Case ExampleTaste Watch May 2011

Taste Watch is a condensed one page length report with colorful graphs and charts focusing on various food/beverage categories. The report provides alternate view regarding taste and examples of how to use analyzed taste data.


American Whiskey and Scotch Whisky

When it comes to whiskey/whisky, various types are available in stores. Of those types, American whiskey is made from fermented marsh of cereal grains and is aged in charred new oak casks, and Scotch whisky is distilled from malted barley and must be matured in Scotland in oak casks. This report focuses on these two types of whiskey/whisky brands.

Figure1: Scatter Plot (Astringency and Bitterness)
Two Distinct Taste Groups

The samples measured are four American whiskey and three Scotch (Scottish) whisky brands. Figure 1 is a scatter plot with astringency and bitterness as axes. The plot shows an overall trend that a whiskey/whisky with high bitterness also has high astringency. According to the plot, it is possible to group American (red circle) and Scotch (blue circle) separately, meaning there are distinct taste difference between the two.

American whiskey brands, which includes Kentucky (Bourbon) and Tennessee whiskey on the map, are located on stronger bitterness and astringency area. The area indicates rich and thick tasting whiskey. Scotch whisky, on the other hand, located in an area that has subtle bitterness and astringency compared to American whiskey for more smooth taste.

Figure2-1: Radar Charts(American Whiskey)
Difference in Bitterness and Sourness

Figure 2-1 includes radar charts of American and Scotch brands. Including bitterness and astringency, additional axes used on the charts are smokiness (charred bitterness), taste strength, and sourness. American brand shows stronger bitterness and sourness compared to other tastes, indicating full and sharp taste. Jack Daniel Black, the only Tennessee whiskey within analyzed samples, has less sharpness compared to Bourbon whiskey. This may be due to its additional filtering process with sugar maple charcoal, which is a method to make clean spirit.

Figure2-2: Radar Charts(Scotch Whisky)

Scotch brands (Figure 2-2) have a well balanced taste, creating well-rounded, smooth and elegant taste. Johnnie Walker (Red), one of the most famous Scotch whisky brands, has less sourness compared to other Scotch brand, making it a mellow and soft tasting whisky to enjoy.