My Review Format/Scoring

My reviews generally follow a particular format:

Colour: The colour of the whisky in question. I use 4 standard descriptors: Straw-Gold-Amber-Bronze, with 3 levels for each: Light, Normal or Dark. 
If I know or have good reason to suspect the whisky contains E150a caramel colouring I will put E150a instead of the colour.

Body: The overall intensity of the whisky, 3 levels: Light, Medium or Full

Nose: The aromas of the whisky. Often I will say at the end whether more has developed.

Water: After I have added water (If I have), what has changed on the nose.

Taste: The taste of the whisky. Usually I describe the 3 main stages of the taste: Arrival, Development and the flavour that goes into the finish.

Water: After I have added water (If I have), what has changed on the taste.

Finish: After I have swallowed the whisky, the flavours that linger and how long they linger for. 4 different lengths: Short, Medium, Long and Very Long (Rarely used). Often I will mix 2 lengths, for example Short/Medium will mean that the length is between the two.

Notes: Any extra notes about the whisky. Often I will use this to declare the specific cask number or ratio of casks used.

Score: What I rate the whisky on my own personal scoring scale.

We could go on all day about scoring but I'll try and keep it brief. My scoring is based on my own personal scale that I developed over the course of a few months. It is a 100 point scale that involves comparing the current whisky to a reference whisky score/s and deciding whether it is better or worse than that whisky. 

I wanted a system that I would use a wide range of scores and so I started with a vague range first:

0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just about ok
65-69 Ok to good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Exquisite

looking at the example below, if I think that the current whisky I am reviewing is better than Oban 14 but worse than Lagavulin 16 and a similar level to Talisker 10 then I know that the score will be 74 by comparing it retrospectively with the quality of other whiskies. 

Lagavulin 16 - 75 
Talisker 10 - 74 
Oban 14 - 73 

The worst score I have given a whisky is 44/100 and the best score I have given is 92/100. My average score is probably around 74-75.
I do not take price into account with my score, but will often comment on the price.

Thanks for reading!


Check out my intro post here.


UPDATE: I've now made a list of where certain whiskies score to give you a bit more of an idea of my scoring.


Bowmore 1987 Wemyss - 92 
Lagavulin 25 2016 Anniversary - 91 
Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 4 - 90 
Ardbeg 1976 Distillery Sample - 89 
Talisker 30/Highland Park 30 - 88 
Caol Ila 30 1983 2014 Special Releases - 87 
Laphroaig 25 2015 - 86 
Compass Box Flaming Heart 5th Edition - 85 
Ardbeg Uigeadail - 84 
Macallan 18 - 83 
Ardbeg Corryvrekken - 82 
Highland Park 18 - 81 
Kilchoman 100% Islay - 80 
Old Pulteney 17 - 79 
Springbank 10 - 78 
Balvenie 21 Portwood - 77 
Laphroaig Quarter Cask - 76 
Lagavulin 16 - 75 
Talisker 10 - 74 
Oban 14 - 73 
Glendronach 12 - 72 
Highland Park 12 - 71 
Laphraoig 10 - 70 
Bowmore 12 - 69 
Compass Box Oak Cross - 68 
Dalmore 12 - 67 
Balvenie 12 - 66 
Macallan Gold - 65 
Aberlour 10 – 64 
Famous Grouse -62 
Jura 10 - 61 
Cardhu Gold Reserve - 60 
Cardhu 12 - 58 
Glenlivet 12 - 56 
Cameron Brig – 55 
Chivas Regal 12 -54 
Strathisla 2005 Malt of the Earth - 53 
Dewars 12 - 51 
Balcones Brimstone – 48 
Vat 69 - 45 
Jamesons Caskmates - 44

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