How does everybody typically track the whiskies they've tried? Have you found that as you try more and more you build a general knowledge base of flavors, aromas, characterisitcs that allow you to more readily recall particular bottlings? Do you actively jot down a few notes to help you remember? Also, have you found that there is a "house character" to some distilleries and that their bottlings share a common profile upon which interesting variations have developed?
I'm sure there are several different methods represented in this forum so I'm curios as to what people have done.
Most distilleries have a house style but once you delve into independent bottlings, all bets are off. Many use a different style for output not intended for distillery bottlings. Some use different barley malt, etc. Different casks styles too as some mostly use sherry casks for distillery bottlings and mostly bourbon casks go to blenders and independents.
This came home to me just today, when I replied to Ed's question about Ardbeg '77. I found in my inventory that I'd consumed an entire bottle of the stuff sometime in the past, but I couldn't tell him anything about it. I wish I could at least have told him if it was more pungent like the 10, or mellower like the 17. But I really can't remember. Yes, I think a tasting journal is in order, whether electronic or old-fashioned pen and paper.
That way, if you're ever asked, "What do you think of Glen Googly?", even if you've only tried one of the 15 expressions available, you're always able to say, "Well, I've only tried it once, but I thought it was.......[Insert good or bad comment as appropriate]"
I make a point of constantly reading my notes and other sources so that I'm always able to draw on an opinion when needing to contemplate or give advice on a whisky. Do this for 5 to 10 years, and you'd be surprised how much stays in your head!
I end up scoring all whiskies (on a scale of 10) that I sample, in this handbook. If, on subsequent samplings, my opinion of a whisky changes, I go back to the handbook and put an upward or downward arrow next to the score, as appropriate.
rthomson wrote:How does everybody typically track the whiskies they've tried? Have you found that as you try more and more you build a general knowledge base of flavors, aromas, characteristics that allow you to more readily recall particular bottlings?
Some of it comes from drinking to much whisky. My first experience was with whisky I liked the taste of. I drank so much of it that I could tell what it was without the bottle present. Everything after that was referenced back to that particular whisky. Find a few whiskies you really like the taste of and stay with them for a few months... then start exploring.
I don't take many notes myself. In fact most of them are here I like comparing notes found at http://maltmaniacs.com and other resources. Sometimes it helps to read the tasting notes of more experienced drinkers. Even more fun to find something to disagree with or uncover a new tasting note that everyone else can also identify.
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