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Rating System

All reviews, ratings, and tasting notes are those of Jason Pyle, Sour Mash Manifesto’s founder.

There is a lot of stock put on product ratings and reviews. And for good reason. It’s not the only reason but an important one for me when starting Sour Mash Manifesto. Alcoholic beverages are an affordable luxury relative to other “luxuries”, but they can cost a pretty penny. It’s my sincerest goal to provide you with reliable reviews and ratings of Bourbon, Rye, and other American Whiskeys to help make those purchasing decisions a bit less “risky”.

Before I discuss the Sour Mash Manifesto rating system I’d like to remind you of something very important. Regardless of what I or any other whiskey enthusiast says, if you like a whiskey – it’s good! Simple as that. I encourage you to use my ratings as a guide or point of reference to determine which whiskeys you might enjoy more than others. I provide detailed tasting notes for this purpose.

This brings me to the rating system itself. The more traditional 100-Point rating scale is widely used by most publications, websites, and blogs. Even with the same scale they are all just a bit different. In fact, even classifications for the ranges within this scale are different depending on the source. These variances can be very confusing.

Instead, Sour Mash Manifesto has deployed a system that is designed to bring in a wider variance than many of the popular sites and publications. I use a 10 point scale with decimals (9.2, 8.4, etc. etc), to get away from the 100 point system, allowing me more leeway to distinguish world-class whiskey from merely good or even great whiskey. This is what it looks like:

    Sour Mash Manifesto Rating Scale (out of 10):

9.6-10.0: Epic – One of the finest Whiskeys in the world and an amazing achievement.
8.8-9.5: Superb/Outstanding – A classic expression of Whiskey, highly recommended.
8.0-8.7: Very Good/Excellent – A Whiskey with character and quality.
7.0-7.9: Good/Solid – Average to slightly above average whiskey
6.0-6.9: Decent – Palatable only, but certainly not recommended.
5.0-5.9: Poor – Avoid
<5.0: Horrid -No explanation required.

Product Notes:
The products we review are available in the United States market and to some degree globally. Specific availability may differ depending on your local market.

Product Review Process:
I have a minimum of two to three tasting sessions with each product I review before posting my video, rating, and tasting notes. I simply believe these products deserve a thorough review. My review periods generally take place over a period of days or even a week to account for changes in environment, diet, etc. All whiskeys are tasted in a copita-style or Glencairn glass. I rarely add water, and when I do, only in small amounts. That is the only thing that might be added to a whiskey during a tasting session.

One thing is for sure – there is no perfect rating system out there, including mine. However, with some repeat visits to the site I am hopeful that you will come to understand how my descriptions and ratings align with your own thoughts and experiences.

Thanks for visiting!

Jason Pyle
Sour Mash Manifesto
1738 Liberty Pike
Franklin, TN 37067
eMail: jmpyle1@gmail.com
Phone: 615-406-6026

70 Comments

  1. Texas says:

    Fantastic blog you have here. After really getting heavily into single malt Scotch I am now (over the past two years) rediscovering rye and bourbon. I really like your reviews and totally agree on the Dickel No. 12. My wife’s family are strictly whiskey and coke drinkers and they think Dickel No. 12 is the best whiskey and coke they have ever had.

    All in all my favorite product line is Wild Turkey (WT 101, WT 101 Rye, Rare Breed, RR 10, and RR Rye are the one’s I have had). I would like to see a review of one of the WT products when you get around to it. I would be interested to see your take.

  2. Thank you so much for the comments. I really appreciate it. I enjoy posting reviews and update – bourbon, rye, and american whiskey is just fascinating to me and there are so many great ones out there.

    I concur wholeheartedly with your assessment of the Wild Turkey lineup as a whole. Excellent products and very much in line with the flavors I enjoy seeing in a bourbon whiskey. I plan on reviewing Rare Breed and RR 10 very soon. Appreciate the suggestions!

