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Whiskey Blind Tasting Advice

cocostella

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My generous buddy, who happens to own three bars, is conducting a blind tasting for myself and another one of our mutual friends. I'm real excited to try and nail down the whiskeys that I truly enjoy the most, irrespective of label, hype, reviews, and even my own experiences, which were effected by ambiance, company, food, etc... He has a solid stash of quality bourbon and rye. Many I've had at one point or another. Quite a few I haven't.

The plan is to sample about ten 0.5oz pours and do them in two or three flights. We were thinking of adding in a flight of Irish, but I'm kinda' worried my palate will be wrecked if I overreach. Perhaps I should save that for another day and have a scotch and Irish whiskey tasting down the line? I think I'd rather just concentrate on bourbon and rye to start.

Does anybody have any experience with this or advice to share? I've never done a true "blind" tasting and it seems like it might be a bit tougher than the wine tastings I've done in the past, as i can't see myself spitting out mouth fulls of PVW20! The best part of this is, after I've narrowed it down to my favorite 3 or 4, he's going to hand over the bottles to me to take home! And yes, this is the result of a wager.
 

cocostella

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FYI - As far as I know, there's going to be a pretty solid mix of things I think I'm fairly familiar with (ER, PBV, etc), as well as other higher end whiskeys (but keeping it at $100 and under), which I either have never tried, or have only a passing familiarity with.
 

Douglas

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I'm no epicure, but I would have to think that your palate is going to be trashed after 3 or 4 tastings. Definitely after 5. Particularly so if you are doing them in a random order, as opposed to starting from the lighter side of the spectrum and moving heavier from there.

At a minimum, take your time, and drink lots of water between pours.
 

cocostella

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That's what I'm worried about and why I'm seeking advice here. As far as I know, the plan is to go from lighter to stronger.
 

ErnestoG.

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i did a tasting at the jameson distillery. a pour of jameson, a pour of jack daniels and a pour of johnnie walker black label. it was incredible to see the differences of each whisk(e)y when you tasted them side by side like that
 

cocostella

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Well, just got home from the tasting and am fairly polluted. I'd say my palate died around #9, but probably started to fade before then. I took it to #12, but definitely was relying more on my nose than taste buds towards the end, which isn't really fair, but... I won't go into every bottle, but for my particular tastes (and nose) the whiskeys that rose to the top were:

PVW 20yo (shocking, I know!)
ER 17yo (again, shocking!)
Whistlepig Rye
High West Bourye
High West Rendezvous Rye
Blanton's
VW Family Reserve Rye 13yo
PVW 15yo

There were other worthy contenders, but for my palate, these ones took the cake. One interesting note, the Old Protrero Rye surprisingly put me off. I was really looking forward to getting a bottle of this, so I was kind of bummed that it didn't make the cut. In fact, I singled it out as having a lot going for it, but there was some flavor and nose characteristic which simply disagreed with me. It was kind of a fishy note. I dunno. One of my buddies, who was silently tasting along with me, had no such experience. He rated it well. Different strokes.

Nothing nothing terribly out of left field was revealed, I guess... except, that the High West was right up there with some of the more well known heavies, at a significantly lower price. Really, it was just a fine time and I was well stoked when the food finally came. G'nite.
 

Warren G.

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ER 17 smells and taste soo gooood
 

gnatty8

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Haven't done one of these, but sound like they'd be a blast. Might see if my brother wants to partake next time we get together.
 

randallr

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Originally Posted by gnatty8
Haven't done one of these, but sound like they'd be a blast. Might see if my brother wants to partake next time we get together.

I'll do this with you!
 

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