Flavor wheel of fortune


Much of the bourbon reporting I do is planned well in advance. For example, I’m looking forward to learning a lot at this coming weekend’s Bourbon Classic at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. (Don’t have your tickets yet? Click here.) And looking even further ahead, I’ll be attending the Bourbon Academy at Woodford Reserve in August.

But sometimes, serendipity plays a role. On Saturday, while out for a walk in the (all-too-brief) lovely warm weather, we stopped in at Party Mart to see what was new and happened upon a Woodford bourbon tasting led by “whiskey brand champion” Adam Hayes, above. Using five food items – Parmesan cheese, dark chocolate, dried cranberry, orange and sorghum – Adam showed us how a taste of each item drew out a different segment of the bourbon’s flavor profile.


This flavor wheel is an integral part of the Bourbon Academy at Woodford. “I said, ‘We’ve got to get this out – it’s silly not to share it” outside the distillery, Adam said. He’s been rolling out the mobile flavor wheel over the past month.

Several Party Mart customers who tried it were surprised by the results. “I drink Woodford all the time, but I never tasted rose petals until I tasted it with the cheese,” one of them said.


If you’d like to give the wheel a spin, Adam will be at the Liquor Barn in St. Matthews (4301 Shelbyville Road) from 4 to 7 p.m. April 25.

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The Bourbon Babe