  3. Hi Jason, I Love to here you comments on whiskeys and bourbons! I have always been a white liquor drinks and have NEVER crossed over until the owner at Whiskey Bent Saloon (www.whiskeybentsaloon) had me try a White Peach Infused Four Roses Bourbon that he had infused himself. I can’t believe that I am going to admit to being a convert at my old age but I am! And your reviews are definately helping me decide what I must try next! Looking forward to following your blogs! Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the comments Lori! Whiskey and bourbon is a beautiful thing and offers something for everyone. I think folks that don’t like whiskey just haven’t really had it in a way that appeals to them yet. Much like the Four Roses infusion you mentioned. You can also do the same with juices and such to sweeten it up and allow the bourbon flavors to remain without overpowering. It’s not exactly a blank canvas like many clear spirits, but it’s certainly something that can be mixed with great results with the right ingredients.

    Also, like many things I feel drinking straight whiskey is an acquired taste. But once you begin learning about it and trying them, you begin to understand what you like. Then things unfold from there. The trick is to use water as your friend. Dilute with water until the percentage of alcohol is palatable to you. From there you can use less and less.

    One of the reasons I stated this blog is because I always see about 3-4 bourbons or American whiskey’s in bars and restaurants: Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and maybe a Woodford Reserve or something thrown into the mix. Those whiskeys are good, but there’s a whole big world of great American whiskey out there and I hope to shed more light on it.

    I can wait to try the Whiskey Bent Saloon. Looks like their website is coming soon. I’ll be on the lookout.

  5. JMac says:

    I’ve just been introduced to your blog and found it very informative. I’m a college student whose been drinking whiskey since I’ve been legal but had never really tried anything besides Evan Williams Black Label and Jim Beam until recently. I purchased a bottle of Gentleman Jack and loved it and decided I needed to try some more diverse bourbons. I was thinking of trying a bottle of Evan Williams Single Barrel, since I have heard positive things about it everywhere. I was wondering if you had any other recommendations similar to Gentleman Jack that wouldn’t be too harsh for a novice like me. Lastly, I live in a dry dorm so my whiskey lives in the trunk of my car. I was wondering if the heating/cooling and sloshing around has a negative effect on the whiskey like other beverages. Thanks for your insight, and I’ll be coming back for further blogs!
    -Justin

  6. Justin, fantastic questions. First I definitely have some suggestions for you that really sort of cover a couple of spectrums. I think it’s very important when you are first venturing into bourbon to try some different styles so that you can better pinpoint what style you like best. It’s then easier to stay within that style or just on the outskirts of it.

    To start – you are well on point with Evan Williams Single Barrel. The 2000 Vintage is spectacular and is a great great value. Not only that, it’s just a damn fine whiskey at any price. It’s a pretty typical moderate rye recipe with one the most perfect balances of sweet, spice, richness and depth. Next I would point you to a Four Roses Yellow label ($18) or Small Batch (26-28). Drier, crisper, fruitier, and spicier than EWSB. Same price point in the sub $30 range but a very nice example of a well priced, more rye heavy whiskeys. I would then venture towards Elijah Craig 12 yr. It is a similar grain recipe to the EWSB, but instead of 9.5ish years in the barrel, it has 12. This results in a woodier, smokier bourbon. I love it too. Finally I’d look at the Old Weller Reserve or Van Winkle 10 Year. These are wheated Bourbons that are softer, rounder, richer textured but far less spice than the more rye forward I’ve mentioned. In this way you get to experience a number of varieties. This should keep you busy for a while.

    As a college student I realize budgets can be tight. Some of these are in the $22-25 range depending where you are. On up to around $30. A couple other well priced recommendations are Elmer T. Lee (Awesome, rich sweet, good spice, super balanced) and Wild Turkey 101 (Heavy rye, heavy spice, but awesome).

    Happy sipping – would love to know what you think of these as you work your way through them. Take your time and enjoy.

    Cheers!

