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Standard Tasting protocols

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Does anyone have a standard tasting protocol? If so would you be willing to share it?

I ask because I was talking to a well known local sales rep and he had an tasting protocol that I had never heard of but now I am curious. He tasting our gin and liked it. He then did a 50/50 mix with tap water and said it didn't have enough flavor. He said it was to approximate it being diluted in a mixed drink. It stuck with me that we should have a more rigorous testing protocol especially for new products other than simply tasting it in a few things. 

What do you all think? What would you do to setup a protocol? 


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Are you talking about R&D of a new product to see how it works in the market or are you talking about production level quality controls for an existing product? There is lots of different sensory testing you can do but what you do will depend on your goals.

As far as something like gin in a cocktail, I would try it in a wide range of the most popular cocktails and see which drinks make it shine and which ones it doesn’t work well in, then you can make your suggestions appropriately. I’ve never heard of using tap water at a 50/50 for testing, and personally wouldn’t find the information too useful. Yes it would dilute the strength like you would do in a cocktail, but the things you are diluting a cocktail with contribute flavors so it would be more useful to test it in various cocktails in my opinion. 

For QC in production we use True to Target daily on new make and blends, flavor camp grouping of barrels for building blends, and a side-by-side tier ranking against previous releases for single barrels. We occasionally do triangle tests and other blind testing.

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