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Issue 96 - More Than Taste

Whisky Magazine Issue 96
June 2011


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More Than Taste

Martine Nouet looks at why you say tomato, I say tomeito

I have been regularly providing tasting notes on the new releases for Whisky Magazine for five years. My Malt Maniacs friends keep a detailed account of their notes and can easily provide their mileage which, for a lot of them, has outnumbered 1 000. An impressive performance! As for me, I could not tell how many whiskies I have tasted. A fair number I would think but this is not the important thing for me. What matters is not so much what I taste as how I taste.

The way I undertake the tasting with my colleague (and great buddy) Dave Broom is interesting as there is no communication in the tasting. We both receive the same samples which just feature a number, the age (that's new) and the strength on the label.

We taste, write the notes and email them to Rob Allanson and we only discover what the other has written when we receive the magazine copy. Before reading the notes, I look at the scores to spot any which are ‘miles apart'. It rarely happens, we keep consistently close in our scoring but sometimes, the big gap occurs like with Ardbeg Corryvreckan when Dave gave it a triumphant 9 and I delivered it a poor 7!

We thought it would be interesting to have a conversation about our tasting-notes and try to understand what makes the difference and the similarities. Readers often ask us how, even when we appear to agree, our notes are apparently completely different.

Let's take the Balblair 2000 tasted in issue 93. We are close in the scoring (8,1 and 7,8) but more interes...

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