House Made Podcast

Episode #05 - Tasting 101: How To Do It And Not Be A Snob

April 14, 2021 House Made Season 1 Episode 5
House Made Podcast
Episode #05 - Tasting 101: How To Do It And Not Be A Snob
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House Made Podcast
Episode #05 - Tasting 101: How To Do It And Not Be A Snob
Apr 14, 2021 Season 1 Episode 5
House Made

In this episode we go over the basics of tasting spirits, or anything else, and how you can learn to be better. We also look at the important role that smell has on your ability to identify flavor notes.

P.S. - If you have a bottle of Yellowstone Select, you can follow along with us.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we go over the basics of tasting spirits, or anything else, and how you can learn to be better. We also look at the important role that smell has on your ability to identify flavor notes.

P.S. - If you have a bottle of Yellowstone Select, you can follow along with us.

John Vieira (00:01):
This is the House Made podcast. We're your hosts, John Vieira and Nick Boban. We're going to cover your questions about home bartending, so let's get into it.

Nick Boban (00:22):
So today we're going to talk about tasting. Tasting for noobs.

John Vieira (00:26):
Yeah, I am a noob so I'm here.

Nick Boban (00:29):
I'm also a noob.

John Vieira (00:30):
I'm here to learn with the rest of you, I guess.

Nick Boban (00:36):
Okay. So I guess let's... First let's start talking about tasting, just in general, right? Cause that's kind of what we want to cover is when you're reading these, tasting notes is what they call them. They're just, it's a list of flavors.

John Vieira (00:52):
Yeah. So essentially if you went to the liquor store, found a cool bottle, you had never tried before, and then maybe you look it up online or you use, like Distiller or one of those apps. Something like that where they'll give you tasting notes. Right. Or maybe even sometimes on the bottle, they'll give you tasting notes. So it's kind of like, how do we get from point A to point B?

Nick Boban (01:16):
How do you translate it? Okay. So I think to start out, just to give everybody kind of an overview. This is a very subjective kind of experience, right? There's some objectivity to it. Like we can say that it's sweet. And for the most part you're going to think sweet is a little bit different from somebody else's sweet, but we can all agree on that, It was at least some level of sweet. I heard a better analogy actually too, just today. They're talking about a lot of science between color pigments. So I can look at something red and you can look at something red and pretty much everybody has agreed that there are kind of going to be different pigments of red, but if I said, "Hey, go grab that red bottle off the shelf." You probably know which one to grab.

John Vieira (02:07):
Right? Yeah. There's a huge variance with, I think the way that people perceive colors. So visually, it makes you wonder too, if like somebody's version of red that they see as like what you would consider a purple, but they've just since the day where they were born, they were told by everyone else that was red.

Nick Boban (02:25):
Totally. Well, that's kind of what tasting is like.

John Vieira (02:27):
Super weird to think about.

Nick Boban (02:29):
But so tasting is usually broken up into three major categories, right? So you have the nose, you have the body and you have the finish or you could call it taste instead of body. So nose taste and finish. And so the nose is literally what it sounds like. It's what you're smelling, right? And the taste is such as it's explanatory. And then the finish is how it continues to kind of like linger into your palate.

John Vieira (02:56):
Right. And it's crazy how much smell plays into your taste.

Nick Boban (03:01):
It's like 90%, isn't it?

John Vieira (03:03):
It's massive. I don't know what percentage it is, but I was kind of looking into it awhile back. I've always had a really bad sense of smell so therefore my sense of taste is quite bad as well. But I was looking into it and there's a little fun experiment that people will do where they'll plug their nose and they'll close their eyes. They don't know what's going on and they'll have, there'll be fed essentially a little piece of apple and a little piece of onion.

Nick Boban (03:33):
I've heard this too.

John Vieira (03:34):
Without the sense of smell, the textures are almost identical and they can't perceive like which one is which. Which is really interesting. So...

Nick Boban (03:45):
We should have done that. That would've been awesome.

John Vieira (03:47):
So a really interesting way to look at something like when you're sick, you know, like, okay, so say you have the flu and it's common to say, "Oh, well I'm sick. So I can't taste anything." Actually what you're saying is "I'm sick. So I can ONLY taste things." I do not have my sense of smell at play, which is why everything seems so bland. Totally. Cause JUST your taste buds, they just really can't get the job done. So yeah. Smell goes into it like crazy, which is why tasting things like whiskey or other spirits. There's such a big emphasis on the nose, right? And proper technique, which hopefully you can shed a little light on for me as well.

Nick Boban (04:32):
So I guess just to back up... When you're very new to this whole tasting thing, cause there's a lot of snobbery that goes on out there. If you grab something like wine or whiskey or whatever, to taste it and you taste it and you go, "Ah, tastes like whiskey." There's nothing wrong with that at all. Like that's where everybody starts. What they're doing with these tasting notes is trying to describe the specifics about it. And it's very much subjective, right? So it's very much based on your past personal experiences, which is why everybody is going to taste something and there will be slightly different variations on it. You know, really common ones with whiskey are like carmel and tobacco and cherry and these types of things, but you can also get fucking banana and all this burnt leather and campfire and stuff like that. And especially when we're starting out, I would recommend that when you read these tasting notes and you taste some of this whiskey and you're like, "Wow, it's banana. That's weird." Go eat a fucking banana. Go try it. Or if you don't know what it is, some weird obscure flower, like head down to Albertsons or whole foods or anywhere and just go purchase that and stick it in mouth.

