WSET Diploma Level Unit 4 Spirits Tasting Practice III

旅遊回來之後,有Vinexpo,加上公事非常繁忙,空閒時間並不多,引致沒有更新網站很久了。

因為朋友A的考試即將臨近,在沒有時間下也抽空安排最後一次的wine tasting練習,雖然有多一次的練習效果會較佳,但時間所限,只希望朋友們見諒。

在練習前當中有一位朋友突然問有關試烈酒加水的問題,才發現WSET上年尾更改了SAT (Systematic Approach to Tasting) 寫tasting note的方式,當中包括了加水的方法。以前考生需要在不加水的情況下,先聞香氣,之後再加水再試香氣有沒有改變,但新的SAT就一步到位,在寫完顏色後就立即加水,紀錄香氣,理論上比之前的容易得多。

同樣今次再次安排了兩個flights。

Flight 1

1. Chopin Potato Vodka 40%

Chopin Potato Vodka

Chopin Potato Vodka

Appearance

Bright and clean with water white colorless color with legs

Nose

Clean, neutral aromas of solvent(varnish, peardrop), hint of toasty and syrup. It is unaged.

Palate

It is dry with smooth alcohol, medium body, light intensity flavours of solvent(varnish, peardrop), white pepper, creamy texture and medium length with simple finish.

Conclusions

It is very good quality vodka for premium market. It shows the neutral character of vodka. It has smooth alcohol which is integrated with neutral and simple flavours which showed it is good as cocktail base. It has creamy texture with reasonable length. As it still shows some flavours that make it cannot be a better quality level.

2. Martell VSOP 40%

Martell VSOP 40%

Martell VSOP

Appearance

Bright and clean with medium amber color with legs.

Nose

Clean, medium intensity aromas of orchard fruit(plum), citrus(orange), sweetness(vanilla, caramel, honey), oaky, hint of ranico(candied fruits), spice(clove), kernel(hazelnut), Dried fruit(dry figs, dry plum). It is matured.

Palate

It is dry with warming alcohol, supple texture, medium body, medium intensity flavour of oak(char, smoky), sweetness(vanilla, caramel, honey), orchard fruits(plum, prune), spice(clove, cinnamon), Dried fruits(dry fig), citrus(grapefruit), hint of earthly, medium length with very complex finish.

Conclusions

It is very good quality Cognac for premium market, it shows typical characters of Cognac(oak aging, plummy). It has warming alcohol but it is integrated and it is balanced by the flavour intensity and the sweetness from oak aging. It has good complexity and showed some matured characters like dry fruits and nutty. The oak flavours are well integrated. If it has longer length can make to be a better quality one.

 

3. Havana Club Anejo Anos 3 40%

Havana Club Anejo Anos 3

Havana Club Anejo Anos 3

Appearance

Bright and Clean with pale lemon color with legs

Nose

Clear, medium intensity aroma of citrus(lemon, tangerine), sweetness(molasses, syrup, hint of honey), kernel(coconut), solvent(varnish), short aged.

Palate

Off dry with smooth alcohol and supple texture, medium body, medium intensity aromas of citrus(grapefruit, tangerine), dried fruit(citrus peel), spice(white pepper), kernel(hazelnut, coconut) sweetness(hint of vanilla, caramel, hint of honey) and long length with some complexity.

Conclusions

It is a good quality spirits for inexpensive market. It has medium intensity with subtle sweetness and smooth alcohol to make it balanced. The alcohol and flavour are integrated with supple texture. It has reasonable complexity and also has long length. If it has more complexity can make it target to high price market.

 

設計這個flight有幾個目的,首先讓朋友們試一些short aged的spirit,以及上次因某些原因試了一支高檔的Martell Cordon Bleu Extra Old Cognac,今次的VSOP是要朋友們回到現實了解考試酒的質素,而最後及最重要的是為了一條問題。

當朋友們寫完tasting note後,我給他們額外的五分鐘作答一條問題”How the production method affected the spirits style?”。這條問題以前最少問了兩次,如果在沒有預備下第一次見到這樣的問題的確會頓時腦中一片空白,但如果有預先考慮過,到遇見問題時就自然手到拿來。

