CS&D Podcast Episode 2: Ale Ochoa Takes a Scientific Approach to Sensory Evaluation and Whiskey Blending

Sensory scientist and experienced whiskey blender Ale Ochoa joins Molly to discuss the finer points of developing a palate, articulating flavor and aroma attributes, training a sensory team, testing and validating results, and more.

Molly Troupe Mar 26, 2024 - 4 min read

CS&D Podcast Episode 2: Ale Ochoa Takes a Scientific Approach to Sensory Evaluation and Whiskey Blending Primary Image

Original photo courtesy Firestone & Robertson

Subscribe to the Craft Spirits & Distilling Podcast:

Ale Ochoa is an expert sensory scientist and master blender with years of experience building sensory teams both large and small. In this episode, she outlines key parameters for sensory programs as well as both simple and more complex ways of deploying sensory tools to improve blends, identify flaws, create more compelling descriptions, and make better spirits.

Through this episode, she covers:

  • Understanding flavor and aroma interactions in blends
  • Identifying flaws and setting thresholds for fixes
  • Training and validating sensory panelists
  • Testing methods for identifying flaws as well as positive attributes
  • Evaluating results in statistically significant ways
  • Calibrating your palate and training on attributes
  • Telling stories through whiskey blends

And more.

Looking to expand into aluminum cans but worried about corrosivity, off-flavors, scalping, or pin-hole leaks? aTULC is a premium performance can proven to double product shelf-life. Its manufacturing process requires no water, coolants, chemicals, or wastewater treatment. aTULC is fully recyclable, BPANI and PFAS free. Crafted for higher ABV products, acidic ingredients, emulsions, salt, and sulfites, aTULC is the toughest, most sustainable can for your brand. American Canning manufactures aTULC in Austin, Texas. Contact American Canning for a free compatibility consult or visit aTULC.com. 

Craft spirits makers know firsthand that the best ingredient is “love.” Arryved point of sale combines industry expertise, essential tasting-room tools, and a whole lotta love to make running your distillery easier. Scale faster with Arryved’s mobile system that offers flexible service with QR code ordering, detailed reporting, and award-winning customer support. New customers get your first month free when you launch before April 1, 2024. Visit Arryved.com/spiritsanddistilling and mention this ad.

Omnibibulous means “able or willing to drink almost anything.” That’s the attitude of the consumer you’re trying to reach: they’re omnibibulous. So how does your distillery remain competitive? Distillers must future-proof their business with a multi-segment production attitude to meet consumers with the right beverages for the right occasions. Encompass Production Cloud is the software designed to help you lead in the modern beverage industry. Now … the omnibibulous consumer is a good thing. Become future-proofed at encompasstech.com.

At RMS Roller-Grinder, they design and build quality roller mills and grain handling systems for your specific distilling needs. From idea to installation, they can help with roller mills, augers, control panels, bulk storage, and more. RMS has the right equipment to help you increase efficiency, simplify your process, and create a quality, crafted product. Contact them today at rmsroller-grinder.com to work with their experts on your new distillery build or expansion.

With a Bachelor degree in Chemistry (with an emphasis in forensics) and a Master degree in Brewing and Distilling from the legendary Heriot Watt University, Molly Troupe uses her education and experience to create products focused on localized ingredients and masterful flavor combinations. As Master Distiller and Partner at Freeland Spirits in Portland, Oregon, she has released six different products ranging from gin to whiskey to canned cocktails.