Rye and Bourbon hard to tell apart

That is crazy…they taste so different to me


The problem is that the subjects were not allowed to taste the spirits, only smell.
The spiciness of the rye and the sweetness of the bourbon don’t come out clearly in the nose. The barrel char and alcohol overwhelm the first impression. Flawed study.

P Hickner

Ahhh, I didn’t see that on my phone, but that would make a huge difference.

There are rye-heavy Bourbons, otherwise very spicy tasting Bourbons, and Ryes that have lots of Bourbon-like sweetness to them. I really don’t think the distinction people make works as a generalization. Of course I wouldn’t have any faith in a study like this where the participants aren’t professionals, but I’d bet I could set up a study with experienced tasters and get the same results if I chose which whiskies to include.

agree. I dislike rye–too spicy and forward, while I really enjoy bourbon. Funny that they were indistinguishable.

Yeh, I think it goes back to what Peter said, they were not allowed to actually taste them, only smell them.

Since bourbon contains a decent % of rye typically, the smell of rye vs bourbon might not be too different. But the taste…big difference usually.

Man, that’s a ridiculous study. And, yes, it totally makes sense that people might sort by alcohol content (which can be incredibly powerful on the nose) or age (which has high correlation to color as well, so easily sortable) before they would sort a bourbon vs. a rye based on smell alone.

In the South, Dr Pepper, Crown Royal, and other sweet drinks reign supreme.

I actually have enjoyed inexpensive Rye, with its spiciness and “dirty”, dry finish. Many Bourbons are just overpriced, vanilla and cream monsters begging to be mixed with a Coke.

I do enjoy the occasional fine Bourbon, often cask-strength, with a little water. My preference is for Islay Scotch (Lagavulin), TBH.

What Ryes Drew?