    -Jason

  7. Justin, I forgot to answer part 2 of your questions. Sorry about that. To be honest I do worry that the vast temperature changes could really give those bourbons a beating. Obviously, I’d rather see you do that than put them in your dorm and risk any issues, but I do think it would be best if you found a more consistent spot to store them. For me, however I think people might be surprised that I don’t have a huge huge collection of bourbon. Why? Because I drink it. After about 2-3 months an opened bottle of bourbon that’s half full or less begins to oxidize, flatten, and soften a bit much. I’m not a chemistry major, so i get explain what happens chemically, but it happens. I’ve had whiskeys that alter dramatically.

    So I suppose what I’m saying is, try not to invest in too many whiskeys and then you’re looking at just 2-3 bottles. It’s also getting a bit chillier so perhaps those temp changes will be less dramatic. Cooler is far better than hotter.

  8. charles says:

    thanks for the great site! like texas i have been into single malt scotch for years, but have recently been rediscovering bourbon. at first it was about the money, but now it’s all about the taste and enjoyement. wanted some pappy 15 for the holidays, but there’s none to be had, gonna score some eagle rare single barrel and wild turkey rare breed tomorrow. both i’ve never tasted. thanls again for the site and honest reviews.
    charles

  9. Thanks for the comment Charles. Welcome to Bourbon rediscovery. I think you’ll like bot the Eagle Rare and the Rare Breed. Enjoy.

  10. Bill Walsh says:

    Jason, you have a great website. I enjoy tour tasting videos and it appears we have the same tastes in bourbon. I have learned a lot from you and keep up the great work.

    I live in Pennsylvaina with a state store system so I have a limited supply of different bourbons locally but I travel frequently for work and get to pick up some more unusual bourbons while traveling.

  11. Bill, thanks a ton for the comment. I’m glad you’ve learned from the site and it’s great to hear.

  12. Eric S. says:

    Like a couple of others here, I’ve spent most of my time with single malt scotch whisky (30 years), and scotch will probably always be my first love. But… in the last 5 years or so, I’ve really warmed up to bourbon. I’ve tried everything I can get my hands on… and I now consider myself firmly entrenched in bourbon whiskey. I can honestly say that I go for months without drinking scotch because I would rather have bourbon!
    I can’t say I have a favorite bourbon… I love them all at some point and time. It just depends on what flavor profile I’m after on a particular evening.

    I will say that I do seem to like Four Roses, Wild Turkey and Buffalo Trace products quite a bit. I also like the Heaven Hill flavor profile (Elijah Craig 12 and 18, Evan Williams).

    I haven’t been able to get my hands on any Van Winkle products yet, but I will!

    Thanks for the great reviews and the honesty whith which you present them.

    Eric.

  13. Eric, Scotch and other Malt Whisky are fantastic for sure. I understand why you love them. But I am damn glad you’ve tried and have become a real lover of Bourbon. Great to hear. All the distillers you mention do fantastic work and you can’t go wrong with them. Thank you for the comments and I appreciate your visiting the site. Cheers!

  14. LeMoyne Mercer says:

    Jason,
    My wife and I did the Bourbon Trail last October and visited Buffalo Trace in March. For people who live within a day’s drive of central Kentucky, this is a marvelous resource.
    The biggest surprise was Four Roses. I remembered their stuff, from the late ’60s, as simply horrible! Nobody there explained why this was the case so your history of the distillery was quite useful. We found the Yellow Label quite acceptable for Manhattans and the Small Batch and Single Barrel well above the acceptable range.
    Thank you for providing insight into several other bourbons we have not yet tried–but definitely will.

  15. LeMoyne, thank you for the comment. I’m glad you’ve found the site useful. How right you are about the Bourbon Trail and the distillery experiences in general. It’s wonderful stuff to see how bourbon is made first hand. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting the site also!

    -jason

  16. Travis says:

    Jason- this is a great site. It’s well laid out and it’s clear to me that you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into it, and you’re a good writer to boot.

    One question about your ratings – how does price factor in, if at all? In other words, is a 9.2 at $20 really a better whiskey in and of itself compared to a 8.5 at $40, or does the fact that it’s more economical inflate the score?

