This week we released a review of the Balblair 90 2nd release and there was some difference of opinion about the flavors of the scotch and what we enjoyed about the bottle. We were all very grateful to have this one and were looking forward to a formal review. Mike has been dying for us to shoot this video, so he could get another glass and take one more step towards being a scotch guy. We had not tried anything from Balblair until now and we do love a new distillery.
Are you tasting what I’m tasting?
Our review was one of my favorites and not just because I enjoyed the scotch. It turned out that while I was a big fan of this bottle Drew was not impressed and found it to be pretty bland. I pulled a lot of flavors out of this bottle and found it to have nice depth and a pleasant finish. Andrew and Mark both enjoyed it but not to the same level, but Drew did not have the same experience at all. After enjoying the initial nose, his experience went the other way and he gave a final score of 2. So why were the four of us so far apart on our scores this week?
A rose by any other name
I have learned many interesting things about taste over the years and factors that can change how and what people taste. There are experience factors such as what foods you ate growing up and how much exposure you have to new and different tastes. There are physical factors such as how many Papilla, the bumps on the tongue, each person has or their sensitivity to different flavors. The last factor is the wild card. You may be tired or have a cold. Maybe you had something to eat earlier that is throwing off what you are tasting. Many things can change your perception of the whisky in your glass. You can, over time, teach yourself to pick out flavors and get better at discerning more subtle tastes. It takes practice and exposure to new foods and drinks to train your senses, but even then you will still have flavors you just do not enjoy.
If you are tasting that scotch that everyone raves about and you just don’t see what the big deal is, maybe you aren’t alone. It may just not be your wheelhouse and you should try something else. It could also be a bad night and maybe try it again in a week or a month and see how you feel about it. I am happy that our viewers get a chance to watch us disagree about bottles. I believe it makes it a little easier to say what you actually think about what is in your glass. However, if what is in your glass is Balblair and you don’t care for it, I will take your share.