John Vieira (05:57):
Yeah. It's kinda like anything else, right? Like you have to practice. Yeah. Like if you want to be good at smelling...

Nick Boban (06:01):
It doesn't come overnight.

John Vieira (06:03):
Yeah, you have to. What I read was that anytime that you eat anything throughout the day, if you make yourself breakfast or you go to a restaurant or whatever is to like intensely smell what you're about to eat and because you'll associate those things, like you'll, you'll kind of create those pathways in your brain, which will make these things easier to recall. Later on when you're just, you know, blind taste tests, things like that.

Nick Boban (06:31):
Like leather for example. Don't go stick a wallet in your mouth, but like you can get the sense of the taste from the smell, right? So when you're in a department store, fucking stick your nose up on a wallet and if it's real, genuine leather, smell it cause that's a big note that always comes through with everything. Same with like wood, like when you're in the hardware store, go to the hardwood section and stick your nose on like Walnut and Oak and stuff like that because that's the type of things that come through and their descriptors. And also with these like descriptive properties, don't just stop at the word. So like there's lots of different kinds of Oak, right? There's different species. You can burn it, you can char it, you could freshly cut it. It could be soggy and wet. It's all going to have different...

John Vieira (07:25):
Kind of where like the whole concept of different staves comes in. Like we were talking about on the last episode about the maker's Mark barrel program. These staves or these entire barrels technically are made from either American Oak or French Oak, things like that. And different charring methods and cooking methods. Infrared, all these different ways that you can create a different smell and flavor profile essentially. Yeah.

Nick Boban (07:55):
Oh, a hundred percent. So back backing up also to answer your thing about tasting spirits, for example. The best way to do it is to bring it up to your face, up to your nose, with your mouth, actually open and bring it all the way up until it starts to get really intense and then back right off, because that alcohol, you don't want to close the... Opening your mouth has opened your nasal cavities as well and allows those fumes to continue to pass through. So if you have your mouth closed and you stick it up there, all that intense alcohol is going to get stuck in your nasal passage and it, actually it'll burn your receptors.

John Vieira (08:37):
Right, Yeah. So all the vapors, especially on high proof stuff, you're talking like cask strength whiskeys and stuff like that. It'll roast the inside of your nasal cavity.

Nick Boban (08:47):
You bring it up and you breathe in, you want to breathe in equally with your mouth and your nose at the same time. And what you're doing is you're allowing that alcohol to pass through. Gotcha. So that's a big one and man, when you're tasting something, take your time and go slow. That's the biggest thing. And just, and just smell it, take a big sniff, take another one, take another one and just think about your own experience and describe it for yourself. Because a tasting note essentially is there to benefit you and it's yeah. It has everything to do with you.

John Vieira (09:31):
Well, and also keep in mind the situation that you're in, right? So say you sat down with a friend and you're cracking open some bottles and you wanted to taste and compare and contrast. Well, that's great. However, if you just ate like a really big meal, a lot of bold flavors, things like onions and stuff like that, it is going to taste different, which is why certain things pair beautifully with other things. But if you were trying to, you know, completely, subjectively analyze something, go off of tasting notes, things like that, your taste perception might be a little bit skewed because of that. Um, and I also read that you're supposed to drink a lot of water, just throughout tasting just to help neutralize your palate and obviously you could eat something relatively flavorless.

Nick Boban (10:17):
Yeah. Bread's a good one too. Also, I've heard... I've heard coffee as well, especially for the nose, having coffee beans around to help neutralize.

John Vieira (10:30):
They do that for smelling cologne as well. They have the little dish of coffee beans. Yeah.

Nick Boban (10:36):
Yeah and it's just bringing you back to square one where you start...

John Vieira (10:41):
That control group, if you will.

Nick Boban (10:43):
Yeah. That way you're not like putting the whiskey and then that lingering of that whiskey you just had and then going to another whiskey now you're going to start blending the two together. So it'd be different than if you come revisit something on its own later.

John Vieira (10:56):
Gotcha. palate fatigue is definitely like a real thing and it sets in quick. So back to your point of taking your time, it's definitely important to not get in a big rush and also tastes small amounts of things. I'm not saying you shouldn't get drunk while you're tasting, but if you're trying to taste multiple different things, you don't want to drink a whole big glass of the first thing and then move on, you're going to start to get, you know, a little bit drunk. You're going to, your taste buds are going to start to get desensitized to it. So...

Nick Boban (11:27):
Definitely. So something that I do when I taste a lot of stuff has actually spit. So...

