Doing Reviews

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Doing Reviews

Unread postby Mike » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:09 pm

I see new members names appear regularly...........yet, most never post.

There is nothing wrong with this of course, many people prefer to read and remain anonymous. But, when it comes to expressing your opinions about the bourbons you enjoy, or don't enjoy, please take the time to play with us.

My opinions, Mike Veach's, Gary Gillman's, MikeK's, JoeBourbon's and the other reviewer's opinions are only our opinions, with our limitations as tasters and reviewers.

I take some time when I review a whiskey, I smell and smell, and wait and wait, and taste and taste, and take notes, and more notes, and try to identify different aromas...........feeling my way, asking my self, what the hell is that aroma? And, to top it off, I almost always use a 'control' bourbon.......one whose qualities with which I am confortable.......to set a context. I am not good enough to take a bourbon blind and evaluate it, and I won't apologize for that, it is how I work. Take that for what it is worth. I can't always put my finger on a taste or aroma, but I will go out on a limb sometimes.................which explains why I am beginning to do reviews of bourbons I reviewed in the past.

I am pretty good now at identifying things like what I call the 'warmth' of rye, or leather, or citrus aromas, or floral elements. I am not so good, as MikeK is, at finding the dark fruit such as cherries (without MikeK, I don't think I would ever have noticed them).

I respect other reviewers a lot and have learned so much from them. Maybe you have more than you think to say. In my reviews I have my notes before me on the aromas and tastes and the finish, but that is it. What I end up saying, for good or ill, comes at the time I do the reivew. The act of doing the review gives me ideas as I do it..........some bad ideas no doubt, but some good ones too.

I believe that my appreciation of bourbon, and other whiskies, has improved immensely as a result of reading BE reviews and of doing my own reviews and risking the chance of appearing foolish...........I never have to worry about being foolish, it will happen today or tomorrow. Sometimes it bothers me, until my wife and my tendency to float brings me back to center............almost always because I must not take myself too seriously, my sense of humor works best as a defense mechanism!
Last edited by Mike on Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Mark » Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:24 pm

Mike, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The reviews section is not something to be afraid though I’m willing to bet many are scared away by the thought of adding to it. Don't worry if you can't pick out subtle nuances in your pour like cherries, plums and dingle berries... Well hopefully not that last one! :P Really though, we hope the reviews section can/is being used by both registered and non registered users as a source of differing or similar opinions on a certain product. Maybe as people see that their tastes match up to someone else's it'll give them insight as to what to venture out and buy next. That's one reason we added the new comments feature in the reviews section; we hope it will open up all new discussions about various bottlings. :) Not to mention that for the reviews section to really function as a part of what it is supposed to do we need everyone’s input about what they think of the different products out there.
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Unread postby Brewer » Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:05 pm

Lest anyone forget, we have a new goal number to work towards. 8-)
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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:25 pm

There are a lot of people who simply lack the confidence to do a review. For them, all I have to say is practice, practice, practice. Do a review on paper for yourself, and then another one and another. Eventually you will get there in your own opinion. When confident, then post some reviews here.

There are also a lot of people who use this site for the reviews without joining. I know of a few of these people myself. They come here to read a review or two before they head out to the liquor store. They are not overly interested in anything other than buying good bourbon and the reviews help them to decide. I have met a few at the Bourbon's Bistro and they recognized me from this site. The reviews really are a public service and it is great that the public can take advantage of them without having to join. I shows that it really is about the bourbon.

We do have a new goal for reviews, but the numbers are not the important thing. For me, I think having a variety of opinions about individual brands is the most important thing. People need to see that not everybody agrees about the taste and there is no "right answer", only opinions. This will naturally lead to more reviews and higher numbers on the reviews, but is only of secondary importance, a side effect so to speak.
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Unread postby Brewer » Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:20 pm

bourbonv wrote: We do have a new goal for reviews, but the numbers are not the important thing. For me, I think having a variety of opinions about individual brands is the most important thing. People need to see that not everybody agrees about the taste and there is no "right answer", only opinions. This will naturally lead to more reviews and higher numbers on the reviews, but is only of secondary importance, a side effect so to speak.


Mike,

I fully agree with your point regarding numbers...it's not about that at all really. It's about people sharing THEIR opinions on as many different bourbons as we all have access to. It is nice to see a variety of reviews on the same item as well, so that people can see that what one individual thinks "tastes great" may taste like battery acid to someone else. All of the reviews should be about the quality or lack of quality about a bourbon/rye; not about whether we have 3 million reviews.
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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:37 pm

Bob,
Sometimes we can get caught up in numbers. I am as guilty of this as anyone and I do find the number of reviews as exciting, but it should be remembered that it is the variety that comes with the numbers that is really exciting.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Unread postby MikeK » Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:12 pm

Taking notes for a review really does make you slow down and smell the black cherries, so to speak. It makes you take the time to enjoy the bourbon that much more. I often offer the glass to my wife or young daughter to nose, as they will often detect aromas that I did not. If I then notice it as well, I will include it in my notes. I also find it helpful to take additional notes every time I drink from that bottle. There are many factors that affect what you sense on any given day. Sometimes I smell and taste an amazing variety, some days I get nothing. Over the course of a bottle the final review coalesces.

Cheers,
Mike
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