Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

who takes notes of their tastings?

Your tastes and our tastes are discussed here, so make sure you share your pleasures with us.

who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby WhiskyBill » Wed Oct 20, 2010 12:32 am

I like to think age only finds the memory banks filling up so less is retained.
Outside resources are now needed to help remember my tastings. I've transitioned from a drinker (this one is good and that one bad) to a taster of whiskies (I'll score that with 96 and add notes). It is both an experience and a journey. With so many choices and so many complexities of each I find it imperative to jot down notes of each.
For me Google Docs works the best. Lots of notes and copying website links and even other tasters reviews. When I'm at the spirit shop and I pull up my wish-list and tasting notes right from the iPhone. :thumbsup:
Anyone do the same?
User avatar
WhiskyBill
New member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Chandler AZ

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby The Third Dram » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:36 am

WhiskyBill wrote:With so many choices and so many complexities of each I find it imperative to jot down notes of each.

Not imperative for me. Nevertheless, I do remain an inveterate 'note jotter' (and have been for some 30 years now), as these scribblings often form the basis of much of what I eventually write on spirits and wines in articles (and books).

Fortunately, age has not, as yet, taken too much of a toll on my memory capacity, and I therefore am still able to carry in my mind rather detailed analyses of most of what has passed over my lips wherever I go - be it to the store or to tasting events.

For me, time and experience have offered a definite advantage in terms of being able to synthesize how the essential and relative qualities of various alcoholic beverages relate to one another.
User avatar
The Third Dram
Triple Gold Member
 
Posts: 2406
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 8:38 pm

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby dramtastic » Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:28 am

I usually only write detailed notes on Japanese whisky and that is mostly for Chris Buntings blog nonjatta. If there is a live tasting here on the forum and I have a bottle that relates I may do the same here.
I have my own tasting chart that I use which contains flavors that are familliar to me. They are headed by the family of flavours they come under e.g fruits, woods, spices etc.
I usually remember the style of whisky of almost everything I have tasted but more importantly for me whether I liked it or not and whether I'll buy it again.
User avatar
dramtastic
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 3476
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:07 am

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby Ganga » Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:48 pm

I float all over the place on this one. I typically take notes once on a whisky and thereafter I just enjoy the whisky. I do have quite a memory of whiskies as well as I can remember the highlights to certain whiskies 10-15 years later.

I recommend people spend some time taking notes on whiskies as it helps develop the analytical skills.
Ganga
Matured cask
 
Posts: 23756
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:57 pm
Location: Sylmar, CA

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby Lucas » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:34 pm

I do take notes when I taste to review but sometimes I'm just genuinely not bothered. BTW, lost my notebook recently, anyone seen it??? :(
User avatar
Lucas
New member
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:46 pm
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby WhiskyBill » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:17 am

Lucas wrote:BTW, lost my notebook recently, anyone seen it??? :(

Try Google Docs - it's free and never gets lost :)
User avatar
WhiskyBill
New member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Chandler AZ

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby WhiskyBill » Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:23 am

Ganga wrote:I float all over the place on this one. I typically take notes once on a whisky and thereafter I just enjoy the whisky. I do have quite a memory of whiskies as well as I can remember the highlights to certain whiskies 10-15 years later.
I recommend people spend some time taking notes on whiskies as it helps develop the analytical skills.

you must be young lads with the good memory. Some of the younger beer tasting days (aka binging) I would tend to remember which ones to stay away from like Colt45 - hope there aren't any colt45 fans here.

I also find keeping notes include others things like cost and were I bought it - handy when shopping online. And while I jot things down I can add notes from friends as well.
thx
Bill
User avatar
WhiskyBill
New member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Chandler AZ

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby Yello to Mello » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:55 am

I dont really take notes. I never read notes...I dont know why I bothered taking them in school either.

I make notes for other people at work all the time though. Similarly if I taste a whisky that hasnt been discussed on the internet I will write them for my forumites and lurkers so its a rare occurrence and I think I can give people a grasp of the profile.
Yello to Mello
New member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:05 am
Location: Richmond Hill, Ont, Can.