John Vieira (11:32):
There's a whole art to that. Supposedly, I don't know anything about it, but

Nick Boban (11:36):
I don't either to be honest with you, but I'll taste it because as you know, you want to nose it and get a lot of smell and that's where a lot of your flavor comes from. So that's your first category is the nose and your second is the taste. And so with almost any spirit, it's always recommended that you take and just swallow the first one. Just [smack] or just spit it straight back out, but don't try, don't try to sit there and analyze it. Put it on your palate, let it go. And then come back, take an actual little sip of the spirit that you're trying. Roll it around your mouth, let it get on all sides, front and back. You have quite a bit of saliva in there. It'll help actually open it up to, I think from like a dilution standpoint.

John Vieira (12:24):
I also, I was reading, um, I'd like to read more on it cause I didn't get a whole bunch of info, but I thought it was interesting this concept of the tongue zones, like we've always been taught, you know, like in school and stuff like that...

Nick Boban (12:36):
I was looking at that too. Okay. So for you guys that don't know, the tongue zones is this like early 1900s map of your tongue and the five basic flavors...

John Vieira (12:48):
Back then, it was only four.

Nick Boban (12:49):
True. Yeah. Back then it was like sweet, salty, bitter and sour.

John Vieira (12:53):
Yep. Those are the four. And now we have umami which is like the savory...

Nick Boban (12:58):
Which is or described as meaty. And the tongue map pretty much said that like certain areas of your tongue can taste certain things better, which ultimately I think has been debunked as a myth.

John Vieira (13:09):
From what I can tell without looking a whole bunch into it. I think it has. What it sounds to me like is that there maybe are certain regions of your tongue that are more... a little bit more receptive to certain flavor styles. But from what I can understand the taste buds, which are not only on the surface of your tongue, by the way, which was once believed, apparently you're talking about the roof of your mouth as well as like even into your throat slightly, but each taste bud is capable of receiving each flavor type, I guess. And it's... From what this said, all taste buds across the board are able to taste the umami flavor, which is why it's so impactful. Because if there is any sort of zone at play in reality, supposedly this umami one just spans the entire map. So, and I don't know, uh, details on, you know, how much of that was debunked or whatever, but I just saw an article super quickly. And I thought it was really interesting because I was trying to remember like, you know, Oh, is it the tip that's for like, you know, sweet or salty? I couldn't remember where the zones actually were. And I just stumbled upon this article that was like, well, actually they don't exist.

Nick Boban (14:32):
Gotcha. Which I think I would be onboard with what they're saying. So after you've washed this whiskey or gin or whatever, wine that you're tasting... If you've got a lot to do spit it out and now this will be your finish, right? It's how it continues to interact with your palate afterwards. A lot of hardcore, like whiskey enthusiasts say don't spit it, that you need to swallow it because it will actually continue to interact with your esophagus. So as you're breathing in and out now, you're going to get more with that long finish at the end.

John Vieira (15:13):
I mean, that makes sense. I guess.

Nick Boban (15:15):
Uh, I think it's also notable to say there's, it's also more than just taste too, right? We're not only talking about taste when you're talking about these tasting notes and descriptors. We're also talking about like mouth feel. So a common one is like oily, right? And a body. So they talk about a big body. So big jammy meaty kind of flavorful, thick liquid, as opposed to like a light body that's very dainty. Doesn't stick around, closer to water, you know? Stuff like that. Those are, those are part of the descriptors as well.

John Vieira (15:55):
I think just to help get this in my head a little bit better... There is a video component to this, by the way, if you're just listening to the podcast, go do that. I'm going to briefly go grab some booze and a couple of glasses and I'll have you walk me through what you would do if you were sitting down and just trying to taste.

Nick Boban (16:15):
I think that's a great idea.

John Vieira (16:16):
So I'll be right back.

Nick Boban (16:20):
So while he's grabbing that stuff... Yeah. Tasting 101. I'm just trying to think about the things that I would, or I didn't know. So how to taste is one. Two is what the tasting components are. So we have the nose, we got the taste or the mouth, and then we got the finish. Everything is, is pretty cross-platform. I believe all this kind of started with wine tasting, especially with whiskeys. It probably developed quite a bit more and especially scotch. And I guess with those tasting flavors, especially when you read about scotches and stuff from overseas, keep in mind that you might not know what some of the things are that they're describing and that's because they have different candies and, and different food over there in general and an entirely different human experience to be able to describe what they're actually tasting. So one of the bigger takeaways I think on this one is, uh, is that it's very subjective and you're only going to get good at it if you do it a lot and you want to learn, so, okay. So right now we're going to taste the Yellowstone select.

John Vieira (17:45):
Yeah. Just pulled this off of my little shelf back there. I've obviously tasted this many times, but the point of this is I want to try to put myself in the zone and do the right steps in the right order and see if somebody with my lack of a palate can maybe start to pick up on some of this stuff and maybe it'll help some of you guys at home as well.

Nick Boban (18:13):
I would like to note that I'm not going to be the best taster today. I slept like a jackass last night and snored my face off. And so the roof of my mouth is all fucking chapped and sore and my left nostril is a little bit plugged.

John Vieira (18:31):
We also drank a lot of ridiculous shit yesterday.

