PDA

View Full Version : Numerical ratings



Attila
01-25-2009, 17:28
How many here keep organised tasting notes?

Do you keep your own numerical ratings?

Please discuss the details of your system.

When I first started tasting bourbons, I rated on a scale of 1-10. With the benchmark being Jim Beam white representing 5 (as that is my guess as the most mass produced bourbon). However, I quickly fell behind in my note taking.

kickert
01-25-2009, 18:00
I do keep notes and ratings. Every time I revisit a pour I reassess the tasting notes and ratings. The spreadsheet I use is more focused on gathering information than containing tasting notes - my tasting notes are just shorthand to recall memories, my more detailed notes are mostly posted online in the form or reviews.

As for ratings, I follow the Michael Jackson's template. It is technically a 10 point scale with 1/4 increments. Here is how he breaks it down:

For Whisky Magazine I mark out of ten, with a mark of five indicating that yes, this is a whisky. I rarely score below six. A score of seven indicates a pleasant whisky; one of eight something exceptional, one of nine a great whisky. As for a ten... (Source: http://www.whiskymag.com/nosing_course/trial_by_jury.php) (http://www.whiskymag.com/nosing_course/trial_by_jury.php%29)Sometimes I break from my 1/4 point rating system just to remind myself one whiskey barely noses out (or falls behind) another. For the most part anything 8 or higher is something special and I feel comfortable recommending (9+ is cream of the crop and personal favorites). 7-8 is fine, but has flaws or is unexceptional. Under 7 I tend to avoid.

In my spreadsheet I track price, mashbill, distillery, proof, age, etc. It has been useful in noticing trends and figuring out what to try next. I have also incorporated my value rating system.

Here is the link:
http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pEniGQvvhfZZNMYM1sV3DeQ

Josh
01-26-2009, 10:49
I know many ppl find them useful, but I tend to be of the cowdreyan school here (see the chapter "Why Ratings are Bull" in Bourbon, Straight. For me there is no better, no best. There's just different. There are some that I like and some that I don't, but I don't know if I could really assign a system to them.

I tend to judge whiskeys based on what they're trying to be, too. If something is posing as a top-shelfer, but comes up short, then I'll give harsh tasting notes even if it is better than something in a lower price range. There are others, like VOB and OF, that I think are better than they "need to be" at that price. I'm more likely to give those positive notes, even gushing ones. EC 12 is a good example. It's around $20, but it holds its own against whiskeys that cost twice as much.

So, no I don't do numerical ratings. But I admire ppl who can! I wish my brain worked that way. My life would be a lot less complicated.

funknik
01-26-2009, 11:04
Up until this weekend, I have been using a Recipe program to catalog my tasting notes. It uses a 1-5 star rating and that was pretty effective for a while.....5 stars would be a special drink or a personal favorite, 4 stars would be a solid pour that I would buy again, 3 stars would be on okay pour that I probably wouldn't want to pick up unless it's a very good value, 2 stars was something I disliked and 1 star was something that I wanted to insult. I switched to a spreadsheet recently after seeing Kickert's and also the 10 point 1/4 increment scale. I did this because I noticed that many of my notes were starting refer to other bourbons (e.g. "I give this four stars, but I don't like it as much as X, but I like it more than Y...") that's when I switched to a numerical system that had more play, so I could account for the nuances and differences between bottles.

That being said, numerical rating is all for fun...mine change a lot and it's really just a "rough guide" to what I like and why or why not. Like Josh, I definitely rate cheaper bourbons higher if they're very good and more expensive bourbons tougher if they're not up to snuff....I try to be objective as much as possible, but how much I pay does, in some way, affect my enjoyment of the libation.

Using the spreadsheet is nice and organized and makes it easy to look through where you've been, I recommend it, if only for "funsies".
:grin:

Buffalo Bill
01-26-2009, 12:07
I used the 10-point system for a long time then crossed over to the 5-Star system for an overall score. It's easier to remember and just as accurate on an incremental basis. A+, A-, A, B+, B-, B, etc... BB

Vange
01-26-2009, 12:16
I do it like wine from 1-100, 100 is basically unattainable (unless maybe I get some VVOF oneday). 50 is probably the lowest score, so basically JD is a 50. So, I guess that means 50-100. I rate everything I taste in a very OCD manner. I take notes and like someone else mentioned if I feel I need to downgrade or upgrade a score I'll write more notes and my 2nd. 3rd, etc. experience. I have a self-made database to keep track of all my spirits, wines, and good beers. It really is ridiculous at this point, but my analytical mind needs numbers to justify further purchases and and what to horde (i.e. the case of Pappy 20 I bought) and what to try once and let be. I have tried so many now I am glad I have kept notes. Just my 2 cents.....Anyone else sick mike me??

kickert
01-26-2009, 12:43
It really is ridiculous at this point, but my analytical mind needs numbers to justify further purchases and and what to horde (i.e. the case of Pappy 20 I bought) and what to try once and let be. I have tried so many now I am glad I have kept notes. Just my 2 cents.....Anyone else sick mike me??

