May 2018

“Ask Beau” – “What music do you listen to when you write reviews?”

Posted by Beau Timken in 2018, Ask Beau, May, Newsletter

I always get asked where and when I write my reviews, but this is the first time for this question. Actually, it caught me off guard, because I usually need it to be quiet when I focus on brews. It’s sort of the sensory play. If I eliminate sound and hearing then my other senses get heightened and more focused. So I thought! It’s like closing my eyes when I taste sake. If I remove sight then – that’s one more sense that doesn’t draw fuel, so taste can have all the energy. That said it’s nice to have a background noise to keep me tethered.


Over the years, I have learned that music with lyrics is distracting because my brain tries to remember the words and tries to sing along. So I eventually gravitated to classical music when I taste sake for reviews. It’s a background elegant white noise. But I am not always the master of my domain and sometimes I must judge sakes with others in large rooms and groups. For example, when I judge at IWC there is always a “wine guy” judging the wine category who brings his box and plays his tunes. And this is cool! Because music, in general, makes you feel good and grounded, and this is the perfect mindset for tasting things – when you feel good and grounded.

Ask Beau May 2018 A

On a side note – I used to send music that I thought went well with certain brewery’s sakes to the owners of the breweries. One of my fav “pairings” was sending the team at Kenbishi in Kobe Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo”! Try it out sometime! Especially with the Kenbishi Honjozo bottles that we carry at True Sake. Rock out! Or actually get, your symphony on!


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