Nick Boban (18:35):
We did a whole bunch of... We slammed a ton of content out.

John Vieira (18:37):
This, this content journey that we're on, has led us to a lot of drink making, experimenting and testing.

Nick Boban (18:47):
Okay. So before, like we've already started this experience. I could start to smell the heat off of this bottle. As soon as you opened and poured it, right? You're already starting to get a little bit...

John Vieira (19:02):
I'm getting more of like a sweetness. I feel like that's what I'm picking up the most.

Nick Boban (19:07):
Okay. So now as we lift this up to our faces...

John Vieira (19:11):
Only one of my nostrils ever works.

Nick Boban (19:15):
Okay. So with your mouth open and inhaling very slowly, just start to bring this up to your face, up to your nose. And as that alcohol burn thing starts to get fairly intense, just back it off a little bit, and that's going to be your sweet spot. It's usually not nose all the way down in the glass.

John Vieira (19:35):
Are we breathing or is it like static?

New Speaker (19:37):
We're breathing. Breathing, but slowly because you don't, if you go too fast and you accidentally burn your nostrils, we'll be done for today.

John Vieira (19:44):
Are you supposed to breathe out through your mouth and your nose at the same time?

Nick Boban (19:50):
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Sorry. I'm like... And just think about it just as you're breathing in. Okay. So I'm getting some butterscotch.

John Vieira (20:18):
I never reached a point where like the vapors were too much.

Nick Boban (20:22):
Okay. And some might not. So what is this guy? It's only, I think it's 46.5%.

John Vieira (20:28):
So I thought it was only 80 proof. So it's a little bit more than I thought

Nick Boban (20:32):
It's a little bit, yeah. 46.5%.

John Vieira (20:34):
I do smell the sweetness. It sounds dumb to say when you're talking about bourbon, but I smell a lot of the corn sweetness, which I feel like sometimes I don't smell that. Which is interesting, this whiskey, this bourbon, if you guys are unfamiliar, has a high rye mash bill. So I guess sort of in the same camp as something maybe like a Bulliet or something like that. Still bourbon, but a lot of rye in the recipe. So it's interesting. It smells the way it does while having kind of that spicy rye kick to it.

Nick Boban (21:09):
Yeah. Okay. So, so tell me what, just off your experience, what do you smell? Do you smell butterscotch now that I said it or no?

John Vieira (21:20):
I feel like maybe I kind of do, but if I'm being honest, I think it's the color that's leading my brain to think butterscotch.

Nick Boban (21:26):
Well, you taste, I mean, you taste a lot with your nose, but the rest of your senses are also important as well. Okay. But, okay. So you said sweet. So what kind of sweet are you, are you getting off of this?

John Vieira (21:43):
I don't... I'm not picking up necessarily like a specific smell, like a, you know, like vanilla or anything like that.

Nick Boban (21:50):
But it's probably it's toasted, right?

John Vieira (21:53):
Yeah. It's like a toasty...

Nick Boban (21:54):
Maybe even like a Carmel cause caramel is just sugar.

John Vieira (21:57):
Yeah. I think Carmel would be the, probably the closest, like I said, I can kind of identify like the corn, like if you just waved this in front of my... in front of my nose and I didn't know what it was, I'd probably be like, Oh, smells like bourbon. Yeah. Yeah. But, um, that's pretty vague. So yeah, I think Carmel would be probably my caramel, the one that I could pick up the most.

Nick Boban (22:18):
Any other fruits, nuts woods, anything you're getting off of that guy?

John Vieira (22:26):
I could see a light fruitiness to it.

Nick Boban (22:28):
What kind? Like a like summer fruits or like dark fruits?

John Vieira (22:35):
I think like summery kind of fruits, like maybe, um, maybe almost like, like a little bit of stone fruit, uh, something like, uh, like an apricot. Maybe?

Nick Boban (22:47):
Yeah. Okay. I can see that. So like a fresh apricot or more like a dried apricot or like a toasted or like a roasted apricot.

John Vieira (22:57):
Almost kinda like a dried one.

Nick Boban (23:02):
I would, I would agree with you. So we got our nose as like a dried apricot and a light Carmel.

John Vieira (23:11):
We should definitely look up the tasting notes on this.

Nick Boban (23:14):
Well, we should. Let's not finish recording and just fucking check it out and see how close we are. But see, this is how tasting is derived, right? So you just start somewhere and we're just drilling down on these descriptor words. Okay. So I think as far as beginning, I think that's great. That's two very distinct... Okay. So now let's take a sip. Don't worry about tasting and just swallow it. Just a little bit. Just right through. It's passed all the way down. We're letting it sit. Okay. And now, let's take another sip, wash it around and now start to think about it. Okay. Oh, it's important to breathe while you're doing this too. In and out through your nose, because you'll start to pick up more of those aromas the more you breathe. So now on the tongue, I'm getting straight, almost like corn husk. I would say almost like a dried corn husk. Like I was running through the fucking corn maze in October.

John Vieira (24:40):
I might have washed that around my mouth too long. I think I like roasted my... Roasted my tongue.

