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Cocktails & Spirits 5

Conducting a Bourbon Tasting

ravchaz | Oct 27, 201012:15 PM

I'm conducting my first tasting next week -- a fund raiser for the men's auxiliary of a woman's charity. I have selected for the tasting the standard Evan Williams, Elijah Craig 12 yr, a Four Roses Single Barrel exclusive to an area liquor store, Maker's Mark and Old Weller Antique. I also have a 375 ml bottle of Buffalo Trace White Dog which I will make available to anyone who wants to taste it. We are expecting 20 men or so so one bottle of each should be enough.

I am trying to figure out the order of the tasting. It won't be a blind tasting because most of the guys coming are not bourbon drinkers and I want to show them the differences in taste of various mashbills and ages.

My thoughts right now are Evan, Elijah, and Four Roses (essentially ascending order of cost and presumed quality), then Maker's and Weller (two wheated bourbons, I personally think the Weller is superior albeit about 1/3 less expensive). The question is when to offer the white dog -- I could offer it at the beginning to show how much the barrel changes the spirit, but I think most of those present won't care for it and it could throw off their palates. For similar reasons I don't want the white dog to be the last taste either. Maybe offer it between the three rye bourbons and the two wheaters.

I welcome your thoughts on the lineup and order as well as suggestions for changing it around. These are definitely the bourbons we will taste, however, since they have been purchased already and are happily at rest in my trunk at the moment.

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