A woman is experiencing a glass of bourbon by smelling it. She's standing in front of a liquor still

The Sensory Experience

September 13, 2022

Our senses are the most important part of how we make order of the world. The five senses – taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound – are how our bodies collect information about our surroundings to be interpreted by the brain.

When you walk into an antique store, the smell may cause you to instantaneously be transported to a childhood memory at your grandfather’s house. When you experience a great meal at a restaurant, you could be reminded of your mother’s home cooking. Perhaps the texture of a basketball in your hands might bring you to a time when your high school team won the championship game. These are all incredibly visceral feelings, all brought forth using your senses.

Bottles Savor Spear 5

We believe that our senses are something to cherish and celebrate. When you visit our tasting room, we want to immerse you in what we call The Sensory Experience. By using your senses of Olfactory (smell), Palate (taste), and Mouthfeel (texture), you will be experiencing our spirits in the way they are meant to be experienced.

We want to encourage you to take your time, stop and smell the bourbon. Let it linger on your palate for an extra moment. Consider the texture. Enjoy the ride.

Let’s break down what these keywords mean – Olfactory, Palate, and Mouthfeel – 

Olfactory is relating to a person’s sense of smell. Specifically, the olfactory is the smell receptor from your nose to your brain. Like a great bottle of wine, spirits (and specifically bourbon), take time to open and bloom. By allowing spirits to mingle with air it softens and mellows, and the characteristics become enhanced.

Palate is relating to a person’s sense of taste. When tasting spirits, your palate allows you to taste the sensation of sweet, salt, sharp, and bitter. Interestingly, different parts of the tongue pick up certain sensations. To get the full palate experience of our spirits keep the spirit in the front of your mouth to pick up any sweet flavors then chew it towards the back to pick up more bitter, salt and sharpness.

Mouthfeel is relating to the experience of textures and flavors over the tongue. Each spirit has its own unique mouthfeel. We recommend letting that texture linger on the tongue and consider how it feels.

Image of a glass of bourbon sitting next to the bottle it was poured from, Savor Spear Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The glass and bottle sit atop a wooden barrel in front of a liquor still.

Now that we have a grasp on these terms, let’s put it to the test using our Savor Spear® Straight Bourbon Whiskey tasting notes

As you approach the bourbon, give it a good sniff. You’ll notice the olfactory is smokey and complex with hints of toasted caramel and dried fruit.

Missy Firnstahl Claridge 3

As you sip the bourbon, you’ll notice the palate has a full bloom of sweet vanilla bean, caramelized sugars, gold foil butterscotch, and raw honey.

Missy Firnstahl Claridge 4

As you experience the texture of the bourbon, you’ll notice the mouthfeel is buttery, custard, it enrobes the tongue.

Our Mixologists and Master Distiller are well-versed in the Sensory Experience. When you come to our Tasting Room, we are always happy to walk you through the process. Once you learn how to appreciate the Sensory Experience, we promise, you’ll never want to enjoy a fine glass of bourbon or wine any other way.


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