June 4th, 2020 • 5 min read
Nailing Your First Tasting In The App
Did we mention where our online store gets the tasting note data that powers our shops filters and scores? We rely on the aggregated real-time crowdsourced tasting data from the community behind the Picks App, a fast growing peer-to-peer advanced tasting app where you don’t have to be an expert critic to have your voice be heard about what you think of spirits and wine. If you decide you want to join the Picks App community, the below are tips on how you nail your first tasting..
Once you have successfully downloaded and gotten started on the Picks App – what we hope you will find to be the fastest, easiest, and most comprehensive tasting app around. Free, powerful and crowd sourced, you’re all ready to harness the power of the app to register your bottles and tastings like never before.
One order of business to get out of the way: what if you’ve never taken down a tasting before? Sure, it seems like a lot of work. It seems tough, maybe you’re afraid you’ll mess up. Well, we’re here to help guide you through it so let’s get down to tasting.
The first step to nailing your inaugural Picks App tasting is to pick a bottle. I say make it a special one – you only get one first, after all. For instance, here, I’m going to be enjoying a local Buffalo Trace selection. Grab a Glencairn, or your favorite rocks glass, and let’s get moving. If you’re curious about different glassware – hit up the Glassware 101 comparison.
Open up the app. In your timeline, there’s a green oval button at the bottom that displays “Create Tasting”. Hopefully, at this point, you know what you’ll be drinking…that’s step two. Since Buffalo Trace is a Bourbon/American Whiskey, we’ll choose Whiskey. Go ahead and type in the name of your bottle. Be careful! If it already exists, you’ll see it in the list. Select it if it’s there.
Next, you’ll be greeted with your phone’s camera. Use this to snag a picture of the spirits (in this case for us, bourbon) in your glass. Our biggest tip, if you’re in a hurry, is to shoot from the top, down – with your glass on a white surface. Or shoot from the side with a white wall behind. Once you’ve snapped your dram, match the color to the most similar tile on the bottom. Swipe to the right for darker, more mature oak color variations. Looking at the dram, it looks like this Buffalo is somewhere near TAWNY/Mature Oak. Let’s select that. Now it’s time for the part everyone is here for: let’s get drinking!
Pour an ounce, two if it’s been a day, into your favorite drinking glass. If you’re curious about the best glass for your spirit, check out the Glassware Guide blog post. Let your whiskey (or anything else) rest for a couple minutes while you pour a glass of water, and get comfy. The beauty of the app is that you can record a tasting anywhere you happen to be trying something, new or familiar. For that first tasting, though, comfy is good.
In the app, you’ll notice there are 14 categories. You don’t need to use them all, but they’re a valuable blueprint for a tasting. Aroma, Mouthfeel, Sensations, Bitter Tastes, Salty Tastes, Smokey Tastes, Sour Tastes, Spicy Tastes, Foul Tastes, Barrel Tastes, Oak Intensity and Finish Length are all an aspect of your dram you may find relevant. Some are pretty self explanatory – but some may not be as obvious.
Our preferred way to taste is to use each category like a flavor wheel. A flavor wheel is a resource with printed notes and you work across each note as you smell, taste and take down notes. If you don’t think about the note while smelling or tasting, move on. The app works a lot like this – while smelling your dram, find aromas as you scroll. Tag any that apply! You may be surprised how often you can’t put your finger on a smell or a taste, but seeing it in the list will help your brain make the connection.
These notes will be your record, and it’ll be saved when you save your tasting. For each category, you can also rate your selection on a scale of 0-10. At the end, your suggested score will average the score of each section here – but don’t worry, you can change it if you like. If you’re not sure how you want to rate something, the best rule of thumb is 1 is horrid, 3 is dislike. 5 is not dislike/not like. 6 is like, 7 is good, 8 is great, 9 is superb! And 10, well 10 should be reserved for something that makes you go wild.
Work through each category, assign your rating, and you’re good to go!
What are you planning to taste first? Let us know in the comments…