Venturing into 'House Taste' - at my peril......

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Venturing into 'House Taste' - at my peril......

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:49 pm

Recently in a review and post I talked about a 'House Taste' in Bourbons. In particular I spoke of the Heaven Hill 'House Taste' as regards to Evan Williams Single Barrel and Ezra B Single Barrel. The similiarities between the two, in spite of proof differences, are striking to my palate.

So I venture further afield.

Doing a side by side with a couple of Barton bourbons. A 1792 Ridgemeont Reserve Kris Comstock Single Barrel Series Select (8 years old) over agin a 6 year old Very Old Barton at 90 proof. What, you say? This is not fair comparison! And, that is true. The VOB 6 year sells for under $10 (and, BTW is an excellent buy), while the 1792, which in this case was a gift and is not the regular small batch 1792, but is a specially selected Single Barrel which was a gift.

To be sure the specially selected 1792 is a richer, more complex, and better balanced bourbon, lacking the rough edge (in comparison) of the VOB. No one would expect otherwise.

But the purpose of this post is not to compare these bourbons side by side, but to look a bit more closely at the Barton 'House Taste'.

Once upon a time, I did not (or so it seemed) care for the Barton 'House Taste'. Now, be it known, the Barton 'House Taste' has many adherents, and I have reconsidered my mild distaste for their bourbons. At least the 1792 Kris Comstock SB is first rate whiskey, and the VOB 6 YO at under $10 is an very good buy.

I find the Barton 'House Taste' to be slightly similiar to the Heaven Hill 'Houes Taste'......... but with a more assertive spicy taste. I readily concede that any prejudice I once might have had against Barton is gone........... however, I still prefer the HH 'House Taste' because it can produce a more delicate bourbon in my opinion......... something I like and admire.

But, need I remind you, that is not a trait that all bourbon lovers share.

Find you own palate's preferences.
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: Venturing into 'House Taste' - at my peril......

Unread postby mosugoji64 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:03 am

Becoming familiar with the "house taste," or profile, of the different distilleries is a great way to get started in this hobby. It also helps to identify ones preferences and guide purchasing decisions.

"Weller and water ... wonderful!"
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Re: Venturing into 'House Taste' - at my peril......

Unread postby EllenJ » Wed Jun 20, 2012 2:31 pm

I agree with Mosugoji64.

In fact, I believe the importance of developing a recognition of "house taste" is far greater (both for us and for the professionals who do this at the distilleries) than the ability to detect specific nuances, such as "dark, pitted fruit" (olives?) or "chocolate" (Godiva? Hersheys? Milk Duds? See's? - Hell, if you don't know the difference, why should I rely on your opinion of a whiskey I've never tasted myself?).

On the other hand, being able to identify the profile (or profiles; look at the diversity among Heaven Hill or Buffalo Trace brands) of a specific brand is absolutely vital to real tasters.
(the "Jaye" part of "L 'n' J dot com")
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