  17. Thanks for the comment Travis. Great question on the rating system. I actually threw price out the window when putting this together. I wanted to, I love a great value – who doesn’t, but it was just too subjective. There was a post in the last 6 weeks where I started talking about “perceived value”. It started a long list of fantastic comments – all the folks that visit this site have great perspectives on whiskey, which is another great thing about doing this type of website. Anyways, I brought it up because I would say Pappy Van Winkle 15 at $75.00 is a great value. It’s frankly one of the best whiskeys in the world in my opinion. I’d gladly pay $75 for it and not be sad to do so. But to someone else who doesn’t pay more than $XX for a whiskey that’s no “value” to him/her. While yes all of these reviews are my impressions only, I certainly couldn’t dictate to a visitor what should be a good value or not – that’s up to them.

    So I rate these whiskeys on what’s in the bottle alone. And at the end of that if it turns out the score to price ratio seems out of the ordinarily strong, then I absolutely note that. I’m also putting together a top 10 whiskey under $XX as soon as I can map out the price that gives the best options for folks. I’ll have that done soon.

    Thanks again Travis for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  18. Travis says:

    Just what I was hoping to hear — that’s the right way to go about it IMO.

    Speaking of the PVW15, after 3 months of searching I happened upon a liquor store near my in-laws in Florida with one bottle left from their spring shipment. $70. Going to pick up my new crown jewel this weekend when we visit. Who said visiting the in-laws was a drag?

    It’ll be my first full bottle. Had a glass of 20 yr and was shocked that it was every bit as good as billed. Can’t wait!

  19. Travis – lucky you – enjoy it. I’m sipping some right now. I have found over the years the BEST way to get a hold of some is while traveling. Smaller towns also tend to turn up a bottle or two of Pappy 15 every now and again. I always go hunting wherever I go.

  20. Fred Parker says:

    This is a fantastic blog. Seriously. Since my 21st birthday in June, I’ve been using this blog as a tool to dig deep into Bourbon and Bourbon lore. I started with a bottle of Eagle Rare 10 year, moved on to Four Roses Small Batch (that was a crisp one), and am now enjoying the 2000 vintage Evan Williams single barrel. My hat is off to you Jason, and thanks for the excellent reviews.

    Now, with me being a serious foodie and a culinary student, it might interest you to know that I have recently concocted the most incredible batch of brown butter and Evan Williams single barrel ice cream. I can give you the recipe if you’re interested.

  21. Fred, thank you very much for the comment. I absolutely would love that ice cream recipe. It sounds absolutely ridiculously good!!!!

  22. JC Smith says:

    Many thanks for your marvelous work. I live in Taiwan (one of the largest markets for Scotch) where bourbon is a bit hard to find. There is a decent selection of mostly the standards, but it is spread out over many purveyors. Good scotch is everywhere, literally. I can take a 5 minutes walk in any direction from almost anywhere in Taipei and get some some highly regarded/popular Scotch. That being said, I don’t much relish the Euro brown juice- neither Irish or Scotch. After tuning my palette on bourbon, that stuff just don’t taste right.

    Over the past year, I have assembled a respectable bourbon cabinet, the standards plus a few export exclusives, and even a small bunker of dusties-several liters of 93/94 8 year old WT in 200ml bottles :p. A couple of semi-dusties I thought were going to be great, pre-fire EC 12 and 2002 Blanton’s Silver, unfortunately had major cork issues and had to be tossed. That is how it goes, you gotta take the good with the bad sometimes.

    Your tasting notes and videos have been very inspiring and useful in helping me understand the flavors of some of my bottles, most notably WT 101, MM, 4 Roses Yellow, and EC 18. Hanging onto the table, front forward sweetness, mid palette rye, and dense char, it all makes sense. Keep up the good work, it is well noted.

