I’m very sceptical about tasting notes.
There was an interesting discussion on Radio 4 a few days ago, among some medical/research experts on how humans ‘experience’ the outside world. A lot of it was about sight, but taste comes into it too and the principles are the same.
The basic concept is that we don’t actually ‘see’ with our eyes. Yes, I know, but bear with me. They are basically just light-sensitive sensors and, light-sensitive in certain fairly restricted frequencies at that. They then send that data to the brain, which processes it, relates it to previous experiences and says (metaphorically) “Aha. That’s a dog, a tree and the grass is ‘that’ shade of green”. And that is what we see - what the brain produces. But in doing so, it i very emphatically applying context to that data not only from other things it ‘sees’ around, but from memory too. This means it is possible to play games with how we ‘see’ things. One recent example was the internet blue/old dress thing, a few years back. The optical illusion images from Esher are another. They mislead the brain, which struggles to understand them, at least, on first sight.
The same applies to taste. Our taste is largely about avoiding things that will kill us, and a fair bit of sight is the same. Some highly poisonous frogs are VERY brightly coloured. One might think it’s hard to hide in a jungle (which tends to be green, brown, etc) if you’re bright blue, let alone scarlet. But those colours also send a sign l to potential predators …. eat me if you want, I’m right here …. but it’ll be the last thing you ever do. :D
Getting back to the point …. if so much of our understanding of taste is about context,and experience, then MY sense of taste relates to MY experiences, and the person writing tasting notes may have very similar or totally different experiences. I’m not much of a tea drinker, and not a fan of blueberries. I’m not sure I could identify either taste notes in coffee, if they bit me in the ass. I’m certainly not likely to list those as what I tasted if I was writing tasting notes.
My guess is that the actual utility of tasting notes is somewhat restricted to paying attention to those individuals whose previous nots you are familiar with.
I always apply the same sort of approach to music I might like, films/TV/books that might interest me, and even technical reviews I might benefit from. On that latter, I’ve come across some reviewers I regard as experts, and others as ignorant twits because they either do or don’t have the experience they need to properly assess the product they’re ‘reviewing’. I pay attention to tasting notes, in as far as I ever do, ONLY when I know who is writing them, and have agreed in the past. And to be honest, that isn’t often. A coffee expert I am not, except in the sense that I kniw what I like, or don’t, when I taste it, and what anybody else thinks, or tastes, doesn’t matter a hoot for that.