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Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Jobi » Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:01 pm

Last night I was reading through the tasting notes in Whisky Mag when the thought occurred to me for the umpteenth time, "What the hell are they talking about?". Specifically, I mean the many references in the notes that mean absolutely nothing to me. Some examples:
Medlars
Raffia/weetabix
Victoria sponge
Dubbin
Satsuma pith
treacle (this one I asked a British co-worker)
gorse

Since the tasters are likely of UK/European origin, maybe these are UK or Europe specific references that I've never heard, or possibly I'm just unworldy.

So I thought it might be a fun addition to include a little Translation box in the tasting notes section which could define any phrases that the editors deem to be UK-specific, and which might not be recognized elsewhere in the world that the magazine is sold.

Any thoughts?

P.S. This is meant to be a fun suggestion, and not at all meant to "Americanize" the magazine, so save those criticisms.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby mattbuty » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:18 am

hope this helps...

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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby pmullin » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:21 am

That's a tough nut to crack - identifiable flavours have a big cultural/regional slant to them. You would need some awfully good "taste translators" that know how to convert UK culinary/nature reference to roughly equivalent flavours for other cultures/regions.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby MrIntrepid » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:43 am

Collector57 wrote:"Americanise"? lol :D


Very sharp collector57 :lol:
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby MrIntrepid » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:47 am

I am not sure it would help anyway Jobi - I am British and to be honest I somtimes also don't know what they are talking about :!: and even when I know what the thing is I often cannot conjure up the aroma of it. I guess professional nosers have a wider range of aromas and taste to relate a whisky too, with the additional of a particular thing called "artistic license" :)
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby les taylor » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:48 am

Without upsetting anybody the magazine is Edited in Norwich. So unfortunately it is going to have UK based descriptions. And long may that continue.



:)
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:16 am

Just like a subtitled movie won't necessarily do the original script justice or be as appreciated by non-native speakers of the movie, translating whisky tasting notes won't quite fit. For example, who knows peanut butter better than Americans?? From a very young age we taste it and throughout our lives we taste a variety of them in a variety of ways, and references to this won't necessarily be understood to others, even those that have tastet it. We just have to make up our own notes, but if you're trying to buy a new whisky on someone else's notes, it's best to find a word or characteristic you recognize, and if it hits the spot, get it.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:42 am

Hey Jobi
Come over and play a round of golf in Scotland and then we won't need to explain what Gorse is :)

I would add a picture, but my technical ineptitude has let me down. I thought that the Img button would allow me to add an image, but I cant seem to figure out how to add the file in between the code.

Instead here is a link (which I can do):
http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/gorse.html
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Muskrat Portage » Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:54 am

Willie:
Download the picture off the location or save one from a digital camera/scanner into your "My pictures" file. Then when you are posting, use the tab at the bottom of your "Post a Reply" page called "Upload attachment".
1. Browse your files, select the picture with "open" in my pictures.
2. At this point you can "Add a comment" if you wish.
3. Then click "Add the File"
4. Finally upload it, with "Place inline". Wait while it is posting

A word of advice, use the "preview" feature to see how large the picture will be. You may have to go back and reduce it in size. To delete a too big pic, click on "delete file" when you are previewing.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Jobi » Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:16 am

pmullin wrote:You would need some awfully good "taste translators" that know how to convert UK culinary/nature reference to roughly equivalent flavours for other cultures/regions.


I was looking more for a description rather than a translation.
For instance:
weetabix = a type of cereal

as opposed to:

weetabix = a type of cereal that smells/tastes like.....
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby TreacleSponge » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:38 am

Jobi wrote:Last night I was reading through the tasting notes in Whisky Mag when the thought occurred to me for the umpteenth time, "What the hell are they talking about?". Specifically, I mean the many references in the notes that mean absolutely nothing to me. Some examples:
Medlars
Raffia/weetabix
Victoria sponge
Dubbin
Satsuma pith
treacle (this one I asked a British co-worker)
gorse
*snip*


Poor you, missing out on treacle :shock: Of course a lot of the time British people say treacle and mean Golden Syrup. Especially in relation to hot puddings :)

If it helps any, gorse in mid-flower smells of very sweet coconut - like coconut shampoo. As it gets older through the summer the coconut smell fades to sort of almost vanilla for a short while.

Dubbin is waterproof bootpolish, but waxy so it has a kind of beeswax smell to it.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Di Blasi » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:57 am

I'm still trying to find the simple task of "posting a new topic!!!"
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:15 am

Great idea for a thread this! I'm sure most of us, at some time or other have thought "what are they on?" when we read reviews, regardless of geography. I imagined "gorse" when i first tasted Ardbeg 17, but it wasn't coconut! More like heather dipped in whatever that oil is they use on cricket bats...(ah! linseed! thanks, short term memory - almost forgot!)