    One more thing, as a UGA grad, I have to take deference to your orange leanings. I do wish Dooley’s boy luck on most days, save a week or so a year. I was in Knoxville in 97 when Jamal Lewis ran all over us on the 30th anniversary of Rocky Top. At times that cursed tune still rings in my ears.

    Cheers

  23. JC, thank you kindly for your thoughtful comments. I do appreciate it and I am very glad you have found the site useful. As for football, at least we agree on the SEC. Good luck to your Dawgs!

    -Jason

  24. Matt Wethington says:

    Very nice blog! Although a life-long Kentuckian, I’m just now at an age where my palate can appreciate the nuances of bourbon. I’m an Elmer T. Lee guy at the moment & was pleased to see the rating you gave it. I would love to see a ‘quick list’ on the ratings. In other words, one could click on the ‘Epic’ rating & then get a list of the whiskeys that received the high mark. That would be a great feature for a noob like me. ;) Thanks again, great site!

  25. Matt, I love the suggestion and I am definitely working to make the site a lot better. It needs some TLC and better usability for visitors. From one Elmer fan to another – thanks for the comment!

    -Jason

  26. Ken says:

    Jason:

    I’m Ken from Toronto, ON. I have been a bourbon fan since my twenties and even before (I’m 50 now, and like you, in IT).

    I am a scotch (single malt), Canadian, and American whisky (rye and bourbon) fan. Naturally, being Canadian, I have a rye bias. However, I am aware that American rye is quite different — and a lot heavier.

    Keep it up Jason. We need more category bearers like you. Please keep me in your postings.

    Bourbon and (club) soda. You can’t keep me away from it (in moderation, of course).

    Drink of choice at posting: Baker’s and soda.

    Ken

  27. Ken says:

    Jason:

    I have a mixing question for you.

    When adding club soda to American rye, why does it tend to die in flavour and intensity (both Rittenhouse 100 and Sazerac 6 yr old) when bourbon does not?

    Both whiskies have ample body to them, but when diluted the same, rye tends to seem lighter?

    Ken

  28. Ken, thanks a bunch for the comments and for visiting. Always nice to connect with a whiskey lover.

  29. Ken, this is a very good question, and one I’m frankly going to have trouble answering. Rye definitely does not have the body of bourbon. But as you’ve noted the two you mention have a high percentage of corn as well. I categorize Rittenhouse BIB as a bourbon lovers rye. I’ll have to give this a try myself and see what I get.

    Thanks again for the comment Ken.

  30. Darren says:

    Hi Jason,

    I just left a comment on your Youtube channel because I enjoy your videos so much.

    Being a Canadian, we have a lot smaller selection of bourbon as you do in the US, and hopefully, as people become better informed (through your videos & blog for example) that Canadians will develop a better appreciation for bourbon, and demand and selection will increase.

    I have been appreciating various single malts and other whiskies for a few years now, and one “nosing” aspect that I find interesting is the residual smell left in the empty glass. I usually leave my empty glass out, and take a sniff later in the evening, or even the next morning. What I usually find is a whole other dimension, deep caramel and woody notes that can really surprise!

    Keep up the great work Jason!

    Darren

  31. Darren, thank you kindly for the comment. I do appreciate your taking the time to visit and check out the site. Great note on the aromas in the empty glass. I do this as well – there’s loads in there that remains.

    Cheers Darren!

  32. Isaac C. Johnson says:

    Jason, thanks for a wonderful website. Like some of the others here, I am heavy into single-malt scotch. One day I was browsing the web and ran into your site. I watched many great reviews which peaked my interest; so I decided to delve into the world of bourbon.

    I must admit that I started with a bit of prejudice. You see, my visions of bourbon takes me back to wild college parties with the cheapest bottom shelf “get you smashed quick” stuff you could find; however, as I stated above, your site has me interested. So I went down to my local Wine & Spirits shop.

    The manager there knew that I was a scotch guy, so he was walking me to the single-malt section to show me something new when I surprised him by asking about high quality bourbons.

