For the most part, tasting notes are useless, sometimes providing direction. Not many of us can smell the roses or wet socks in whisky. It just smells like whisky. The majority of tasting notes are over the top, possibly outrageous but oh can they be funny, and most inportant, very personal.
I worked at a distillery in the UK for a summer and while visiting another distillery in the UK I met quite the character. He was trying to out smart the tour guide and impress us all with his deep understanding of whisky history. At the end of the tour, the 8 of us sat down at table, the tour guide putting a bottle in the middle of the table and exclaimed "Dig in, there is more to come"! Looking back on it, the whisky was great. But I was 19, and an entire bottle was just put in front of me with more bottles coming. I skipped a single, I skipped a double. I poured my self an "octuple". The pretentious ass next to me analysed the legs, gazed into the colour, nosing the whisky over and over again. I had already poured my second Octuple by the time he took his first sip! This is what he said....
"Smells like an Italian corn field at dusk, dew just about to set with sweetness being released by a silk dressed, left handed virgin picking corn. Finished with musty earth being released as she skips home".
I laughed so hard. During the tour he did have a couple funny jokes and I thought this must have been his punchline. He was serious. dead serious. A streak of anger came across him and I almost fell out of my chair laughing.
This article is in dedication to him. Now these following tastings notes are pretty crazy, they are a bit over the top but not wrong in principle. When we cannot identify a certain scent or taste, we tend to think of a memory where we have smelled that before.
.When I smell a smoky whisky it reminds me of camping with friends in highscool when we just had a few to many. Sweet whiskies remind me of boiling maple syrup and there is even a whisky that reminds me of the smell of my hockey equipment in the midddle of the season! If I were to write in a magazine that the whisky simply smells like campfires that would give you a pretty dang good idea that the whisky is smoky and you can decide if that is a style you like. But if I wrote 'the fire was started by a left handed mountain men", well that is just silly.
Funny Tasting Notes
- this is Meg Ryan in a glass.
- think of the 1980s.
- mouth-watering sumptuousness with hints of bramble, blackberry, boysenberry, Don Cherry and Frankenberry flourishes.
- A treat to open tonight with beef testicles or lamb spleen.
- straw yellow colour, reminds of bottles peed in when too lazy to leave the couch. Wafts of apples, pears and armpits on the subway, this one surely won’t disappoint.!
- A nose of melted plastic, burnt toast and deck shoes worn without socks, this one is a true gift. Every sip brings reminisces of suntanning after a morning of mosquito bites and family conflict. Great for tonight as an accompaniment for anxiety and an uncertain future plus goes remarkably well with the movie Scarface. What are you waiting for? Say hello to your little friend.
- aromas of a ripe golden delicious picked on the 1st wednesday of september.
- Dark as David Fincher, this beauty unwinds waves of hovercraft oil, BDSM dungeon sweat and Fair-trade biodynamic hand-cultivated chocolate from a mountaintop parcel of land in a coastal rainforest. A brooding mistress of devilish wonder – uncork it for a seance tonight or pair it with freshly killed goat from a voodoo ritual. This one will make you wonder what you’re doing with your life.
- nose like tinned prunes and a texture on the palate like some horrid and ineffectual remedy that a witch-doctor might force upon a consumptive. In short, this is a wine for the brutish and the senile, purchased by a man who was both. It is only to be hoped that death came for him before he managed to degrade himself and his name by serving this to the guests at his table.
Buy your whisky not from a guy who looks like he is always undergoing a colonoscopy but one who tells a funny story about a colonoscopy! Have fun drinking whisky and don't take yourself to seriously.
Thanks to Master of Malt for the picture.