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Rating Dilemma


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Immiketoo (PREMIUM)

Posted 17 May '21 from Greece with 53 ratings

So I have a dilemma.  I have a bottle of Sassafras and I’ve tried to rate it five times now. It’s good, amazing even, but I lack the experience or vocabulary to properly describe what I taste/feel.  

It’s overwhelming, but in a good way.  Has anyone ever experienced this?  Or am I weird?
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Harrie

From Netherlands with 86 ratings Replied 17 May '21

Would you be able to describe in your own language? If so than translate, if not just write down your emotions; that can be just as helpfull for those who know your other reviews. I had the same problem with Smith and Cross.
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Captain Lee (PREMIUM)

From United States with 13 ratings Replied 18 May '21

I think that's totally normal. There are reviewers here and on other sites that are able to pick out all kinds of individual notes in the rum, but I think by and large these are spirits professionals or very accomplished tasters. I'm new to aged spirits, but I can already tell that I'm getting better at isolating scents and flavors. A cool sideline is that I am more aware of foods - it's been fun to concentrate on otherwise fairly pedestrian things. You know what pineapple tastes like, right? But if you isolate a fresh slice, and smell it, and taste it concentrating on it intensely, it makes it easier to pick that up in a rum later. Something I like about RumRatings is that you can go back and edit your reviews, so as your palate evolves you can add more notes. And in the end, how you describe it is totally up to you! Don't worry about whether you can taste the underripe durian fruit one reviewer described...
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Immiketoo (PREMIUM)

From Greece with 53 ratings Replied 18 May '21

Harrie, that’s a good idea. I’ll add that to my ratings from now on. Captain Lee, I laugh at some of those guys descriptions even though I know they are far more advanced than I am. It just seems like they are pulling notes out of the air sometimes! I have the same rums and I’ll try to discern some of their notes until the veins in my head stand out, lol. I’ve heard about tasting kits that one can buy to help learn the various notes involved, and I may do that, but most of them seem subjective to me.
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Harrie

From Netherlands with 86 ratings Replied 18 May '21

I agree tasting notes are subjective and depending on previous experiences from the reviewer. I have wine tastings for over 35 years now and since tastes are never one on one with the description it all comes down to what the scents and taste buds will trigger in your head. One will find pineapple and dates where another tastes figgs and passion fruit. A lot of reviewers find strong banana in their rums but I seldom get that upfront but more like a sideshow in the profile of a rum. Still I find those reviews the most helpfull, even if others have different associations, especially when we have a few identical rums in our cabinets to compare.
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vomi1011

From Germany with 343 ratings Replied 18 May '21

https://aromaster.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Whisky-Aroma-Wheel-copy-2.jpg
You can try to use a tasting wheel.
There are always three or four aromas that are dominant.
These form the profile for me. I associate these aromas with colors. You can also remember a color profile of the rum and you will remember what it tastes like (not exactly but approximately). The colors are also on the tasting wheel, but I have my own association.

There are also common flavors that you can find very often. E.g. vanilla with bright wood (white oak), that's the bourbon barrel. TDL / Chairmans often have leather aromas, they are a little bit dirty. Cognack finish often has grape flavors. Sherry finish often has cherries or red fruit notes. It's not important what fruits exactly, when you read something like raisins you know thats dry fruits.
These aren't exceptional flavors that everyone tastes differently. Many reviewers often describe similar flavors.

Some flavors around and in the background are less relevant to me. The whiskey drinkers are often very meticulous about these flavors.

 I like this wheel, but it's not translated: https://whic.de/tasting-wheel-21-cm-whic.html
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