我並不是WSET出題目的人員,也不是負責改卷的,當然不知道如何可以取得滿分,不過我相信有以下項目需要在作答是提及。

Base material 能帶來的味道,distillation method – 即continuous still 和pot still 的好處,最後也是最重要的是不同oak aging時間帶來的效果,所以過去問這問題時都會有三支不同顏色深度的烈酒。假設考試時不能分辨出烈酒的種類及原材料,也不知道distillation method,考生至少較易分辨出烈酒的oak aging時間長短。另外要留意的是當你作答以上的項目時需要參考及對應你的Tasting notes的內容,而不能憑空想像。

還有很多烈酒在製作過程中加入了一些特別的方法,除非這方法很普遍及聞名如Vodka的charcoal filtration,否則這並非WSET想你回答的內容。

 

Flight 2

4. Lunazun Tequila Blanco 100% de Agave 40%

Lunazun Tequila Blanco 100% de Agave

Lunazun Tequila Blanco 100% de Agave

Appearance

Bright and clear with water white colorless with legs

Nose

Clean with medium intensity aroma of fresh vegetable(agave, asparagus, green bell pepper), hint of solvent(varnish, peardrop), savory. It is unaged.

Palate

Dry with warming alcohol, supple texture, medium body, medium intensity flavour of fresh vegetable(agave, asparagus, green bell pepper), hint of solvent(varnish, peardrop), spice(white pepper), dried fruit(citrus peel), citrus(lemon) with medium length with some complexity.

Conclusions

It is a very good quality Tequila for standard market. It shows typical characters (vegetal) of Tequila style. It has warming alcohol balanced by the pure fresh vegetable flavour. The flavour is well integrated and it is has reasonable complexity and length. Lacking of aging characters make it is relatively simple and cannot be target to higher price market.

 

5. Ardbeg Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky 10yo 46%

Ardbeg Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky 10yo

Ardbeg Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky 10yo

Appearance

Bright and clear with medium lemon color with legs

Nose

Clean, medium intensity aroma of cereal(barley, cereal), Kernel(almonds, hazelnuts), dried fruit(citrus peel, dry figs), citrus(lemon), sweetness(vanilla, honey, caramel), orchard fruit(apricot), peat(peaty, medicinal, seaweed), solvent. It is matured.

Palate

Dry with warming alcohol, medium body, creamy texture, medium intensity flavours of cereal(barley, cereal), Kernel(almonds, hazelnuts), dried fruit(citrus peel, dry figs), citrus(lemon), sweetness(vanilla, honey, caramel), orchard fruit(apricot), peat(peaty, medicinal, seaweed), solvent and medium length with some complexity.

Conclusions

It is very good quality Scotch (Islay) whisky for premium market. It shows typical characters of its original (peaty) and base materials (cereal). It has warming alcohol but integrated and balanced by oak sweetness and rich flavours. It has complexity on nose and matched with palate with reasonable length. It has not enough of aging characters show it is not aged very long and make it cannot target to the higher quality level.

 

6. Pernod 40%

Pernod

Pernod

Appearance

Bright and clear with medium gold color with louching.

Nose

Clean, medium intensity aroma of spice(anise, fennel, cinnamon, liquorice, ginger), Botanicals (coriander, mints), citrus(orange), dry fruits(citrus peel). It is unaged.

Palate

Sweet with warming alcohol, full body, creamy texture, medium intensity flavour of spice(anise, fennel, cinnamon, liquorice, ginger), botanicals (coriander, mints), citrus(orange), dry fruits(citrus peel). It has medium length with some complexity.

Conclusions

It is acceptable quality anise spirits for inexpensive market. It shows the typical characters of anise spirits. The spicy and herbal flavour is harsh and over dominated to make it is not well balance. The spirits is rather single dimension and lacking of complexity on the body and finish.

 

朋友們反映今次的烈酒比較易估,我打趣的說這就如世界杯前夕,球隊在最後一次的熱身賽也會大勝一場來壯壯聲威一樣,但實情是朋友們試酒多了,已有能力識出不同的烈酒。

希望這三次的tasting practice能幫助朋友們領略到寫tasting notes的重點,從而能在tasting的部份拿得高分,可以拉高整體成績達至合格。特別是之後tasting考試的比分方式較為嚴謹,而且theory部份也更改了模式,可以想像會比以前更加困難。

朋友們要加油呀!

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