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  1. #11
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    Great thread. The common perception is that older is better, but anyone who has read Jim Murray's Whisky Bible knows that not all experts agree. Murray often rates younger whiskies far higher than their older and more expensive bretheren. He seems to believe that there is an ideal age for some whiskies, and to surpass that is a mistake.

    For my part, I have not tried too many whiskies beyond 12 years of age. The ones I have (Wiser's, Gibson's, Alberta Premium) are certainly better-tasting than their younger counterparts, so based on that I would conclude that older whiskies are often of better quality, in terms of flavour.

    Then you have the question of diminishing returns. Is a 30-year-old Scotch really worth eight times as much as a 12-year-old? How is one to judge such things anyway? You are paying more for the relative scarcity of the drink than for the increase in quality.

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    Some of the factors that haven't been mentioned, which I think speak to quality and not style, are such factors as off-flavors (or the absence thereof), lack of flavor altogether (blandness), and deviation from type (a bourbon that's not even recognizable as a bourbon). Cost doesn't really enter into it because cost can be a function of scarcity without reference to either quality or style. And, as already mentioned, immature is a quality issue, as is being over-aged, i.e., too woody.

    Too often, I think, we say "that's terrible" when what we really mean is "I don't like that" or "that's crap" (i.e., low quality) when it's just not what we want in our mouth, maybe just then, maybe ever, but somebody else might love it. Now if somebody likes something that is actually (by the standards everybody has mentioned) bad, then that's just wrong, or somebody can like something you don't like, and you can acknowledge the distinction is stylistic.

    There is overlap, however, the most obvious place to me being in woodiness. There are some whiskeys that some people like that I think are just wrong, and though my gut tells me they're bad and there's something wrong with someone who likes them; courtesy, at least, compels me to regard it as a stylistic difference of opinion.

  3. #13
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I recently attended a presentation about Herradura Tequila. We tasted their Blanco, Reposado and Anjeo expressions. For those who don't know, Blanco (white) or Silver tequila is un-aged, Reposado is aged for less than one year and Anjeo is aged for a year or more.
    Chuck I know I am being nitpicky here, it's my OCD, but I just think it is important to point out you are speaking of their Blano not Silver, they make each. And they are one of the few who do in fact age their Silver tequila, in Herradura's case, 45 days; Gran Centenario being another. The Blanco is not aged, comes in a different style bottle and actually a higher proof - 92 I believe. Both are great.
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    You are correct about the light aging on the silver, which is actually 40 days, according to their official literature. Nothing I've seen indicates the existence of a completely unaged blanco under the Herradura brand. They do have an el Jimador Blanco, but that's 80 proof, as is the entire Herradura line.
    Last edited by cowdery; 03-29-2008 at 12:57.

  5. #15
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    Don't want to stray off topic in the General Bourbon forum, so here is a link Chuck http://www.straightbourbon.com/forum...801#post116801
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  6. #16
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    Seems to me (at this moment, to my whiskey-addled brain) that this is more semantics than specifics.

    To me. quality embodies a number of attributes, including style (whatever the hell that means).

    So... what's the point: either one perceives that it is good (or better) quality or not. Style, I think, is a secondary characteristic.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  7. #17
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    Quote Originally Posted by jburlowski View Post
    . Style, I think, is a secondary characteristic.
    Style as a secondary characteristic?,.... let me think about that, I will get back to you.










    Ok, I am back, I think I agree, but there are times when style is my first choice, so therefore at those times it is not secondary,...
    ovh

  8. #18
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    I'm not sure how this fits in into this discussion but if we are comparing white dog and aged bourbon and asking the question if it all starts out the same isn't it just a matter of style, I might ask, when common whiskey was the norm and aged product was a luxury, were the stills manipulated in such a way, perhaps as to take a narrower cut since the end product was meant to be consumed un-aged. In other words are some cogenors best left out if we intend to drink it right off the still whereas these same cogenors when modified by aging contribute in a positive way to the taste of the aged whiskey? Or am I just over thinking this?

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarV View Post
    S

    Ok, I am back, I think I agree, but there are times when style is my first choice, so therefore at those times it is not secondary,...
    Ah but if we agree that all of your bourbons are of high quality, then you don't have to consider quality and are left to chose by style.

    Let's take corn whiskies as an example. not a lot of choice here so lets say you can get:

    Georgia Moon
    Mellow Corn

    This gives you a choice of style between an almost unaged and a 4yo BIB. If it can be agreed that they both start with the same quality ingredients and go through the same quality control processes, then you are left with style as the only way to chose between them.

    Those different styles may have flavors and odors that, while considered flaws in another style, are indigenous to that style.

    Another example:

    In beer judging, it is considered a flaw for most lagers to have a vinous (wine-like) quality, but in ales it is usually considered an advantage. So even if you happen to like vinous beers, in your lager it would be a flaw.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  10. #20
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    Re: Quality v. Style

    you know what? we actually agree on this.

    So therefore I think that the the thread's title is a ridiculaous question.
    ovh

 

 

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