tracking whisky

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tracking whisky

Postby rthomson » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:45 pm

The number of whiskies I've tried to this point is limited. I still have trouble remembering if a particular distillery is an Isaly, Speyside and so on (never mind if I've tried an OB or an independent bottling). As I plan to try many more my question(s) is this:

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.


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Postby hpulley » Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:51 pm

I used to try and keep track of it all but now I just go from memory for the most part (or search for my old postings ;) ).

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.


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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:06 pm

I keep an inventory in the idiot box here, and I find I am keeping more and more information in it, but mostly bookkeeping stuff--when and where bought, how much, when opened and finished. Like many casual appreciators of the malt, I've never felt very confident about making my own notes. I'm starting to regret it now, and am considering a revamp of the inventory to accommodate such. Any notes are worthwhile, even if it's just "good" or "icky", although of course the more detailed, the better. I always appreciate it when one of the lads here provides us with his notes on Glen Googly or MacAskill 42.

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.

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Postby Admiral » Thu Feb 17, 2005 3:47 am

If you remember nothing else about a whisky or a distillery, always try and make a mental note about whether you enjoyed it or not.

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! :wink:


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Postby bond » Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:46 am

The first whisky book that I picked up was a small pocket-sized handbook. It had a listing of most of the whiskies at the end with a box to score.

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.

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Re: tracking whisky

Postby islayjunkie » Fri Feb 18, 2005 9:14 am

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 :lol: I like comparing notes found at 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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