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby matteo » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:24 am

I do take notes on every tasting event, I also take notes every time I open a new bottle and I make few photo with bottle, packaging and a glencair glass filled with a good dram.

I'm trying to improve the quality of the photos, I will need a little still-life studio and a good reflex, but I haven't...so the majority of the photos have flashlight blinking on the lable or the neck of the bottle.

Taking notes for me is a useful method to remeber whiskies, what I like of the an what I dislike; which one is good and which to buy for
matteo
New member
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:07 pm
Location: Milano - Italy

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby pkt77242 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 11:17 pm

I definitely take tasting notes and even post some here on the forum in the live tastings and in my own thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12542&start=140 I can give the approximate price and general profile of just about every whisky I have drank and definitely of any whisky of which I have had a full bottle. Though I do keep an excel spreadsheet of my whiskies with where it was bought, price and simple tasting notes with a score.

Sean
User avatar
pkt77242
Matured cask
 
Posts: 10526
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:15 am
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby bredman » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:06 am

I try. Deep down i can't be bothered, so now i just make a note of the bottling details with a couple of remarks for my own reference.
User avatar
bredman
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1049
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:56 pm

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby WhiskyBill » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:02 am

matteo wrote:I'm trying to improve the quality of the photos, I will need a little still-life studio and a good reflex, but I haven't...so the majority of the photos have flashlight blinking on the lable or the neck of the bottle.

TIPS:
when taking shots (no pun intended) put a white card, paper, towel etc behind the glass so the color is changed by background colors that may be other than white. Avoid flash if possible - most cameras have option to turn it off. If using a point and shoot camera - try night mode (slower shutter speed and higher ISO) these might give you better pics. The best light is outdoors in direct sunlight with your back to the south (in northern hemisphere) and light gleaming into the glass from the side. Also try shooting in Macro mode (varies between cameras but some do quite well) and best composition would be about a 45 degree angle looking down at glass.
cheers
Bill
User avatar
WhiskyBill
New member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Chandler AZ

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby WhiskyBill » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:15 am

I had though more folks would take notes. Tastings are like a journey for me. Like a road trip - we like to take pictures so we can recall later where we have been. While I can remember certain ones I can't remember the subtleties and notes each whisky offers. After awhile I suspect I will reach 100 then 200+ tastings through time - I would never remember each whisky notes. In my written notes I also add what I feel the dram would pair well. Tonight it's Glenfarclas 17 which more me will pair well with the Pork Chops. :thumbsup:
Bill
User avatar
WhiskyBill
New member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Chandler AZ

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby Novice Scotch Fan » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:09 am

Take notes? Hell yeah! I gotta bloody blog devoted to scotch notes. Notes are the first step to certifiable obsession!
User avatar
Novice Scotch Fan
Gold Member
 
Posts: 661
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:22 pm

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby matteo » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:58 pm

WhiskyBill wrote:
matteo wrote:I'm trying to improve the quality of the photos, I will need a little still-life studio and a good reflex, but I haven't...so the majority of the photos have flashlight blinking on the lable or the neck of the bottle.

TIPS:
when taking shots (no pun intended) put a white card, paper, towel etc behind the glass so the color is changed by background colors that may be other than white. Avoid flash if possible - most cameras have option to turn it off. If using a point and shoot camera - try night mode (slower shutter speed and higher ISO) these might give you better pics. The best light is outdoors in direct sunlight with your back to the south (in northern hemisphere) and light gleaming into the glass from the side. Also try shooting in Macro mode (varies between cameras but some do quite well) and best composition would be about a 45 degree angle looking down at glass.
cheers
Bill

Thanks Bill :thumbsup: I was looking for a white semi-rigid foil, but I don't know which material works best. I'm wondering if use of fluorescent lamp can change the diagram of light and subsequent the final color of the picture!?
matteo
New member
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:07 pm
Location: Milano - Italy

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby WhiskyBill » Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:54 pm

matteo wrote:
WhiskyBill wrote:
matteo wrote:I'm trying to improve the quality of the photos, I will need a little still-life studio and a good reflex, but I haven't...so the majority of the photos have flashlight blinking on the lable or the neck of the bottle.

