Re: Expanding and Refining the Palate
I've had more wine tasting experience than I have with cigars, so I can't help making some comparisons. I have to give kudos to the cigar world for at least occasionally using the word "tobacco" in reviews. I lost count of the number of wine tasting rooms we visited, and not once, EVER, did I see the word "grape" used in tasting notes provided. I always got a kick out of that. Some of the descriptions can be pretty entertaining.
Side note: cigar and wine enthusiasts alike, I think both should check out the movie Somm. It will blow you away with the tasting grid and skill those guys learn. If nothing else, you'll come away from it with a new appreciation for what sommeliers do. But there is a bunch of good stuff in that movie.
One other thing I learned exploring wine is that your palate can have some pretty radical swings from one day to the next. Meals, drinks, time of day, mood, weather, etc...the list is nearly endless of things that can affect the palate. So along these lines, I've been trying not to form too firm of an opinion based on 1 smoke only. I think to give a fair assessment, 2 or more seems like a decent starting point, and this maybe applied to a negative experience more than a positive one. Of course there are those 1 and done sticks, but if there's a hint of potential...I'll give it another chance.