In preparation for the first bourbon tasting I was ready. I took my time, did some research, asked a lot of questions. I changed my approach after consultation with others. I spent some time on the Bourbon Enthusiast forum getting feedback that was helpful.
"You shouldn't try to taste more than 4-5 whiskey's at a time", one person mentioned. Also break your tastings into groups such as proof or year age.
I was set. However, in the back of my head a bit of anxiousness was evident. Tasting and talking about just about anything was never an issue, but whiskey (Bourbon) in this case was another animal. It can be a beast unleashed which as someone has said... Whiskey must be treated with respect.
I did the low proof tasting as planned. It went well, I learned things, but in the taping I got lost and made upon playback contradictory statements that upon review (to me) didn't make sense. It was an important learning experience.
In my first tasting of 5 low proof Bourbons, I pushed my face into a glass of Evan Williams. Not much seemed to be going on... but then after tasting it I felt something... and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I figured it was on the nose as well. So when I went back to refer to it after tasting others I would say it was there... but it just wasn't.
I was so consumed with trying to find that caramel that it made me say things that weren't there. As my friends have said, you need to slow down sometimes and take it easy. I couldn't help put noticed I repeated a particular phrase 4 times during the taping.
I still agree with the over all assessment of the tasting, and there's going to be more to compare. Jefferson's I seemed to be surprised I didn't like as much as the others, something that should easily have stood out from all the rest. It's an expensive whiskey made differently from the rest right so it should be good right? It should be the best of these 5 right?? Truth is... it did stand out. It had the nicest nose, there were items to taste, cedar, forest/piney, but somehow that should be oak... True? I don't bury my head in oak barrels, I don't know the difference between French and American oak say for wine... this is where tasting and education helps, I have to start somewhere and this is truly here and now. But somehow after the tasting was over I felt like I abandoned TJ there... sitting all alone in pale silhouette, he would coldly stare at me it seemed, "How dare you even THINK that turkey is better than me!! I helped FOUND THIS COUNTRY!!!!" heh heh
In the end though, I was over run by taste and smell, I was starting to doubt, but in the end I had to stick with what I originally said. So if there is confusion about what you think I said, just remember my first impressions are the ones I usually stick to.
In the end the first Bourbon tasting is online and you can watch it down below in 2 parts. The entire video segment is about 23 minutes.
Stick around, Round 2 will be
- Makers Mark
- Makers 46
- Knob Creek
- Wild Turkey 101
- Wild Turkey Rare Breed