rthomson wrote:I can't say that I "understand" whisky. I read tasting notes in WM and elsewhere and at best pick out 1/3 of the characteristics mentioned. Still, I know what I like.
Since my lightbulb
moment, I do not consider the word of so-called "experts" as an "absolute" guideline ...
Being a (very) good writer, and being genuinely interested in whisky, may lead you to writing a book about it (which is often a very good thing! don't get me wrong... I have about 70 books to prove I value that highly!) but that does not necessarily make you an expert. (it does provide good 'growing ground' though!)
My lightbulb moment
was in 1994... I had been tasting and collecting whisky for almost 10 years... and a very well known whisky writer conducted a tasting in Brussels.... After the tasting, I offered him a blind sample of something I considered to be one of the benchmark whisky's at the time.... Bowmore 17yo OB.
To his credit
, he was really liking it, considering it to be of very high quality. (And that was indeed the case with Bowmore 17 in the late 80-ties).... Turned out however, It was his first tasting ever of the Bowmore 17!!!!! So, that reveered whisky connoisseur, writer of several books on the subject, had never tasted Bowmore 17 before.... Now that 'revelation' rocked my boat a little, I can assure you!
It was akin to hearing a renowned fysicist admit he had never heard of Einstein's Relativity Theory...
Now, at least another 10 years have past, and I hold this guy in even greater esteem than before, because he has been building and growing in the business, and last but not least, he has not 'outgrown' his audience! And he has written some books I consider to be 'modern Classics', and that show how he matured in the world of whisky. I value him greatly, and I do consider him an expert, but i'll keep remembering giving him his first sip of Bowmore 17! Made him human after all!