Muskrat Portage wrote:There is no debate about the flavours some people detect and other people cannot due to gradiations of personal anosmia. Certain chemicals when combined create flavours and odours that really aren't there, at the molecular level. Read Pip Hillis' book on Appreciating Whisky to see a scholarly explanation.
Granted some of the tasting notes appear outlandish or stretching the point at first, until you realise that the person is grasping for an explanation based on their own taste memories. The production process of different whiskies wil create variants on the original product. Length of time in the mash tun; size, dimensions, heat source, reflux in the stills; cut; wood type used for aging, length of time aging; previous useage of casks; all combine to result in an individual flavour profile for each whisky created.
There is a similar variance in the lowly olive. Each manufacturer (in for example Portugal) has a specific recipe they follow for their product. When you taste them this variance leaps out, in some cases. You find the olives dry or salty or more robust in flavour, depending on your personal taste preferences. Whisky is the same in that you will find certain chemical interplays will develop into a dram you really enjoy or perhaps are indifferent to.
Whether you choose to attempt to name what you taste based on your personal life experiences or just sit back and enjoy the dram for what it is, a fine product developed by the combined talents of the mashman, stillman and master distillers', the choice is yours. There is no wrong way to enjoy whisky (whiskey) and I would feel privileged if I could just sit with anyone who posits on this forum and enjoy a dram together.
To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.
You are a wise Muskrat