If you are looking purely objectively to identify the aromas and flavours, then the name of the malt won't matter to you.
However, I know that if I'm handed a Macallan I'll look for the sherry in it, and if I'm handed a Highland Park, I'll look for the heather and the honey. In other words, knowing the malt influences the flavours and aromas I "think" I'm going to find.
But this can also be a fun thing - if you're used to how a certain malt USUALLY tastes, and then you're handed something from that distillery which noses & tastes outside the usual profile, then this also makes for interesting assessment.
I am also aware of many people who taste a whisky blind, claim it's sensational, and then look shocked when they find out afterwards that it's a malt they usually hate.
I don't think a simple "yes" or "no" answer is sufficient.
The thrill of not knowing what you have in the glass adds to the excitement.
As a member of a small band of whisky lovers, here in Sweden, we used to have our meetings with the host providing the Whisky and a mountain of information about what we were going to drink.
This all became a bit tedious when some of us were a bit short of time in the preparation department.
So I decided that every time we were at my house I would prefer to simply pour up the different offerings and let them loose on their own.
The whole idea being to see what the dram has by way of characteristics and to compare our findings, then as a comparison read what Michael Jackson or Jim Murray had to say about the same Whisky.
I have gone as far as wrapping the bottle in tin foil or even in a cloth bag that I use for my shoes, when out travelling.
If you already know what you are going to be tasting, you may have some preconceived ideas about how it tasted the last time you drank the same spirit.
I think that it is equally impoortant to try and follow the guidlines regarding what you have eaten BEFORE you are doing any sort of tasting.
Carry on tasting blind or otherwise - Just enjoy the whisky and the company of your friends.
One man's creamy Macallen is another's oily spirt, one man's bop between the eyes is another's Laphroig cask strength!
If the tasting is for fun or to introduce new whiskies to friends, then you don't need to go blind. The story behind the whiskies always warms the taste buds.
I read somewhere that blenders have the blandest offices going, all white walls and no windows so that, if the sun is out and a good looking blond walks by putting them in a happy mood, they don't turn to taste an ordinary whisky and say 'life is great - that's a great whisky'!!!
Not only is there more excitement (who has guessed most destilleries right?), but you only have your own senses as a guide. The discussions during the tasting were very helpful to me to develop my ability to distinguish and describe taste and to discover what we were enjoying. This discovery is a great way to appreciate whisky.
However, you can have the same fun when knowing what you're getting. At the end, having a great time is the most important thing.
just a little way you can be decieved it had all the character of bunnahavin but it jut goes to show the we can all make mistake especially me
So I must vote for the 'maybe', cause I think the attenders, and the theme for the occasion are subjects to consider.
If I have semi-pros at a tasting I'd probably runned a blind...
Another thing to think about... How are you supposed to run a blind on yourself?? I do a lot of tasting by myself, and they would be impossible to do blind.
Take out all the bottles you want to taste in your solo blind tasting.
Wrap them in paper so that you can't see anything of the bottle or the label.
Once they're all done, shuffle and mix them around the table so that you don't know which is which.
You then get a pen and write A, B, C, D, etc, etc on each of the bottles.
You can then pour samples out into various glasses with corresponding letters and make your notes or evaluations.
Once you've finished with all of them, remove the packaging to reveal which whisky was which.
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