Blind tasting and judging whiskies.

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Blind tasting and judging whiskies.

Unread postby Mike » Tue May 22, 2012 7:51 pm

For a while, our esteemed colleague, Bourbon Joe, published he results of a weekly 'blind tasting' of well known bourbons........ along with an occasional vatting he or his friend cooked up. There were almost always some surprises as to which was the 'winner'. There is a lesson in blind tasting...... and it is not to pick the best. Rather it is to enjoy, at that moment, what gives you the greatest pleasure.

I have well over a hundred bourbons on my shelves. What I should do is have my wife pick the whiskey (including Irish Whiskey, Rye Whiskey, and Scotch Whiskey) off the shelf, never telling me what she has picked. The purpose of this is not for me to guess what whiskey it is, but just to adopt the attitude that it is a good one, and to enjoy it. At first, I will be inclinded to want to know what whiskey this is. But what if I had her write that down, along with my impressions, and hold it for a year. At the end of that year, we could tote up which whiskey was favored, and which was not so well liked.

Now, I submit to you, that this information would be pretty much worthless!! Next year, given the same bunch of whiskies, the comparison might reveal a different 'winner'.

Now, let us take another scenario. I am always aware of the label and cost of what I am sipping (as I pretty much am now), and I choose what I want to drink........... and, for the most part, I choose more costly bourbons. I submit to you, that this too, is pretty much worthless information. But........ is it any less worthless than the worthless information I spoke of above in the blind tasting. I say, NO!

I consider it a matter of 'style'. Why could I not accept that whatever approach I take to sipping a whiskey is only good for that moment.......... and to hell with anything else? This is what one might call an 'extreme' subjective approach to whiskey drinking........... but, say I, so what?

Seems to me that such an approach is the most direct and honest one can take. I am sure that this will not be news to many of you........ and, if so, be careful not to brag about it.......... we will be suspicious if you brag...... this is not a matter for 'I told you so', or 'just what I have always said'. It is something for the mature drinker, one who will smile to him/her self and take another sip of whatever whiskey and enjoy it. If it is good, have another sip, if it is not, maybe tomorrow will bring a better one. Life never gives only great sips........
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Blind tasting and judging whiskies.

Unread postby Bourbon Joe » Tue May 22, 2012 9:28 pm

Mike wrote:For a while, our esteemed colleague, Bourbon Joe, published he results of a weekly 'blind tasting' of well known bourbons........ along with an occasional vatting he or his friend cooked up.


I still post these Mike, but not here. A long time ago I asked for a tasting forum but that fell on deaf ears. So I post them on SB.com, which has a tasting forum. Over the years, this has steered many, especially newbies, to choose one bourbon over another. Just glad to do our part to further blind tastings...........the only way to go. One of those vattings will show up in Bardstown.
Joe
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