Nick Boban (24:48):
There's another method too here, where you can take this and just a little bit, keep it kind of towards the front of your mouth and then breathe some air over it as well. It's almost like almost like aerating it in your mouth. Real snobs tell you don't do that, but for me in tasting, I think that it helps.

John Vieira (25:10):
Okay. I'll try it.

Speaker 1 (25:20):
And then give it a swallow.

John Vieira (25:23):
Definitely almost inhaled it. So that wasn't good. This is kind of nice just localizing it, like having it just at the front, because like I said, on the last go through, I just blasted my whole tongue.

Nick Boban (25:39):
So on this, for me now... So I'm getting that corn husk. I'm also getting some of that carmel. It's coming back through.

John Vieira (25:48):
I'm tasting something a little bit more earthy now. More toward the back of my palate. It's um, I don't know. Maybe that's just my tongue dying.

Nick Boban (26:00):
Um, no, that's fine.

John Vieira (26:01):
I feel like I'm getting... I don't know that I would describe it as nutty, but I'm getting something that's like basic.

Nick Boban (26:10):
Well, so it could... I could see nutty, but nutty, as in almost like...

John Vieira (26:23):
There's gonna be a lot of smacking on this episode, if you're not watching the video for this, I apologize.

Nick Boban (26:28):
But almost like a bag of mixed nuts, right? Those big old...

John Vieira (26:33):
Oh, the big dark ones. The Brazil nuts.

Nick Boban (26:36):
Yes. Yeah. It's almost Brazil nut like. It's very basic.

John Vieira (26:39):
Or like an almond that's completely naked. Like just void of everything. It's got like...

Nick Boban (26:45):
Unroasted, raw, like when we start to make orgeat and we blanched almonds and pop the skin. Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of like that. Before it's toasted. Yeah.

John Vieira (26:53):
And it started to work its way toward the front of my palate now, when at first it was kind of just back there and it's kind of just creeping up.

Nick Boban (27:00):
So now we got, we got a little Brazil nut. We got a little bit of caramel still. I'm still getting some of that corn husk. We're going... Do we taste the apricot? Does it move? Like what about the mouth feel itself? It's not overly oily. It's pretty light in general.

John Vieira (27:20):
I'm not really picking up a lot of the sweet, airy fruitiness that I was getting just from the smell. I'm getting more of the bold...

Nick Boban (27:31):
Yep. This is more nutty. Man... There's a flavor in there that I can't quite pinpoint.

John Vieira (27:43):
It's got that spice right from the rye. So you're getting some of that.

Nick Boban (27:47):
What kind of spice? Not like a Christmas spice?

John Vieira (27:49):
No, no, no, not like a baking spice. Um, so when we were tasting the Maker's staves, you know, solo. There was a couple of different ones. There's one that was called spice and obviously it had a nice spice to it, but there's three different kind of, uh, spicy ones. And one of them was very back of the palate. One was very front of the palate and then one was kind of mid.

Nick Boban (28:16):
Yeah. So this isn't like pepper spice and we're not Christmas spice and we're not...

John Vieira (28:26):
It's really just like heat spice. Like when, when somebody would say like, Oh, this, this whiskey is hot. Like from the proof that's almost the kind of spicy...

Nick Boban (28:34):
And what they're talking about when they say that is that it's literal alcohol burn, like the burn kind of overtakes the rest of the flavor. Okay. So we're nutty. Not overly caramely.

John Vieira (28:50):
It's continuing as it just lingers... My mouth is continuing... Yeah, It's continuing to be more and more basic.

Nick Boban (28:56):
Yeah. It's uh...

John Vieira (28:58):
Which might be why people like it and old fashioned so much, because it seems like it's a good platform.

Nick Boban (29:02):
Singular. Single dimensional. It doesn't overly evolve as you continue with it. I would say.

John Vieira (29:11):
It is really good. Not to say that it's one dimensional in a bad way. It's just the flavor that it has is very... It's singular. It's not like some of these crazy single barrel products that you taste that are just like all over the place. And you're like, how are there so many flavors going on? It's a little bit more refined in that one camp, but it is a good flavor. I like that... whatever that flavor is, I don't know if I want to call it nutty, but it's, it's whatever that is.

Nick Boban (29:52):
That was, I think... I feel like that was pretty good for a couple of noobs.

John Vieira (29:55):
Right. So how? Real quick, how would you describe some of these different mouth feels? Because what I am getting right now is like, if I put a little bit of half and half in my coffee and I take a sip of that, and after it lingers for a minute, it's like that Milky, like, I wouldn't describe it as oily. I wouldn't describe it as...

Nick Boban (30:15):
Yeah. That's almost like fatty, right? Cause you're talking about like a fat lingering around your mouth.

John Vieira (30:20):
Yeah. Like a lipid layer or something like that. So that is kind of the...

Nick Boban (30:24):
I think that's fine. I think that's a fine descriptor.

John Vieira (30:27):
That's what I'm getting.

Nick Boban (30:28):
I'm sure there's probably a proper term for it, but at my current knowledge, I don't know, but I would call it, I would say that fatty is fine.

