By @WhiskyNotes on 15th Mar 2010, show post
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@jdcook First off, I apologize for the long delay in replying. I just want to mention two things, which I should have clarified in my original post. The first is that, when using the other site's review process as an example, I didn't mean to imply that whisky should be rated on the same criteria as beer. Appearance, for example, doesn't seem to me as important, although color would probably make a good substitute. Smell and Taste would probably cross over well; not sure about mouthfeel and I don't think drinkability fits. With regards to the pricing question, the other site does include a value category as well, which I forgot to mention. More importantly, the point I was trying to make is that the rating system I mentioned allows someone who isn't very sure of themselves a kind of guide to break down the beer and rate it without having to decide whether or not it's a 7.5 or an 8 on a 10 scale. This makes it easier for the novice to rate the drink while at the same time allows for a more nuanced rating scale. Someone who's had only two drams can still come in and rate a poor quality whisky as stellar; but I don't think that's an issue that could ever be resolved at all.
Anyway, all I was trying to suggest is a slightly more nuanced but guided system that allows (or helps) the relative newbies to consider the aspects of the whisky without dissuading them from reviewing and at the same time provides something a little more for the experienced members of the site -- keeping it social but not dumbed-down. I'm sure my general dislike of the faux 10pt scale (which is really a 5pt scale if something that fits the minimum qualifications of whisky is already a 5...) has certainly influenced my take on the situation. Of course, if such a system is too much for the current state of the site, my comments are really a moot point anyway, but as a New Yorker would say, "whaddayagonnado?"
10 years ago 0
Anyone following this discussion may be interested in our blog post on the subject: connosr.com/blog/connosr-updates/…
@Connosr - I think you have managed to cover all bases and be all things to all people. Wow. Well done.
I'm a newbie, but ID like to share my frustration with the numbers assigned to whisky ratings. It seems that most ratings for anything that is desirable are very high 80's to mid 90's. When I added a few bottles to my collection here I was confused at how to rate a nice bottle that I enjoy, but don't find to be the best. HP 12 would be a good example, I like it, but if I gave it an 80 it would basically state that it was drinkable, but not much more than that. It deserves better, but that muddies the water with the scores for drams I really love. Not to mention that people feel compelled to reserve an extra point or two for expensive whiskies, regardless if they warrant the extra points. Does anyone agree?
Anyone interested in previewing our new scoring system can check it out over here: connosr.com/blog/connosr-updates/…
9 years ago 0
i know this conversation's pretty much all in the past now, but having read through it, i can't help but toss in my opinion.
standardization of whisky scoring methods aside, i'm afraid i run afoul with the "there's much better stuff out there, so leave some room for outstanding whisky" mentality. does it put forward any factual inaccuracies? no, god, may there always be better stuff out there (and i'm content to take WhiskyNotes' word for it, buzzing through his impressive stable of reviews). but doesn't it at some point take a misguided view of how one picks up a new hobby/passion?
consider a comparison. young fellow, raised on mainstream rock stuffs, one day decides to pick up a Miles Davis album at a Virgin megastore — maybe he liked the cover, maybe it was one of the cheaper discs, maybe the scrungy guy standing next to him was like "yeah man, that one's the tits!" — so he does, and finds out he loves it, starts spinning it incessantly, sees a new continent of musical experience opening up in front of him. after a time, he goes online to rateyourmusic.com and gives it, ba-da-bing, 5 out of 5 stars. what does 5 out of 5 mean to this neophyte? same thing it always means: it means it ticks every box. but of course, the days pass, and our fellow finds that as he listens to that old Miles album again and again, there are other boxes to be ticked that simply weren't there before, springing fresh from his engagement with the artform. the Miles album hits some of the new ones but necessarily leaves others untouched. so, off he goes, becoming a total jazz fanatic; with the help of reviews, lists, friendly suggestions, etc, he is happily forced into constantly recalibrating his expectations of the music as it constantly reveals more distant horizons, his ratings never more than momentary place-markers in his relationship with a given work.
i probably could've used less words to make that analogy, but you know how it is with tying personal experience into abstract discussions and so forth. anyway, i hope it somewhat relieves this botheration, dear sir WhiskyNotes, and encourages continued generosity with your whisky wisdom : ) ... and discourages future attempts at frivolous elitism : l
and thanks to Connosr for the new rating system. the high esteem i cultivated for the face chart during my pediatric rotation some years back hasn't abandoned me.
9 years ago 2Who liked this?
@jdcook Excellent points...I just joined this site (primarily to build knowledge of product, terminology, tasting techniques, and associated items like proper tasting glasses, distillary histories, etc.) and am the rookie of all rookies in terms of whisky tasting. I take a two-pronged approach to digesting the reviews. I first look at the numerical scores to, like you, get a general sense of where the ratings are trending. That opens my mind to what might be reasonably expected of the product itself.
My second tact is to then read the reviews themselves to gain detailed information/impressions of product. I am finding commentary about the "appropriateness" of a scotch relative to the level of tasting experience of the drinker to be particularly useful at this stage of my experience with SMSW's. For example, I purchased a small bottle of Glenfiddich as my first Scotch, so that I can first appreciate lighter, more delicate flavours, before spending big bucks on the Islay malts that I am fairly certain (based on previous informal tastings) that I will enjoy, but may not yet fully appreciate without the base knowledge of malts from other regions
It is the detail of the text write-ups that I find particularly useful, which is why, despite my "Scotch youth", I am happy to contribute reviews as I enjoy different drams. The key for me is to include my lack of refinement within the review in order to give the reader proper context. I have so far truly enjoyed my Scotch experience (very limited as it may be), in part due to the readily available information that can be accessed from websites such as this one, and look forward to continuing education and enlightenment on this pasttime.
As a follow up to my previous post...the text of the reviews, I believe, is a key (and enjoyable) part of gaining knowledge about each Scotch prior to a potential purchase. In that vein, I encourage every member of this site to submit reviews thoughtfully (for context) and frequently (to improve depth/quality of knowledge) on as many whiskies as possible. In that light, it would be nice to see, say, 20+ reviews for each whisky variant so that people can get a true gauge of the opinions held by those who have experienced a particular dram.
The issue of scoring rages in other fileds than Whisky. For example, in the review of new classical music albums, this is also a hot topic (just after the perennial "is CD sound as good as LP sound?").
Most French classical music magazines rely heavily on scores (Le Monde de la Musique, Répertoire, ...) while the UK's flagship classical music magazine, Grammophone, refuses to have scores, but instead relies on detailed reviews where the reviewer is not ashamed of stating his/her biases to ensure that the reader understands the review better.
Generally, I find that not having a score forces me to read the review in more detail.
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