Whiskey and Craft Beer Reviews

What do the scores mean?

I have always disliked the 100 point wine scoring system, for the simple fact that it is not a 100 point system at all. The truth is it is really a 12-15 point system at best, a wine that scores 88-89 points is always thought of as a wine that almost made it, that almost got a good score. And a score of 90 points has become the cut off between good wines and just ok wine. Fair or not it is the perception with wine consumers.

Star ratings seem to focus too heavily at the top as well; a product must score 4 out of 5, or 9 out of 10 stars to even be considered. Most sites and critics do this so people will use their scores to help sell a product. And when someone uses a review it in return helps the reviewer build their reputation. This is very beneficial to those selling products and critics that review products, but not so helpful to consumers who are buying the products.

My scoring system will use the midpoint 3 stars as the base level for a good quality whiskey or beer. Something over 3 stars must have qualities that go beyond what one might expect to find in a good bottle. And below 3 stars may be missing a little something. If something scores less than 2 stars it did not impress me, and I probably wouldn’t re-buy it.

What my scores mean
5 stars Outstanding
4 stars Very good
3 stars A good bottle
2 stars A average bottle
1 Star Poor

Now don’t look at these scores and think three stars is the cut off for quality, I have many bottles on my shelf that have scored in the two star range, and are perfectly acceptable and very enjoyable whiskeys, their shortcomings maybe as simple as lacking a little complexity, or having a very short finish. But I have no problem pulling one of these bottles off the shelf and enjoying a glass.