Sherman wrote: My experience doesn't coincide with your quote of Jim's statement, and it leads me to wonder if I'm just not roasting it "right".
The statement wasn't meant literally; but more as a corrective and alternative to "it should taste like it smells."
Schomer made the smell statement, and Vivace's espresso Dolce, when pulled well, does indeed taste like it smells: an aggressive shot of woods, caramels and distillates, reminiscent of an strongly oaked bourbon.
This is a perfectly legitimate style of making espresso; but one I happen not to overly enjoy. To me, what it has in power, it loses in nuance and detail; so that the taste of the shot bears no resemblance to the brewed taste of the coffees. I prefer espresso shots where the origins are identifiable, and their nuances are still present. This does not mean they taste the same as brewed shots, more like that they contain the same information and overall impression.
For the original question, all this proves is that pulling your own shots is not enough -- it is important to try a lot of different shots from the better cafes and roasters, or other amateurs, to see what the possibilities are and what you enjoy.
FWIW: I use a three-fold classification of espresso styles with names of my own devising:
-- Fruit bombs: which are the style reminiscent of light to medium roasted brewed coffees. Roaster's SO special offerings are usually in this group.
-- Comfort Food: the chocolate and caramel shots that taste like a dessert. Toscano, Black Cat, Palladino are usually in this corner, although the more recent Black Cats have been getting more fruited.
-- Monster Shots: that taste like distilled drinks. Dolce and Malabar Gold come to mind.
I don't count the most common espresso genre, "Charbucks"