And victoria sponge...makes me think of victoria principal, but sadly i don't know what she noses or tastes like. why not have translations based on different genres of aroma...like, sexual, or bodily(cumin for example always smells of armpits to me)or even pictures, memories, and colours? I introduced a lively spanish painter to SMS one evening, and she beamed and started describing the COLOURS she was tasting!

I described the nose of a 1946 Macallan offered on a tasting some years back as "like playing in my grandmother's oak trunkfull of blankets as a boy...with added lemons."

I was once the lucky recipient of a 37 YO SMWS Longmorn they called a "Rasta Malt". i guessed it was because the malt was "deep and dark", and had "legs" like long dreadlockes...but a visit to the society, and a look at their official notes revealed that 2 of the tasters found "marijuana" on the nose!

Then again, as someone on this forum pointed out, the BEST tasting notes for this whisky came from my bass player, who took one sip and said "F*ck me! I think I'd better sit down!"

If only our famed reviewers would make it that simple!

P>S> I strongly advise everyone to NOT refer to their "honey" as "treacle!"
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Di Blasi » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:30 am

Wow Reggaeblues, "a 37 YO SMWS Longmorn!" How was it?? And yes, your bass player's tasting note is perfect, definitely understandable to all of us! And doesn't even need words, I could see it as a non-verbal message: one sip and a "whew" and then he sits down, hopefully not on his bass!!
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:45 am

Reggaeblues wrote:P>S> I strongly advise everyone to NOT refer to their "honey" as "treacle!"

I reckon if I did that she would thump me.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Rob Allanson » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:18 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:Then again, as someone on this forum pointed out, the BEST tasting notes for this whisky came from my bass player, who took one sip and said "F*ck me! I think I'd better sit down!"


We bass players are a little like that..... :D
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Dec 20, 2007 12:37 pm

The mind boggles. I reckon I just discovered a new look at JM's bible. Like the "Good Book", open it at random and see what it delivers. Here goes...

OK. "As We Get It 8 Years">(excerpts)

"Beware, this one has knuckles...At last some sanity...improbable honey...Ker-pow, zap, kaboom...Batman stuff for a good punch up on the tastebuds."

Well, that's verging on understandable! almost as explicit as me mate's "F*ck me!"

But then again..."Improbable honey?" Anyone ever seen that item for sale in the local farm shop? Is it made by "improbable bees?"
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:19 pm

Reggaeblues wrote:But then again..."Improbable honey?" Anyone ever seen that item for sale in the local farm shop? Is it made by "improbable bees?"

They don't sell that on your local farm Reggaeblues, only on Improbable Farm, which I think may be in Bedfordshire.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby les taylor » Thu Dec 20, 2007 1:29 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
Reggaeblues wrote:But then again..."Improbable honey?" Anyone ever seen that item for sale in the local farm shop? Is it made by "improbable bees?"

They don't sell that on your local farm Reggaeblues, only on Improbable Farm, which I think may be in Bedfordshire.



No No. We have Local Honey from local bees.

What always makes me laugh is when people try to sell you organic honey. Do the bees the know the difference between pollen on organic trees and plants and non organic. Brilliant.
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Re: Nothing to do with new Whisky Mag content

Postby Willie JJ » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:12 pm

les taylor wrote:What always makes me laugh is when people try to sell you organic honey. Do the bees the know the difference between pollen on organic trees and plants and non organic. Brilliant.


Warning! Boring theory coming:
I'm no beekeeper Les, but I guess that there is a limit to how far the bees can fly from the hive so if you stick the hives in the middle of an area of organic farming ....
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:22 pm

...more to the point, can JM tell the difference between organic and non-organic honey?

Improbable, I'd say.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Di Blasi » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:36 pm

Honey talk, love it, sweet! I always love using local honey wherever I live, organic or not, or whatever, but of course organic is always best. Great info there Les and Willie, thanks.
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Re: Nothing to do with new Whisky Mag content

Postby les taylor » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:40 pm

Willie JJ wrote:
les taylor wrote:What always makes me laugh is when people try to sell you organic honey. Do the bees the know the difference between pollen on organic trees and plants and non organic. Brilliant.


Warning! Boring theory coming:
I'm no beekeeper Les, but I guess that there is a limit to how far the bees can fly from the hive so if you stick the hives in the middle of an area of organic farming ....




I woke up this morning and never thought that today's topic would be Bee's.


Well according to the Brithish Beekeepers association, Bee's really are busy bees.

How Far Can Bees Fly?
It is possible for bees to fly as far as 5 miles for food, however an average distance would be less than a mile from the hive. A strong colony flies the equivalent distance of to the moon every day!