John Vieira (30:37):
I do enjoy that mouth feel though. When we were talking about... Which we'll do again, we're going to do an episode. We were just talking about it earlier. We're going to do an episode with a blind taste test for some different spirits, but specifically vodka, just because that one comes up all the time. Uh, one of the mouth feels that I really, really enjoy, um, in terms of vodka I guess, cause you've got these different camps, you know, like Kettle One versus, like an Absolut, very different styles. I really enjoyed the Absolut. I like that It has that...

Nick Boban (31:09):
That has a ton of oil.

John Vieira (31:12):
It has that round oily flavor. I really, really enjoy that compared to some of the other offerings, especially when you talk about doing something like a martini, something really bold with it. I feel like it plays with the vermouth and it just has like a much better mouth feel, especially being stirred rather than shaken. There's a lot of factors, but, that will be an interesting episode. So I think as we continue to do spirit spotlights, we're going to do some sponsored tastings and see what we think. I'll try to keep this concept of tasting in my mind as I do that and see if I can get better.

Nick Boban (31:53):
Okay. So I have pulled up a... Some guy's blog and he has tasting notes on here about the Yellowstone select. It's kinda funny. I though think, I want to find from the distillery itself.

John Vieira (32:16):
Some guy's blog.

Nick Boban (32:19):
I didn't want to use it, so I don't want to plug him. Limestone Branch, right?

John Vieira (32:28):
Limestone Branch distillery.

Nick Boban (32:32):
Here's this, so... I wanted to get it from them and what they think since they're the ones...

John Vieira (32:40):
I suppose I can read the bottle too. I don't know.

Nick Boban (32:42):
Well, here, here. Pour a little bit more for each of us. Now we're going to...

John Vieira (32:47):
We're going to go off of what they say?

Nick Boban (32:49):
Yeah. Because as people plug things into your brain, it's easier now for you to identify with it too. So we might be able to pick some of these up. So these guys tasting note is actually very short. Okay. So on the nose it says it's rye spice with soft leathered cherries.

John Vieira (33:15):
Leathered cherries? Wow.

Nick Boban (33:17):
I mean, I'm a little dyslexic, but I'm pretty sure it says leathered cherries.

John Vieira (33:19):
Oh, it does.

Nick Boban (33:21):
Okay, cool. That's what I thought.

John Vieira (33:21):
Leathered cherries. Wow. That is, um...

Nick Boban (33:25):
We're not super far off. We were talking about fruit. We were talking about stone fruits in particular and leather that's dried cherries. We were talking about dried apricots. And I think that just comes down to our descriptor.

John Vieira (33:38):
I just smelled my microphone. Um...

Nick Boban (33:40):
Mm. It smells like metal.

John Vieira (33:42):
I'm going to start talking into my glass and smelling the microphone, see where that gets me.

Nick Boban (33:47):
This is the first glass of whiskey I've had today, too. Okay. So now it says on the palate, the palate is smoked Carmel, which we were getting a lot of Carmel on the nose and we were getting dried apricot.

John Vieira (34:01):
I don't necessarily get a lot of smoke though.

Nick Boban (34:03):
I don't either, but I haven't had smoked Carmel before so it'd be interesting to take a little caramel chew and smoke it.

John Vieira (34:09):
Smoked salted caramel would be amazing.

Nick Boban (34:11):
Oh my God. Um, okay. And then it says the finish is smoky Oak and brown sugar.

John Vieira (34:18):
Okay. Brown sugar. I could see that, Yeah. That kind of goes along with our original... You know, maybe I was almost even getting some of that in place of the caramel when I was searching for that earlier, because I can definitely kind of pick up on some brown sugar. Okay. I'm still, I'm not, I guess I can kind of get the cherry now that I'm prompted.

Nick Boban (34:44):
Okay. So here's distiller.com, which let's see if they got better notes on that. Nope. That looks like their notes. Which is a good resource.

John Vieira (34:55):
They really are.

Nick Boban (34:56):
Yeah. That we put a lot of stock into those guys. They do great.

John Vieira (35:01):
Yeah. They have a lot of like that little chart that they do. It's kinda like fruity, smoky, spicy, like all these different parameters and it kind of gives you like a flow chart. I don't know if they do it for absolutely everything, but a lot of the whiskeys have it.

Nick Boban (35:16):
I'm pretty sure this is a platform, um, that you put in input and then it morphs based on all the users that have tasted it, because on here it says there's 682 tastes up to this point.

John Vieira (35:31):
Man, I almost... As I continued to smell this, I almost get, like a buttered popcorn thing going on. Does that, is that weird?

Nick Boban (35:41):
No, that's fine. It's up to... Which I get it. I was talking about fucking corn husks. So you're talking about popped dried corn at this point. So... Like here's the deal, it's subjective, but also a little bit objective. And that was a great analogy. We're both getting corn, but it's corn based on our own experiences, but we can still come to the conclusion that it's corn of some kind, just like the, the fruit. Right. As we're seeing other people it's fruity, but what kind of fruit is it?

