Did a taste test last night. First, I ran the 3 samples as consistently as I could, taking my typical amounts for foreshot and heads. I collected down to about 50%+, put in a jug with lots of head room. I tasted them around 37%, white, no oak, room temp.
Distiller’s yeast : least amount of flavor grain or ester, in my opinion, but some corn flavor comes through, I think the tails tend to come through a little sooner. Because of this, the tails from the sugar start out perfumey and end cloying and strong (reminds my brother of grappa). Aside from this, had was the most neutral of the three but still has a "sharp" flavor. Don't know quite how to describe it.
Baker’s Yeast: aroma: not strongly pronounce (wine tasters would say it was
“dumb”), but had some grain-like aroma, a little vanilla-like. Don’t roll your eyes, but had a baked bread taste, reminded me of American whiskey’s that use a lot of wheat, finish had some corn, butter tones, slight burnt. (The wash did settle). On the finish, I can see why people use this for rum, it seemed like the initial flavors were light but the finish heavy.
Nottingham Ale Yeast: Very pronounced and spicy nose, reminiscent of rye, tequila.
Taste, esters really come through on the front, again a spicy, slightly pine (?) pleasant, then whisky-grain-corn, finishing with a sweet corn flavor.
All 3 were very sweet, as usual on singling runs. Distiller’s yeast is easy to use, but seems like has the shallowest flavor. Baker’s yeast seems to have less aroma, not as many up front esters, but a complex finish.
I gotta agree with HolyMac, the Nottingham’s was really the most rewarding, with a pleasant spicy ester aroma and taste up front, but delivering a corn-grain flavor later. It’s a lot of work, but I think doing a cook-an-convert mixed grain recipe like HolyMac (and co) do and using the Nottingham’s would be worth the effort.