We really hit the good stuff this week at our Tuesday tasting: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Limited Edition (12 YO), Black Maple Hill Red Label Special Edition, Elijah Craig Single Barrel (18 YO), and Hirsch Selection Small Batch Reserve. We also had our largest group of tasters to date—twelve brave souls did their civic whiskey duty (11 men and one intrepid lady).
When the whiskey is exceptional, it can be a struggle to tease out what makes it so appealing. (When the whiskey is bad, it’s just plain fun.) One knows what one likes, of course, but capturing that perfect aspect ain’t easy. Do I smell marzipan and salted peanuts? Is that Cocoa Puffs?  Why is there some sort of bubble gum and banana flavor going on?  Am I drunk?  With half-ounce pours, you’re not drunk (yet), but it’s like that old saw that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Writing about what one tastes and smells, aside from being extremely subjective, is just challenging in and of itself. Another saying comes to mind. Goethe said “Architecture is frozen music.”  Perhaps great whiskey is just music in a bottle?
(Thanks to Roman Mars and the excellent 99percentinvisible Podcast for the inspiration.)

We really hit the good stuff this week at our Tuesday tasting: Old Forester Birthday Bourbon Limited Edition (12 YO), Black Maple Hill Red Label Special Edition, Elijah Craig Single Barrel (18 YO), and Hirsch Selection Small Batch Reserve. We also had our largest group of tasters to date—twelve brave souls did their civic whiskey duty (11 men and one intrepid lady).

When the whiskey is exceptional, it can be a struggle to tease out what makes it so appealing. (When the whiskey is bad, it’s just plain fun.) One knows what one likes, of course, but capturing that perfect aspect ain’t easy. Do I smell marzipan and salted peanuts? Is that Cocoa Puffs?  Why is there some sort of bubble gum and banana flavor going on?  Am I drunk?  With half-ounce pours, you’re not drunk (yet), but it’s like that old saw that “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Writing about what one tastes and smells, aside from being extremely subjective, is just challenging in and of itself. Another saying comes to mind. Goethe said “Architecture is frozen music.”  Perhaps great whiskey is just music in a bottle?

(Thanks to Roman Mars and the excellent 99percentinvisible Podcast for the inspiration.)