    That question caused him to smile, and at that moment he walked me over to the bourbon section and suggested that I try Jefferson Reserve…. All I can say is WOW! It is one of the best things I have ever tasted!

    What are your thoughts on Jefferson Reserve?

    I have also heard that the 17 year Jefferson Reserve Presidential Select is supposed to be amazing. Have you tried it?

    I am waiting on a call from my area wine & spirit guy so that I can pick up a bottle.

    Thanks,
    Be Encouraged:-)

  33. Isaac, thank you kindly for the thoughtful comments. I’m so thrilled to hear you’ve enjoyed your foray into American Whiskey. I enjoy Scotch and other global spirits as well, but frankly I started this website because I just didn’t think American Spirits were getting their due.

    I really enjoy Jefferson’s. It’s soft and mellow and easy sipping. That’s a great one to get started into. The 17 and 18 year products are just UNREAL. Awesome stuff. I’ll get to a review soon enough.

    Appreciate your comments again – thanks for Sharing!

  34. Steve Wittels says:

    Jason, I have always enjoyed whiskey / bourbon but was about the furthest thing from an aficionado as you could get. I was basically a guy who enjoyed his Crown or Makers Mark and could tell the difference between those and lesser creations. That all changed one night on a business trip to San Antonio Texas. A couple of us ended up at a wonderful restaurant called “Bohannan’s”. We were in the mood for bone in ribeye steaks and whiskey. Our waiter informed us of their broad selection of bourbons. We settled on Pappy Van Winkles 23 year old. That was a game changer for me and I have been on a quest for knowledge of all things bourbon ever since.
    I stumbled onto one of your reviews on youtube which thoroughly enjoyed. That naturally led me to your website that has been very informative. I hope to land on a mailing list of yours and will be returning to your website frequently.
    I really enjoy the Pappy 23 year old but don’t find much written about it…always seems to be the 20 or the 15. I would love to learn more about the 23 if you have any info you can share. I am also looking to be steered towards what you believe are the best of the best; would love to give your recommendations a try. Thanks!

  35. Steve, thanks for the comment. The best of the best huh? I would recommend having a look at the Pappy reviews on the site, William Larue Weller, and a number of the ryes I’ve rated. Soon I’ll have a more comprehensive mast list under the whiskey list section. Stay tuned!

    As for the 23 – it’s a wheated recipe – the same as in the Pappy 15 and 20 (as well as younger Van Winkles). It’s whiskey that was produced by the now closed Stitzel-Weller distillery, highly regarded for its whiskey. I’ve got a few posts on the subject from December.

    Cheers Steve,

    -Jason

  36. Jason Cammarata says:

    Jason, love your blog. I find your reviews insightful, well written and refreshingly unpretentious. However, I do have a comment on your rating system. By using a ten point scale with decimals you are literally using a 100 point scale. If you remove the decimal point from your rating of 8.5 for example it would be an 85 on a traditional 100 point scale. I have no preference for any particular rating system so please don’t take this as criticism, just an observation from a fan. Keep up the good work.

  37. Jason I do concur with your thoughts there, but it allows be at least to calibrate it to my scale. The 100 point scale gets lumped into everyone elses. I wanted it as intuitive as possible but not the same so I could define my own categories.

  38. Jason Cammarata says:

    I can dig that. I’m starting a blog of my own and am wrestling with which system to use.

  39. BP says:

    Jason, i really enjoy your site and have a suggestions that i think would please visitors: List all bourbons/whiskies you’ve reviewed by their rating from highest to lowest. It would us a quick glimpse of what’s the best out there against the worst. Thanks.

  40. BP- I am working on that very thing. Thanks for the suggestion.

  41. Gary says:

    Jason – really tremendous job with this site! As a bourbon enthusiast, I really enjoy reading your reviews and tasting notes. I’ve been somewhat disappointed in magazines like Whiskey Advocate (which focus mostly on Scotch), so having a resource like your site is a huge help! While my palette isn’t nearly as discerning as yours, I have found that in almost every case my tastes/preferences are very similar – so having some notion of what to expect in the bottle before shelling out coin has saved me from crowding my cabinet with bourbon that I might not enjoy.