John Vieira (36:13):
Wow, I'm having, like... I never thought I'd say this, but I'm having so much more of an experience just smelling it than putting it on my tongue. Oh yeah. Cause I get all that alcohol and all that disorienting punch once I actually ingest it, but just smelling it. Um, it's wild. I can't imagine what somebody who can actually smell well is smelling.

Nick Boban (36:40):
So the tasting notes on here for distiller.com, it says light and shy aromas of smoke.

Nick Boban (36:52):
Okay. Light and dry aromas of smoke. Dry cider and wood greet the nose. On the palate, the cider gains confidence, the wood notes gets spicier and suggestions of burnt sugar emerge. The medium finish reprises the wood and gains additional spice, which is about what we were saying.

John Vieira (37:15):
Yeah. I don't get a whole bunch of the cider reference.

Nick Boban (37:19):
I don't either, but they're still talking about, it's not a stone fruit at this point, but they're still talking about some kind of something and this is their experience.

John Vieira (37:29):
Yeah. I mean, that's, that's pretty close. My biggest thing is the spiciness really tapers off at the end. So I still have some from that last sip that I just took, but that, uh, that nice fatty mouth feel as we were talking about almost like eating a piece of salmon or something like sushi salmon. That starts to overtake everything and it's really pleasant actually. It's kind of, it's like a soft pillowy...

Nick Boban (38:01):
Yeah. Oh yeah. So I guess the takeaway with tasting is that you just have to start somewhere and it's very subjective to you.

John Vieira (38:13):
Hmm.

Nick Boban (38:14):
Is there... Do you feel like you learned a little bit about tasting?

John Vieira (38:17):
Yeah. I mean essentially 25 minutes ago or however long it's been, I knew very little and I had never actually tried any of these things. The only times that I've really been in situations where I could taste something or was with somebody that was better at it than I was, we had already been drinking quite a bit. I wasn't in the right mindset to like actually...

Nick Boban (38:50):
I'm sitting down and going for it. I will say that this is a very intimidating thing. Especially when you sit down with somebody that's a quote, unquote like a whiskey snob or an oficionado or some wine expert and all this shit cause there is a little bit of etiquette that goes into it, but I think for the basics... And also fuck those guys for making you feel like a snob anyways, because it feels like you're an idiot because they're snobby.

John Vieira (39:18):
Like they're all hoity toity.

New Speaker (39:20):
Dude, it's stupid. You can enjoy shit just as much or more than... You actually can enjoy, I think more than they can, because of fucking how many rules they put around themselves. At the end of the day, it doesn't fucking matter. It's your taste. It's your experience.

John Vieira (39:38):
So like, which is why there's personal preference, right?

Nick Boban (39:41):
This is why some people love this shit and some people hate this shit.

John Vieira (39:44):
My dad doesn't like bourbon. It's just too sweet on the palate. Now, granted, I don't think he's tried a lot of them and I bet you, I could put some In front of him...

Nick Boban (39:52):
He's probably trying like wheated bourbons and shit like that.

John Vieira (39:55):
Yeah. But he's, you know, he hates it. He's just like, "Oh, it's like drinking maple syrup. I'd rather..." He likes rye. He likes scotch and stuff like that. So bourbon is just not his thing, but we also get a bunch of people at the bar that are like, Oh, I hate rye. I don't want rye. They're like big time bourbon drinkers. But a lot of this stuff they're drinking...

Nick Boban (40:15):
It's like high rye content.

John Vieira (40:17):
Quite a bit of rye in there and so...

Nick Boban (40:19):
They just need a little bit of sweetness to help them go.

John Vieira (40:20):
Peerless, for example. Really awesome rye, but super sweet. It has like a really like nice sweetness to it. And I have given that to somebody like Tom who only drinks bourbon. And before he knew it was rye, he was like, "Yeah, that's pretty good. Like, it's not like my favorite." Or whatever.

Nick Boban (40:38):
Tom only drinks Blanton's, mind you. And when he doesn't drink Blanton's he'll drink Four Roses.

John Vieira (40:43):
Four Roses, things like that. He's just a total bourbon guy, which is awesome. That's just where it's palate is at. But it was just funny before he knew it was a rye. He was like, "Yeah, it's pretty good. Like I don't mind it." And then when you're like, Oh yeah, that's a rye. He's like, "Yeah, I actually don't like that at all." But that's like cucumbers for me. I could eat something that had cucumber in it. Although I'd probably know it was there and I'd just be like, yeah, that's probably fine. And then somebody mentioned the cucumber and I'm like, fuck that. I just don't like, I love pickles though.

Nick Boban (41:17):
Oh yeah. Well I used to be very picky eater until I started in kind of this industry. I hated fucking wine when I started. I hated wine. And all I did, because that's all we did was sell fucking wine... Every night when I was off, I would go to the grocery store and I would pick a different bottle of wine. I would start with the different varietals. So I would go and I'm like, "Okay. Today I'm going to drink a fucking cab." And I'd get it. I'd read some notes on it. What cabs are supposed to be like there, you know.

John Vieira (41:51):
You know that...

