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In the latest issue (19), the tastings of new relases and a bourbon line-up are said to have been done blind.
I very much applaud that, but curiously in a large proportion of the notes there is clear reference to the distillery or brand. How is that possible in a blind tasting?
I'd be grateful if someone from WhiskyMag could explain in more detail exactly how the tastings were done and which aspect was blind.
Here's how I do it. After all the samples arrive they are are arranged (not by me!) into flights (meaning I'm not tasting a peated/sherried malt before a 'light' one) I then taste as per normal, writing down my impressions and finally giving them a mark. This process is then repeated with the whiskies which I feel either show high quality, or are slightly baffling.. Some are tasted three, four times. Only then are the bottles revealed.
Having quickly scanned my notes for this issue I can only see references to distillery/brand/age in the conclusions which are completed after the bottles are revealed. I feel that there's often some wider point to make: the need for the finish on the Glenlivet 30yo, whether this is a good example of this distillery's make etc. and that the 'conclusion' panel is the most appropriate place to make it. This is a consumer magazine after all, some reference to the provenance of the whisky is vital.
The exceptions to this are in the notes to the Wild Turkey range where I felt it was important to differentiate between the four on offer. Maybe the comments should have been in the conclusion, but I assure you they were tasted blind.
I certainly take your point about the provenance of the whiskies, but maybe it would be good to include in the next issue a brief explanation that the whiskies were tasted blind but that the conclusions were written after the bottles were revealed?
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