    Keep up the great work!!

  42. Thank you Gary. Cheers!

  43. Gary says:

    What your thoughts on are diluting spirits to the same proof for purposes of a comparison tasting? I’ve read this as a recommendation before, but never took the time to try it until today. I wanted to compare four different American Rye Whiskeys (Russell’s Reserve 6yr 90 proof, Willett Straight American Rye 4yr 110 proof, Sazerac Rye 18 yr 90 proof, and Thomas Handy 6 yr 128.6 proof). I brought the Willett and Handy down to 90 proof, and was fairly disappointed with the results. I’d tasted each of them individually before, and it just seems that to add so much water (in the case of the Handy, it was 43% of the volume of the dram!) sort of destroyed what the distiller had intended.

    I completely agree with adding a bit of water to my George T Stagg or other higher proof whiskeys as it does open up the whiskey on both the nose and the palette, although the amount of water I’ve added probably isn’t moving the proof more than a few points (for example – I probably add between 1/6 and 1/5 an ounce of water to 1.5 ounces of Stagg, which only brings it down from 143 proof to between 125 and 130 proof).

    Just curious what your thoughts are on the topic, or if you’ve experimented with this much.

  44. Gary, this really comes down to personal preference. I think one of the more luxurious experiences in the world is sipping a cask strength whiskey. If it’s a great whiskey at 90 proof, chances are very good it will be improved at higher proof. That’s just my experience. I add little water when I’m tasting and reviewing whiskeys. I sip and review the whiskey out of the bottle because unless I’m getting very specific with adding a certain amount of water to a certain amount of whiskey – there’s variance there. I tihnk you simply add some good clean water at room temperature to your tastes until you can get the aromas and flavors out of the spirit. For me that comes down to adding a splash or two to ferret out some tougher notes to get.

    By all means – add water as you need to. A little at a time, and go from there. Thanks for the great question. Cheers.

  45. Rusty says:

    This site is a great resource. Thanks, and keep up the great reviews!

  46. Jon says:

    Jason,
    I have been using your reviews as reference points to try new Bourbons I would not have otherwise. Thank you for your hard work. My Tastes follow your Palate so I know I can have a wonderful experience based on your review. I actually like to taste along with your videos or text review which is very eye opening and encourages me to dive in deeper in my descriptors and really “taste” not drink.

    Question. Do you ever blind taste test like one sees in Wine tasting? I would think it would be hard as the selection is much less than the number of wines that come out every year but it could be fun comparing vintages of the same brand, as well as other brands and Mash recipes. Again Thanks for your hard work.

  47. Jon, I do blind tastings from time to time, but it’s not something I do a lot of. Perhaps I’ll toss a few blinds in at some point.

  48. Mike Spight says:

    Hi Jason,

    I’m really enjoying your excellent site, so thank very much for the time I know you put in keeping it up to date and relevant.

    I’m a Tennessean as well (Memphis) and was exposed to Bourbon at an early age as it was my Dad’s spirit of choice. Bottles of Old Charter, Yellowstone, Old Fitzgerald, Old Crow and Old Grandad were always in the house, it seemed.

    Although I have some exellent SMS and SM Irish at home, I am very fond of Gentleman Jack, Makers Mark, and Rittenhouse Rye…in fact, I enjoyed some RR last night…an awesome sipping exeperience. American spirits are gradually replacing SMS and Irish SM as my favorites.

    In closing, I believe I’ll pick up some Four Roses and Elijah Craig for my next adventure in Amercian Whisky!

    Cheers!

  49. Keep sipping Mike! Thanks for visiting and I appreciate the comment!

  50. Drew says:

    Jason,

    Love the site. I know it’s a lot of work and I really enjoy your reviews.
    I am from southern Indiana and attended the University of Louisville. I really developed a taste for bourbon over the past 2 or 3 years. I was hoping to get your insight on a couple things.

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