Tasting Woodford Reserve
Julie from Le Gourmet TV sits down with distillery manager Dave Sheurich at Woodford Reserve for a tasting and to exchange stories over a great glass of Bourbon.
Dave Sheurich: Okay, are you ready to sample a Wigram?
Female: I am, please
Dave Sheurich: Okay, when you sample a Bourbon use three senses, sense of sight, sense smell and sense of taste. So hold it up, and what's the first thing you noticed?
Female: It’s a lovely golden amber color.
Dave Sheurich: That’s correct. We’re looking for nice deeper amber color, which it does have. We are also looking for clarity. Remember we talk down at the end on polishing whiskey.
Dave Sheurich: So it's got a nice clear—
Female: Yeah it's nice
Dave Sheurich: Now if the whiskey is yellow, it means that probably it hasn’t been in the barrel very long or may be in a cold spot in the warehouse and it’s going to have a bite to it. If it’s dark brown, that means it might— it’s been in the barrel too long and this is going to be a very—astringent.
Dave Sheurich: Maybe this is when we should introduce our—
Female: What a naughty cat you are.
Dave Sheurich: Yeah, you want me to pour you some there fat cat. He is a star.
Female: There you go.
Dave Sheurich: So any how, getting back to those, if it's dark brown it means that it's probably in the barrel too long and will be very astringent, very woody, and very smoky. Okay.
Female: Now when it’s yellow, is that what you refer to a one thing that’s green?
Dave Sheurich: Yeah, green. This is just has— it doesn’t have enough age to yet. So now please smell it. Now turn the tables, I want to tell you what I’m sensing. I want to know what you’re sensing. So I can tell you what Bourbon taste like but I can't tell you what it smells and taste like to you.
Female: Well it has caramely kind of smell to it and maybe just a hint of a like a really sharp vanilla.
Dave Sheurich: Yeah normally on bottle proof, the two strongest notes are caramel and vanilla. Now if you add a little bit of water to this, other notes would come out like fruits cherries and apples, and plums. It's always interesting to—I always turn the table on people that do tasting with this because sometimes you get some very interesting descriptors, which I’ll give you in a moment but I want to lead you in any place. So please take a taste now.
Female: Hmm. It's very smooth
Dave Sheurich: It's a very complex product. Hopefully it's sweeter at the tip of your tongue, dry at the back of your mouth; lots of tingling sensations are going along the sides of your tongue, that’s the spiciness. Big mouth full and a long pleasant finish.
Female: Now, I think I noticed the dryness. I’m going to try that again.
Dave Sheurich: Oh, yeah I like the story.
Female: Okay, I think I understand what you mean when said dry at the back of the throat and the second sip help a little.
Dave Sheurich: Yeah, good. Then you’re doing, doing a tastings, sometimes you get some good descriptors and I will give you a couple of them. I was doing one for a group from the United Kingdom and these fellows tasted it and he said, “Oh, like a toffee. It has toffees in it.” He’s an excellent descriptor and then he said, “No it's not toffee. Its bonfire toffee.” You know, I kind of hmm, do you like menus for a living. Where, where did you find that term and this was an older gentlemen and he said well, after World War, he and his buddies were youngsters and they would go to somebody’s mom’s house and get some sugar in somebody’s house and get some and then they mix the sugar and butter together and start a fire and put these mixture on the piece of metal and hold them over the fire until it started to bubble
Once it bubble then they took it off, let it cool and snap at needed. And what he was telling me, he was getting the creaminess of butter, a burned sugars are caramel, wetiness and smokiness out of one descriptor.
Female: So you experienced in what it takes like is really—the immediate experience is based on the past experience on how you would describe it.
Dave Sheurich: Yes, that’s right
Female: Pretty much though because if you never had it…
Dave Sheurich: Right, one of the one’s I get a chuckle, is the guy that every man and having a spring break 1997, pretty god descriptor there.
Tasting Woodford Reserve
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