Knob Creek, on the rocks for the first time, and all of the subtlety had vanished, replaced by a single dominant flavor, somewhere between carbon and leather, yet not altogether unpleasant.

    No more than I can recognize and recall flavors, maybe I'd have just as much fun comparing Old Sav-On Pharmacy with Costco Private Brand.

    All of this leads me to wonder whether there might be some orderly way to become acquainted with the flavors present in bourbon, starting with the most basic (wheat vs. rye?) and gradually adding complexity.

    Has anyone ever undertaken the challenge of creating a lesson plan for new tasters?

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Retiree, Musician, Dog-Lover, Whiskey-Drinker

  2. #2

    Re: Kindergarten for Bourbon Tasters?

    Yes Dave we did something simular to that last year. Let me see if I can find the thread and give it a bump.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Bryan, Ohio

    Askin\' the Right Questions


    I wish you were here 3 months ago when I first joined the forum. You ask all the right questions that I didn't/was too afraid to ask. I am learning a lot just reading the posts Linn bumps for ya! thanks.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Canandaigua, NY

    Re: Askin\' the Right Questions

    > I am learning a lot just reading the posts Linn bumps<

    Same here! Just joined the board a couple of days ago, and am "brand new" to Bourbons -- but having a great time learning and sampling!

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: Kindergarten for Bourbon Tasters?

    The taste differences between bourbons can be very subtle. Consequently, they can seem inconsistent from experience to experience. Some of this is intangible -- the mood you're in, the time of day. Some of it is tangible: Did you (or your wife) empty the ice cube tray right after chopping onions? Is your neighbor tarring his roof? Did you eat a chocolate chip cookie an hour ago? All of these factors can cause you to have a different taste experience, even when you think all the conditions are the same. Also, as you become more experienced, you will have identified certain tastes and when you experience them again, they will seem more prominent. "Oh, there's Old Leather again." Like that. I have been at this a long time and still have the experience where something I have loved in the past suddenly seems blah to me, or I find something admirable in a brand I previously rejected. It's all part of the mystery. You will become frustrated if you expect everything to line up neatly for you. Taste in the moment.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://cowdery.home.netcom.com>--Chuck Cowdery</A>

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Bloomington, IN

    Re: Kindergarten for Bourbon Tasters?

    here is a link to one of Chuck's articles that should help you.




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