Rating whisky’s…

We know this might be an “off-topic” for many of you, mainly because “Who cares?”. But that’s exactly why we want to discuss this topic 😉.

Whisky is there to enjoy and explore, and preferably with others. We’d like to do it more often together, but due to our distance we’re obliged to use digital tools and social media to connect.
But there’s also this famous quote:

“There is no bad whiskey. There are only some whiskeys that aren’t as good as others.”

Raymond Chandler

So what’s the deal with “Who cares?” and there’s no bad whisky? Is rating a whisky “overrated”? 🤔
We know it’s always someones opinion and somehow subjective. Everyone has their own frame of reference when it’s about flavors, experience and preferences. But we think you can still say a whisky is “bad”. In that case we would refer to the production / bottling / distillery character. Some examples:

  • Wrong setup at the distillery (mainly new small crafts who look for “that spot”).
  • Wrong cuts.
  • Too much sulfur (possible setup, type of condenser, type of barrel).
  • Barrel picks.
  • (over)Maturation.
  • Bottling %.
  • Blending.
  • etc…

We’ve always used a rating system similar to Whiskybase, but we have to admit that this is not always realistic. You will see that most of the ratings are in the 80s. And we don’t know how it was with you, but if we had a +80% score on a school exam, we were very excited! But an 82 score on Whiskeybase isn’t exactly “good”.
There are also other ratings, including on malt-review (1-10 scale). They use a 5 for “good”, an 8 for “exeptional” and a 10 for “life chaning”. Or at Whisky Advocate where they also use a scale of 100, but actually use the scale of 50-74 to say “Not recommended”.

We have discussed what we want to do with this now, because we still want to show that we regularly think differently about it. In the end we opted for a rating system in which 1-5 stars are given.
We include the following in this: quality, taste, price and experience. This leads to the following “rating”:

Waardering: 1 uit 5.

Not recommended

Waardering: 2 uit 5.

Skip unless it’s really your thing/brand

Waardering: 3 uit 5.

Just a good whisky

Waardering: 4 uit 5.

This is a very good whisky worth the money!

Waardering: 5 uit 5.

Lifetime experience/memory

Let’s not forget that we just continue with the most important in our reviews: the tasting notes 🥃😉.
So let’s adapt this new way of “rating” together and continue our journey. And don’t forget:

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.”

Mark Twain

Slàinte 🥃
Dutch Whisky Brothers

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