TIPS:
when taking shots (no pun intended) put a white card, paper, towel etc behind the glass so the color is changed by background colors that may be other than white. Avoid flash if possible - most cameras have option to turn it off. If using a point and shoot camera - try night mode (slower shutter speed and higher ISO) these might give you better pics. The best light is outdoors in direct sunlight with your back to the south (in northern hemisphere) and light gleaming into the glass from the side. Also try shooting in Macro mode (varies between cameras but some do quite well) and best composition would be about a 45 degree angle looking down at glass.
cheers
Bill

Thanks Bill :thumbsup: I was looking for a white semi-rigid foil, but I don't know which material works best. I'm wondering if use of fluorescent lamp can change the diagram of light and subsequent the final color of the picture!?

Keep it simple - fluorescents aren't the best and if you do use them make sure your white balance is set as same. The semi rigid foils are more for light fill of subjects. There are many techniques and I was more looking for easy cheap ways to do it with point and shoot cameras.
You could experiment with white board - place one behind glass and one at about a 45 degree angle on the side of the glass then use your flash. Try a couple shots and you can block out a portion of the flash with your finger if too bright. If you wanted to get more serious you could also buy a product light box. In amazon search for light box. let me know how you go beauty is in the eye of the beholder :thumbsup:
User avatar
WhiskyBill
New member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:10 am
Location: Chandler AZ

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby nulty » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:32 pm

I do take notes, not only when I enjoy a dram at home but when I'm at a tasting as well.

I find that the best way to have clean nice looking notes is just to have a blog !
You don't need to make it public (mine isn't) and it's nice to look at, easy to read and browse, with links, pictures and everything.
nulty
New member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:20 pm

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby Willie JJ » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:14 pm

I generally take notes at formal tastings, online tastings, sometimes when I'm dramming at home and nearly always when someone has sent me a sample. It is quite time consuming so it has led to a back up of many hundreds of samples. Not really something I feel justified in complaining about though. :) Other than that I just drink for the hell of it. I find its too fiddly and time consuming trying to take notes at fairs and festivals so I don't bother.
User avatar
Willie JJ
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:31 pm
Location: nr. Edinburgh

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby hyperfuji » Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:42 am

im back and forth on this one. i used to take notes all the time and lately have gotten pretty lazy.
hyperfuji
Gold Member
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:29 am
Location: LA, CA

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby newwhiskyworld » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:42 pm

I have begun to use 'Warehouse 24' - it is a marketing program run by The Balvenie. I know a marketing program does not sound great but it actually a brilliant place to leave all the info you want and also view other peoples reccomendations/views/notes etc. Link is:

http://www.thebalvenie.com/index.php?la ... _login.php

I have found it really useful and can be accessed easily and shared with whoever you like.

Jonny.

www.newwhiskyworld.blogspot.com
newwhiskyworld
New member
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:39 pm

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby Willie JJ » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:10 pm

Jonny if you are looking for that kind of thing then Whiskybase is better than the Balvenie site by a mile. Also this and other forums are good for tasting notes. At least one has them organised by distillery/bottling. Seek and ye shall find.
User avatar
Willie JJ
Cask Strength Gold Member
 
Posts: 4593
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:31 pm
Location: nr. Edinburgh

Re: who takes notes of their tastings?

Postby Malhavoc » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:00 pm

I use a good quality spiral notebook, and keep track of appearance, taste, mouth feel, and finish as well as the product details.

I don't give number scores, as I don't find them detailed enough if I'm trying to make a purchase choice from my own notes.

Pictures I also don't bother with. The subtleties of colour are lost in the transition from photo, to computer screen, to printing unless you take a lot of time and effort to colour balance everything.

Mostly, I just use my notes to remember what I've tried and which ones I liked. :coffee:
Malhavoc
New member
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:35 pm

Return to Whisky Tastings

Whisky gift and present finder