Tuesday, July 12, 2011

rye whiskey tasting: verbatim comments

i'm sitting here going through the various tasting notes and pictures from the rye whiskey tasting party. my new stools arrived for my kitchen.....


which i am thrilled about since it provides another congregating/work space for me. ideally, i wanted the stools to arrive before the party....but alas, they'll be here for the next party. it also means that i can enjoy another way to make the most of the space in my apartment.


as i'm thinking and going through the notes from the rye whiskey tasting party, i think i'll end up writing multiple postings about the party. methinks there is quite a bit for me to say. i kept the invite list to 30 people total. my place isn't exactly huge. despite the small size, it was a pretty diverse group that included family......friends....both new and old. there were folks from all types of life....writers, corporate job folks, teachers, medical industry folks, public service, engineers/scientists, cooks, chefs, a newly minted brewer, and more.

i think this first posting will be sharing the written tasting comments verbatim. the majority of people at the party had no preconceived notions of what "rye whiskey" should taste like. a couple of them may have been familiar with one or two of the whiskeys on the tasting table....but the majority had no idea what kind of breadth and depth was on the table. in order to facilitate discussion (i mean...who wants to have a dead quiet party?) i provided a list of suggested terms used to describe whiskey. these terms were placed by the table that held the nine rye whiskeys. folks also added to the suggested terms category throughout the night as well.

then, there were columns/areas dedicated to each whiskey. folks could write down comments on sticky notes about each whiskey and if one of them was a stand-out favorite, there were also star sticky notes. participation was completely optional but i think folks really got into it. it provided a non-intrusive means for folks to talk about the different whiskeys....in a completely safe environment. one of the ideas behind doing this party was to provide a sandbox...provide the ingredients, some guidance structure to kick it off, then stand back and see what happens.


it was rather fascinating what happened. not everyone participated in the writing comments on sticky notes....including myself. i've also had separate discussions with many folks about the whiskeys so i'll be keeping that in mind and also be providing some context (but not names) behind some of the folks who wrote the comments.


so the verbatim comments are below.


old overholt

taste notes
light, smooth, burn (2), mellow (2), mellifluous, honey, smokey, woody, vanilla, and toffee

nose notes
boozey, angular, immature, wood smoke, grain, peat, and new wood closet,

key quotes
"tastes like caramel/honey with a basil stem in it"
"smooth like buttuh"

favorite stars: 3

bulleit rye
taste notes
sharp (2), spicy (2), hot (2), smokey, grainy, acidic, astringent, smooth, and baby whiskey

nose notes
round, toasty, caramel, curry/masala

favorite star: 1

hudson
taste notes
spicy, young, woody (2), well-shaped, complex, bitter, heavy, peppery, punchy, hot (2), complex, green, sharp, sweet,

nose notes
young, light, fruity, toffee-notes, brown butter nut tart,

key quotes
"mr. personality rugged"
"as peaty as a scotsman living in a moldy mission basement"
"tastes like leather rubbed with caraway"

favorite stars: 2

templeton
taste notes
grassy,maraschino cherry, and peaty

nose notes
young, fruity (2), rough, strawberries

key quotes
"breakfast in bed (pancakes)"
"smells like sauternes!"
"so smooth & creamy, vanilla; the most mild swallow burn"
"smells like werther originals (google it)"
"that is FUCKING DELIGHTFUL"
"horny now"

favorite stars: 5


willett
taste notes
campfire

nose notes
sweet, smooth, vanilla, caramel

key quotes
"delicious"
"smells good and starts off browned butter tasting than ends off tasting like a really cheap bottle...BURNS!"
"spicier than a 24th street tranny"
"it is really good but its the kind of booze a hipster SF bartender would ruin by over explaining it"

favorite stars: 1

mitchter's single barrel
taste notes
hot, good grainy, peppery,

nose notes
rum and caramel

key quote(s)
"my tongue has gone numb"
"makes me want to shave with a straight razor and listen to hank williams jr, not in a good way though. astringent. listerine-ish"


high west
taste notes
complex, floral, fruity,

nose notes
cloying, maple

key quotes
"like a hot toddy all by itself"
"tastes more like an aged rum, smoother, sweeter, more carmelly and peppery"

whistle pig
taste notes
husky, subtle, acidic, overtones of raspberry and zest, floral, honeysuckle, goldenrod,

key quotes
"kind of has a band-aid aftertaste"
"all i taste is the compostable cup"
"very polite and spicy. doesn't taste like a pig at all."

1512 barbershop (white rye)
nose notes
sweet and soft green

key quotes
"might really hurt you if you're not careful"
"smells like the first time i got drunk"
"tastes like corn boiled with sticks and oxy pads"
"smells like clean fertilizer....or an old spice cabinet"
"tastes like an old lady smells"


overall suggested terms
creamy, fruity, rich, heavy, peppery, spicy, woody, hot, light, astringent, young, floral, immature, smooth, coffee notes, complex, smokey, well-shaped, coarse, toffee notes, grainy, sweet, vibrant, fresh, earthy, peaty, sour, acidic, clean, winey, feinty, dry, cereal, mellow, sulfury, salty, bitter, warming, cooling, prickly, viscous, toasty, angular, round, cloying, melliflouous, and caramel

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