How Fast Can Bees Fly?
Normal top speed of a worker would be about 15-20mph (21-28km/h) when flying to a food source and about 12mph (17km/h) when returning laden down nectar, pollen, propolis or water.


So what can we deduce from this. Bee's may or not stay inside your organic field.


And shoe horning this back into the topic honey is probably one of those flavour descriptors that is known world wide. Although there nearly 20,000 types of bee and they live on every continent except antartica. Not much pollen down there. So honey will taste differently according to where you are as well.


Good Grief!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Leither » Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:57 pm

My, the chat's really buzzing around here today! :P
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Reggaeblues » Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:31 pm

Les T wrote "So honey will taste differently according to where you are as well."

Bit like whisky then...subject to local climate and geography. My, what an educational topic this is!

BTW, Finally got my tastebuds round a sample of Glenfarclas 15 yesterday, offered by Milroy's. Maybe it's the new bottling - it always tasted "closed" before, or what MJ might have said "tightly combined flavours", but yesterday I really enjoyed it. My tasting notes? No weetabix, gorse, gauze, victoria principal or improbable honey. just "nice and sweet sherried whisky with an aftertaste that lasted all the way down Oxford Street".

Does that make sense?
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Di Blasi » Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:25 pm

I recently had some of the best local honey, (in Leikanger in the Sognefjord area), I've ever had, tasting raspberries and flowers, wow, excellent. Can't wait to get more.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Reggaeblues » Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:49 am

When you do, distill it!
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Muskrat Portage » Fri Dec 21, 2007 5:33 am

Reggaeblues wrote:When you do, distill it!
If you just fermented it then stopped, it would be mead. And quite drinkable.

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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:04 am

Yes, then distill it!! I'm sure I can find someone around with the equipment, ssshhh!!
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Reggaeblues » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:44 am

Hmmm. Back to Jobi's original request I can see his dilemma. I was thinking about geographically based tasting notes.

How would an Australian, for example, rate the ARDBEG 10?

NOSE: Beauty, mate! Like the breeze off Byron Bay...

PALATE: Sheila's underarm sweat, with lemon juice splashing on a shrimp and bacon barbie

FINISH: Longer than the drive to Perth...

...or an american?

NOSE: AmTrak deisel pulling into Chicago central.

PALATE: Initial hit of lemon meringue pie, followed by hamburgers on rye with a whiff of maple syrup.

FINISH: Longer than the ride to LA...
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Di Blasi » Fri Dec 21, 2007 12:51 pm

Ha ha Reggaeblues, you got it!! To add to it, Ardbeg in the US would be like a band-aid, a hospital room!!
And in Norway, "like my grandfather's old wooden boat!!"
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby TreacleSponge » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:22 pm

Ewww, get Sheila's armpits out of me Ardbeg :yuk:
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Willie JJ » Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:05 pm

TreacleSponge wrote:Ewww, get Sheila's armpits out of me Ardbeg :yuk:

Hear, hear!
Sheila's armpits .... Yeeeuuuk! :yuk:
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby scotch4ever » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:56 pm

A bit off topic, however, I hope WM plans on having some articles about distillers, bottlers, and brands that are off the beaten path. I think there are a lot of interesting things happening in Whisky, however, it seems at time that the "trade publications" are just more detailed adverts. Do not get me wrong I enjoy the stories, however, the articles seem to follow the brands, people, and distillery's who pay thousands of pounds in adverts or attending the shows. I know the magazine needs to make money and I would never fault them for it. I would just like to see more things about the small guys.

I spent some time working in the fitness industry and Joe Weider perfected this type of publications with his muscle magazines. Meaning all the athletes featured always seem to discuss there success with body building products that he seem to produce (quite brilliant from a business view). It was not until magazines like Flex and some other under ground magazine appeared that the squat rack got tipped over.

oh well,

Have a Merry Christmass and a Happy New Year.
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Re: Idea for new Whisky Mag content

Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:37 pm

Mmmmmm.... Sheila's armpits....

There certainly is all kinds of honey. Producers can simply put their hives in the middle of a big patch of heather (or whatever), and the bees have no need to fly any further afield. I visited a museum dedicated to bees and honey in Quebec, and found it amazing how different the various honeys tasted (and I don't mean Sheila).

It appears there is more to being certified organic than just the flowers used:

http://www.theorganicreport.com/pages/4 ... _honey.cfm

In part:

Non-organic beekeepers routinely use sulfa compounds and antibiotics to control bee diseases, carbolic acid to remove honey from the hive and calcium cyanide to kill colonies before extracting the honey, and of course conventional honeybees gather nectar from plants that have been sprayed with pesticides.
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