Bourbonr Blind Tasting Batch 001

There are a few common themes on Bourbonr. Things like limited editions and release maps have become synonymous with Bourbon. I don’t love what limited edition bourbons have become. But, I still want to keep Bourbonr as a resource for those that use the maps. I’d much rather focus on things like blind tastings and available bourbon options. Because of that, I’m starting a new blind tasting series. This will be a live video series with the results posted on the blog. The first live reveal and review is this Wednesday, October 11th, at 9 EST. This should be an entertaining format so would love for you to join us!

Here’s the format. Each episode with include 4-5 tasters with 5-7 whiskeys. Each taster is sent samples and will submit their reviews and ratings before the live reveal. Every bottle in the blind tastings has been purchased by me. No outside bottles or media samples will be selected. I try to purchase every bottle at retail but, with today’s bourbon market, have to rely on fellow Bourbonr’s to source certain bottles. This is an important part of the blind tasting to ensure accurate results. While I doubt it’s common, there are stories of distilleries and brands sending “honey barrels” to spirit competitions. The leftovers are what make it to the store shelves.

Each taster is asked to grade the samples based on the following point system:

0-60 – Terrible. Bottles should be destroyed

61-70 – Bad. Flavor is off as a whole but shows a few redeeming notes

71-80 – Decent. Could drink in a pinch but probably more of a mixer

81-85 – Good. I want a bottle on my shelf as a daily drinker

86-90 –  Really Good. Everyone should buy a bottle

91-95 – Great. This is phenomenal I would be willing to spend whatever it takes to get a bottle

96-100 – Perfect. This is everything you want in a whiskey and it has no flaws

Why blind tasting? Blind tasting, and tastings, in general, is something I’ve obsessed over for the last few years. I’m always interested to see how things like price or bottle labels can affect our tasting notes. We all play the role of an unbiased reviewer but there’s the pesky subconscious that usually doesn’t play along. Reading the book “I Taste Red: The Science of Wine Tasting” was eye-opening. No matter how hard we try to escape it, whiskey tasting is subjective. That’s not a bad thing and something I try to embrace in my reviews. My goal with this series is to remove as many biases as possible. I want to give the most accurate review and rating for whiskeys. Sure, I’ll still buy the fancy or new bottle occasionally. But, I hope we can reduce the number of stupid bourbon purchases made. Buying a $150 bottle that doesn’t taste as good as the $30 bottle is generally regarded as a “stupid bourbon purchase”.

For more information about blind tastings you can read my other posts on the subject: The Blind Truth Of Tasting Bourbon & Blind Tasting Elijah Craig



    Really looking forward to this new series. I just hope many of the bottles are available to those of us outside Kentucky.

    Blake… I’m very interested to see how this goes. Not sure if it would be feasible but I’d really like to see you send the same samples to the same people 2 weeks later identifying what they are and see how the results differ.

    id like to dee a double blind where the same people get the same bourbon with different numbers to see how consistent are with the same juice. i bet donig it 5 times with same people and same juice yields 5 different results for each

    Brilliant. I often invite friends over and do a blind taste test of 3 or 4 with them for fun. Interesting to find that one bottle that you bought at a very reasonable price that will be close to if not the top choice over the more expensive bottle.
    Bravo! I eagerly await to watch the video and see the results.

    I don’t get it. I mean who will be tasting, VIP Bourbonr members, your friends, family members and/or colleagues? Too, if I listened to any tasting notes (blind or otherwise) I’ve read online or listened to anywhere else I would have missed out on some of the best bourbon I’ve ever had or got stuck with some of the worst. So I don’t understand what you intend to accomplish with this.

    I think this sounds great, I have done this with friends and myself and it is interesting what you taste and like when you don’t have the bias of what is supposed to be good because of what it is. Hope you are using a mix of common shelf bourbons and hard to find stuff.

    This is fantastic. I share the same sentiment on LEs and appreciate the focus on what’s available on shelves. I’ll assume most here love trying new brands and releases; but number of “hunters” (and flippers) and price of LEs has reached burn out levels. Would love to see more reviews considering quality AND quantity. I’m more impressed with OF 1920 and 1792 FP, both of which can be found relatively easy, over a 5k release of a honey barrel for 3x the price (assuming you can even score a bottle).

    Good concept with a great cast of cool characters. However, I was left bord after the first couple minutes– Just too much unnecessary convo. Would’ve liked to hear your tasters notes if had more time/patience. FWIW, I’ve tried all selections except the pre fire McKenna and found them all terrible bourbon in my opinion. Wish you had edited to a more realistic 5-10 minute piece. Great effort and kinda fun too. Thanks for keepin it real tho.

    Fun to hear the tasting notes expressed by each reviewer. Thanks for making this available. I hope to catch future sessions. Thanks for the email letting me know.

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