After getting a comment on the last review I did on this bottling of Bruichladdich, I figured I might have to go back and maybe do it a bit more justice. Coming back upon my notes to review what I wrote last time I noticed at the very end I posted for myself a small annotation saying revisit. I completely forgot the last review was rushed being I had to finish it in a less time consuming manner (As much as I would like to take my time with every whisk(e)y).
N:Spicy with toffee powering through. Cinammon and nutmeg are evolving in the glass along with a wheat note. The spices combine with a fruity medley, apple, pears, tangerines and a lightly bitter dark chocolate note. Semi-sweet brown sugar, progressively sweeter and apple tart. Pleasant citrus slowly forms into more fruit resembling poached pears.
B:A thick lip with closely collected medium to large beads forms. The legs are medium in size and fall slowly. The colour is a rich gold.
T:Slight spiciness starts and soon forms into baked apple desert. Cinammon, brown sugar caramelized and lightly toasted apple bits. There is a slight burnt feel on the back of the palate. More touches of tangerines and syrupy pears, with a honey buffer before the toffe strikes again. Nice and buttery but still could use more of a body as it feels very light on the palate.
F:Clean to start with another trace of toffee. The toffee becomes burnt/toasted though it is still pleasant, with lightly toasted pears and reoccuring brown sugar. Honey touches up at the end with an almond paste.
So after looking over my last notes I was quite shocked. I am not aware of what has changed or what might have happened so I believe it should be chalked up to a goof. These reviews are both fairly varying, but I enjoyed it the second time around. I still have problems with it though in consideration that I feel you are paying a premium for exclusivity and age. The whisky in its own is nice, but is it really worth 380 dollars? If it came down to an evaluation without cost efficiency, I would call this a 73-75. The actual "price included" rating can be found below. Thanks for reading this long winded story!
Hi again, there was an exhaustive Discussion thread last year regarding suggestions and comments about the rating system ... and that was Before Connosr upgraded the system ! You input would have been very welcome, if you were around at that time. Basically Connosr is a social whisky site, as opposed to an expert whisky site, and so there is room for some fun and looseness with the reviews and ratings. Most of us are novices, and we tend to call it the way we see it.
But as a novice, I am learning, and I find that an agreed up rating system is helpful to me. I also find it very helpful and considerate of the reviewer to explain what went into the rating in the text.
Another idea that came out of the marathon Rating Discussion, is that you don't have to enter a rating in your review (I think so anyway). So if you are opposed to the current rating system to the extent that you use it in your own way, you have the option and right to just skip the rating number. But I would still want to hear what you have to say about your whisky experience.
BTW, we did discuss having a separate rating for Value, as some other websites do, but it was problematic in that prices varyied widely for some bottles depending where you lived. So it is more useful to just comment on the Value in the review text ... some reviewers even mention where they got the bottle from.
So, I really enjoyed reading your detailed review ... but it was just that I wound up confused by the rating number ... which doesn't even have to be. Keep reviewing ... I would like to hear what you have to say.
More ramblings ... Well after another quick review of all these thoughful and insightful comments, I see two areas of committee convergence and persuasion: 1) we are stating that Bruichladdich 34 is a good whisky, and hence it should receive a decent score, and 2) we are mandating that you should review the whisky a certain way, and maintain scoring standards.
But again we have to remember that Connosr is designed to be a social site, made up of mostly novices and at best, amateurs ... experts are minorty members, and it is actually their scores that may not represent the majority. Furthermore, since we actually do have mandatory scoring (sorry, I was wrong about that ... thanks Connosr for the correction), the scores will be even more divergent, and all over the map ... we may be saying that we prefer an unrealistic or uncredible score, instead of no score at all.
I have actually seen a very good bottle (in most opinions) get a low score, because the member was new to whisky, and new to Connosr, and didn't like the smokiness. But there is nothing in Connosr to prevent that, and so it must be expected and accepted. We might come to realize that the scores include a substantial component of what novices and amateurs like, and a component of uncertainty and ignorance (especially if we have mandatory scoring), and maybe even a statement of the quality of the whisky :)
So enjoy Connosr for what it can and does offer: a forum for developing a hobby, and a gathering place for partners in crime. This is not a place where we earn our living, but a place where we spend our earnings. But as with any gathering over coffee, donuts or spirits, be prepared to receive rebuttals, and to explain your position, and to offer clarification to those you might have confused. And there may be some truth in the thought that helpfulness to others can be amplified by a bit of thoughtfulness and consideration in reviews and comments.
Sheeesh! I can see the rebuttals coming ... after all that, I need a dram of something I really like, whether it is good whisky or not :)