Producing WhiskyCast has given me the opportunity to taste some really amazing whiskies, and I’m pleased to share my tasting notes with you here. You can search my entire database of tasting notes from this page, and I hope you’ll find it useful.
My scoring system is completely subjective, and I don’t pretend that it’s anything else. I score based on my impressions of a whisky’s nose, taste, and finish. I want something discernible in all three — in other words, a whisky that noses and tastes well, but has a flat finish will score less than what I consider a well-balanced whisky that has all three elements in tune.
I’ve often been accused of being a “high scorer”, but let me explain the scale I use for assigning scores. I decided to use the same scale as the academically rigorous high school my daughters attended. While most high schools would rank any grade above 90 as an “A” and scores between 80 and 90 as a “B”, their school sets the bar higher at 93 points for an “A” and 85 points for a “B”. By the way, an “A+” is anything 97 points or higher. Using that scale, only 38 of the 3,293 whiskies listed here would get an “A+” grade. Here’s how the scale works:
A: 93-100
B: 85-92
C: 77-84
D: 70-76
F: 69 and below
By the way, a little bit of math shows that only 6% of the whiskies I’ve scored have received 95 points or more. This proves my point that there are a lot of very good whiskies, but very few great ones.
Finally, please don’t take these ratings as anything more than what they are: the grade of one individual whisky lover. If you want to use them as a guide, that’s fine…but remember that everyone has his or her own sense of what a great whisky should be, and these scores are nothing more than my own academic exercise in that pursuit. There is no way to fairly compare scores and notes from different whisky critics, since each of us has our own unique sensory memories and scoring methods.