Nick Boban (41:52):
And I would just drink it. And even though I didn't like it, I would put it in my mouth. I would fucking drink it. And I would try to identify what these tasting notes, mouth feels, all this stuff was like, and I'm like, okay. And I wrote it down.

John Vieira (42:07):
Yeah. Well that would actually be a really good idea for something we could do on the show because we are not necessarily limited to liquor. Right. So if somebody is going to host some sort of party or event at their place, there's a lot of people that like wine. They might be wondering "What kind of wine should I get?" And someone like me, I don't know very much about wine at all. So it might be beneficial for us to do an episode on like reds and episode on whites. Maybe break it up and get a few different bottles to try, crack them, open, taste them document kind of what we think we're tasting what's going on and then maybe do the same sort of thing. Look it up. See how close we were.

Nick Boban (42:42):
Super, super rad. Yeah. Let's do it.

John Vieira (42:45):
You can just document like, okay. So like what you told me the other day was really helpful. Never really thought about it like this, but we were standing in the store looking at wine. And I was like, man, I feel like wine. And I was like, "You know, I like pinot noir. I tend to like most of those." And I was in the cab section and I like some cabs too, but I was looking around and I was like, "Oh, I don't know if I want cab. I think I'm in the mood for pinot." Nick's like, "Well, pinot is definitely, typically a little bit lighter." And I never really thought about it in terms of like lightness because red wine is... It's bold, right? I mean, you just always think of that. And so that was really helpful because now I can keep things like that in mind when I drink a red, especially a blend that has different things going on, you can kind of be like, all right, well, how, how bold is this? And how bold do I want to be right now based on what I'm doing, how much of it I'm going to drink, what I'm eating with it.

Nick Boban (43:43):
Well also too, like different regions are known for having like thicker or lighter wines. So like when I'm in the mood for really light kind of red wine, I do like the Pinots, but also chiantis are super awesome. Also a lot of like weird grapes I've never even heard of from fucking Italy. They're usually light.

John Vieira (44:02):
There's so many.

Nick Boban (44:03):
Yeah as long as you stay out of the Bordeaux region of France, you can get really light wines.

John Vieira (44:08):
Yeah, for sure. Um, no, I think it's a good idea. I think we should do that. Let us know in the comments if you guys would like to see something like that or anything else for that matter. We're pretty much just, at this point, we're gonna tackle anything we can think of. So on this note, I really like this process. I like what's going on here? I think we need to get a couple of spirits spotlight/ tasting things going on, but what we should try to do for you guys at home is maybe like a week before, we'll announce in some way, shape or form what spirit we're going to try to do. And we'll try to do stuff that's mostly accessible, like nothing too crazy or rare. And if you guys at home want to follow along with the episode maybe. Snag a bottle. Throw it on and kind of just go along and see if you taste or smell what we're getting. We'll try to come to a verdict without looking up the notes and then at the end of the episode, we'll look them up and just see how off base we were. I think something like that would be really cool. Yeah. We'll definitely start with bourbons, but I'm down to do pretty much anything.

Nick Boban (45:28):
Yeah. Bourbons are hot right now, so that's good, but yeah, I definitely want to do gins. And rums.

John Vieira (45:36):
So we just got a new gin in our hands the other day. Well, I don't know how ACTUALLY new it is. It's newer from what I've seen, but it's called Gunpowder. It's a, it's an Irish gin.

Nick Boban (45:49):
It's that blue bottle, right?

John Vieira (45:50):
Yeah. Really cool. Looking blue bottle almost looks like a giant perfume bottle or something. It was pretty good though and I think doing a little taste test might be really cool to do for vodka and gin, especially. There's way too much variation in rum to capture that in like one setting. But we could definitely break into some different categories. Um, anyway, let us know if there's something in particular that would interest you. We're going to try to kind of do all this stuff, but if there's other things that you're just kind of aching to get after we can, we can do those things first and jump into it as well.

Nick Boban (46:35):
Yeah. Essentially, we're here for you guys and we want to give you the information that you want to know about, so yeah.

John Vieira (46:42):
Wow. It's hot coming back to it.

Nick Boban (46:43):
Yep. Anyways, we're gonna keep drinking this whiskey.

John Vieira (46:46):
Yeah. I'm going to keep TASTING this whiskey.

Nick Boban (46:49):
Right. Tasting. Oh yeah. I heard this before we, before we were gone, uh, there was... I was listening to a bourbon guy on the interweb and he said, "Oh, pro tip. When you're tasting, if somebody has got you there with a bottle And they're like, 'Oh, do you, do you smell that? Like, or tastes that hint of caramel and stuff?' And all you have to do is drink it and go, 'Hey, I don't know, I'm almost there. Give me a little bit more and then ah, caramel? Wow. I think. Hmm. Okay. Let me, I just did a little bit more.'" Pro tip. Lead them on.

John Vieira (47:28):
Those are wise words.

Nick Boban (47:30):
Wise words. Anyway...

John Vieira (47:32):
More tips like that coming your way.

Nick Boban (47:35):
Thanks for listening guys.

John Vieira (47:36):
We'll see you on the next one. Let us know what you want to see. Cheers.