Germain-Robin Single Varietals

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numen
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Re: Germain-Robin Single Varietals

Postby numen » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:55 pm

Hi SJP!

It's a great question, and I understand exactly where you're coming from. I used to read a lot of whisky and wine tasting notes and would see all sorts of obscure references. A lot of it comes from 'training,' that is experience. It's the same thing with tasting. When you start drinking spirits, you have to get used to the alcohol on the nose so that you can just move past it and see what else is there. On the other hand, there are some spirits that smell 'spirity,' and the alcohol never really subsides. Similarly, when you drink high-proof spirits (think 60% ABV), you have to know how to approach them and be accustomed to trying even normal spirits otherwise they will simply be too alcoholic and your tongue will suffer.

Ultimately, the best thing to do, if you want to come up with tasting notes, is to take your time and try lots of things. Instead of just pouring and drinking, pour and give the spirit some time to breath. Let some of the alcoholic fumes burn off. Then, for a few minutes, nose the spirit. Start far away from the spirit to avoid getting too much alcohol in the nose, and gradually move a bit closer. Over time, you'll be more able to discern different aromas, which will then impact your perception of the flavors on the palate. I also take my time when smelling the spirit. So, when I take a first whiff, I get the dominant aromas, and then I try to ignore that and pay attention to the background smells to get the secondary and tertiary aromas.

It's worth trying to nose a lot, even the same pour over time. That's my best 'advice' on it. Other than trusting your own smells and tastes. If it tastes like X, Y, or Z to you, trust that it does.

sjp1966
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Re: Germain-Robin Single Varietals

Postby sjp1966 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:57 am

Hi Numen, thanks for the reply. This weekend will be a good experiment then as a friend and I have 6 rums that we are going to taste, he bought them and he is going to do a blind taste test on me so I can try and guess which is which. I will also try and do tasting notes on them as an experiment. At the end of the day what is the worst that can happen: D

I wonder if afterwards I will still be like “I cannot smell any of that” when I know what the brand is and look up the official tasting notes, I know that we are going to try a Ron Zacapa Centenario XO, we have tasted this before and it is my favourite rum at the moment. I took a look at the website and the tasting notes were…

A wonderfully complex and satisfying balance of sweetness, fruit, spice and spirit, all tempered by the extra ageing stage in ex-cognac French oak barrels; long, smooth and sweet with a weight of dark cherry chocolate and flavours of intense dried fruits like sultana, date and prune; sweet oak spices of clove, vanilla and cinnamon, and lighter notes of dried mango and raspberry, with a subtle hint of ginger to finish. A connoisseur’s delight and the ultimate expression of the Master Blender’s art.


Now bearing in mind I am blind tasting, I wonder if ill get the above myself, I don’t know what cherry chocolate or sweet oak taste like so how I would detect that taste if I am unfamiliar with the taste. (this is of course the tasting notes, they have an “on the nose” portion too but selected tasting notes as there were things written that I am unfamiliar with taste wise.

Regardless, ill post up my findings Sunday.

numen
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Re: Germain-Robin Single Varietals

Postby numen » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:40 am

Much of the challenge for new palates is simply verbalizing the sensations, and also distinguishing one aroma from another. I sometimes think that tasting for tasting notes (and trying to separate aromas and tastes) diminishes the actual enjoyment of the spirit, but I'm not sure. Something that's described as "chocolate cherry" is probably something where the person got a "dark" flavor (not sweet, maybe a touch bitter, still very pleasant) at the same time as a flavor that was reminiscent of a red fruit. Sometimes it's "sour cherries" when it seems like "red fruit," but there's wood influence that keeps the spirit "tight" (and a bit tart/sour). You may not start to notice everything or distinguish as much after 6 samples, but it's all part of a long (and pleasant) journey.

sjp1966
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Re: Germain-Robin Single Varietals

Postby sjp1966 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:48 am

:D I am looking forward to that journey.


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