The Continuum of Bourbon Aromas

Bourbon writer/historian/expert Michael Veach took one of our full-day whiskey training classes a few weeks ago. We thought it a good sign when he bought a kit on the way out the door. Even better, he wrote us up on his widely read blog. Here’s an excerpt:

The results of these experiments for me was that whiskey is too complicated to ever really duplicate from individual aromas, but there is great value in examining and identifying aromas found in the spirit. The Bourbon Aroma Kit is valuable in the it will help identify that nagging un-named aroma in the glass. The fact that the aroma will change as it breathes is important to know. The brief whiff of green bananas may be leading into green apple and eventually ripe apple in the whiskey, all from the same source of aroma.

He has a point about the complexity of Bourbon aromas being too much to put into a finite kit. But we’re not trying to provide an encyclopaedia of wine and spirits aromas. We’re providing waypoints you can use to navigate that vast continuum of aromas that exist in the nose of a fine spirit or wine.

Think of aroma as a rainbow. Just as it’s impossible to discern where red turns to orange, it’s impossible to define precisely where caramel turns to brown sugar. To avoid getting lost in the rainbow’s infinite hues, it helps to have a sample of pure red and pure orange. In nosing whiskey, it’s equally useful to be familiar with the aromas of pure caramel and pure brown sugar.