5 Things You Need to Know Before Going Bourbon Tasting
Are you planning an upcoming trip to Las Vegas? If you want a great idea for a night out, you should consider attending a bourbon tasting.
Bourbon is a classic American whiskey that represents class and sophistication. And if you’re new to bourbon, attending a tasting is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on.
However, a bourbon tasting gone wrong could turn you off the drink forever. Before attending the tasting, you need to know a few important things, especially if you are a beginning drinker. Here are five important things to know before going to a bourbon tasting.
1. Learn About Different Types of Bourbon
There are three types of bourbon: traditional, wheat, and rye. Each one has a distinct flavor, and you should know what they are so you know what to expect at the tasting.
Traditional bourbon is made with a mash that is more than 70% corn, with the remaining grains being equal parts rye and barley. This gives the bourbon an equal blend of sweet and spicy flavors. Knob Creek and Wild Turkey are among the more popular traditional bourbon brands.
Wheat bourbon is made when the rye found in traditional bourbon is replaced with wheat. This gives the bourbon a sweeter taste, and it removes the burn that comes with rye. Maker’s Mark and Four Roses are popular wheat bourbons.
The mash used to make rye bourbon doubles up on the rye contains less corn and has almost no barley. While many love the bite that comes with rye, the strong burn can be overwhelming to some. Popular rye bourbon brands include Bulleit and Woodford Reserve.
There’s a good chance you’ll experience all of these at a bourbon tasting, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
2. Choose the Right Location
You’re in Vegas. You’re introducing yourself to the world of fine bourbon. Make it count by doing your tasting in a classy and sophisticated location.
Bourbon bars are the way to go. And if you want to make this a truly special evening, you should book a private tasting at the 1923 Prohibition Bar in Vegas.
This prohibition-era-themed lounge is the best location for a Las Vegas bourbon tasting, containing some of the best and rarest whiskeys on the market. The staff members are bourbon experts who will guide you through the tasting process in an entertaining and enlightening way.
This classy and vibrant speakeasy will make an excellent venue for your first bourbon tasting.
3. Examine the Bourbon Color
The actual bourbon tasting process begins by examining the bourbon’s color. Because bourbon is aged in charred oak barrels, a darker bourbon usually indicates that it has been aged longer.
A darker color usually indicates a much stronger taste. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. Many whiskeys are artificially colored, so the color may not be such a clear taste indicator.
Still, it’s good to examine the color for some taste expectations. Observe if the whiskey has a color similar to pine, amber, honey, etc. Color will typically let you know how strong you can expect the bourbon to smell and taste, which can help keep you from overwhelming your senses.
4. Examine the Bourbon Nose (Aroma)
This is a crucial part of the tasting process. When the bourbon is poured, you should give it a mild sniff. If you pick up on an intense alcohol aroma, try breathing in through your mouth.
After the initial sniff, give the bourbon and yourself a moment to breathe. Then take another sniff, but this time inhale more deeply. Don’t inhale too deeply if the alcohol aroma is too strong.
Determine what sort of notes are coming off the bourbon. Are you picking up something sweet, such as vanilla or caramel notes? Or are you getting strong and spicy flavors such as black pepper or tobacco?
You may also pick up grain scents or even woody scents from the aging barrels. Determining the bourbon nose is important, as it helps prepare you for the taste that is about to hit your tongue. You don’t want to suddenly get hit with a bite of black pepper, so make sure you pick up on these aromas before tasting.
5. Taste the Bourbon
When you’re ready to taste the bourbon, it’s important to remember that it’s made with a minimum of 40% alcohol. Initially, this may taste somewhat strong, so don’t judge the bourbon by the first sip. It may take about three sips to get the full flavor profile.
Take a small sip and swirl it in your mouth, allowing it to touch every part of your tongue. Once you get past the initial alcohol taste, contemplate the flavors on your tongue. Many taste receptors are at the back of the tongue, so pay attention even when swallowing the bourbon.
Between different tastings, cleanse your mouth with water so that each tasting is pure and new. You don’t want any flavors to interact and interfere with determining each bourbons’ unique taste.
Visit 1923 for a Private Bourbon Tasting
Now you know what to expect from a bourbon tasting. It’s tome book that private tasting at 1923 Prohibition Bar.
There’s no better place in Las Vegas for a bourbon tasting than this secret, hidden speakeasy. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back to the roaring twenties as you sip some of America’s finest and rarest bourbons. Join us on Friday or Saturday for entertaining music or a live burlesque show.
Attending a tasting with us is a great way for you and your group to celebrate anything from a bachelor party to a birthday celebration or simply a fun night out on your Las Vegas vacation.
Contact us today if you want to know more about our bourbon tastings or other private events.