There’s no accounting for taste, but you can’t go wrong with an educated palate. Observer’s Helen Holmes gets some tips from Jackie Zykan, master taster for Louisville, Kentucky–based Old Forester Distilling Co., the oldest U.S. bourbon maker.
Zykan’s advice: to raise your game, build a memory bank of smells and tastes. “If you want to get better at picking things out, I’m going to say you need to smell every candle you come across.” As if Zykan doesn’t have enough on her palate, she plans to study under some master perfumers, who know their blending. That’s nothing to sniff at.