A man after my own heart. Let me guess... you are an INTJ

callmeox
01-26-2009, 13:58
I use the binary rating system below. Feel free to copy my methods but be sure to give me credit.

1 = I would buy it again
0 = Probably not

Anything beyond that is too much like work to me. :grin:

funknik
01-26-2009, 14:11
I use the binary rating system below. Feel free to copy my methods but be sure to give me credit.

1 = I would buy it again
0 = Probably not

Scott, that is the BEST! I almost fell out of my chair.....I may have to switch to that binary system you use. :lol:

Attila
01-26-2009, 22:26
I use the binary rating system below.

I gotta hand it to you for elegant simplicity.

Vange
01-27-2009, 06:34
1 = I would buy it again
0 = Probably not


Numerical system of the year right here. I love it.

Buffalo Bill
01-27-2009, 12:55
A man after my own heart. Let me guess... you are an INTJ

First time I ever see anyone suggest an MBTI score on a bourbon site. And you're right - gotta be an INTJ...!

0-to-100 would make me nuts.

Simplicity is a virtue. BB

NYtaster
01-27-2009, 17:26
I'm a computer guy so the binary system makes sense to me!

1 = Bourbon
0 = Anything else


I think that since bourbon is so subjective that a numerical rating would really be a bit counter productive. I like the format of this board because it really just us voice what we feel about a particular pour and the reader is left to interpret based on personal taste and past experience.

edo
01-27-2009, 17:37
I use the binary rating system below. Feel free to copy my methods but be sure to give me credit.

1 = I would buy it again
0 = Probably not

Anything beyond that is too much like work to me. :grin:

That's basically what I do, too. I complicate it a bit by noting the price at which I first bought it. If the price has risen, I have to start taxing my memory for those in the #1 category.

kickert
01-28-2009, 07:09
I think that since bourbon is so subjective that a numerical rating would really be a bit counter productive. I like the format of this board because it really just us voice what we feel about a particular pour and the reader is left to interpret based on personal taste and past experience.

Every forum I have ever been a part of has a discussion like this. There are always the people who value ratings and then the people who argue any ratings are "subjective." (Give it long enough and someone will compare it movie ratings - Guaranteed).

Ratings will always have their place, but it is always going to be personal. It is impossible to come up with a definitive rating system that is relevant to all users. I do detailed ratings for my own good.... when it has been months (or years) since you last tasted a bourbon, it is nice to be able to remember what you thought of it then (and of course your opinion will change). My ratings are for me. With that being said, I do like looking at how others rate a bourbon - both individually and collectively. There is another site that gives an aggregate rating on bourbons based on how their members rate (10 glass scale). While this too is subjective and will never be "an accurate representation" I do value others opinions and if something is rated highly (i.e. highly enjoyed by lots of people) and I have not had it, I am more willing to give it a shot.

Attila
01-28-2009, 15:01
people who argue any ratings are "subjective."

Good post.

Those people are weird. If I take notes and giving ratings for my own enjoyment, it wouldn't make sense to be try to be objective.

Buffalo Bill
01-29-2009, 06:16
All in all, there are commonalities, both; in perception and olfactory/taste sense. It's not completely exponential, infinite. Neither is personality or pathological attribution for that matter, inasmuch as many think it is... subjectivity is more an internalized associated value outside of scientific fact.

When I discover someone with similar tastes there are usually other common characteristics about the person that play out - many times environmental or culinary influence, body type, skin tone (pigment) but I won't go as far as saying eye color. BB

Buffalo Bill
01-29-2009, 08:23
I'm a computer guy so the binary system makes sense to me!

1 = Bourbon
0 = Anything else


I think that since bourbon is so subjective that a numerical rating would really be a bit counter productive. I like the format of this board because it really just us voice what we feel about a particular pour and the reader is left to interpret based on personal taste and past experience.

That makes perfect sense... binary. I'm a former recording engineer, musician/producer and today a pro-photographer/art director so I tend to think in more spacial terms, always breaking down criteria to metaphorical level. BB

The Boozer
01-29-2009, 08:42
Both CalMeOx and Josh got it right.

Drinking bourbon and being anal should not go hand in hand. After all, you need one hand on the glass and one hand on the bottle to refill.

TJ

Vange
01-29-2009, 08:48
All my ratings are considered subjective and are a references primarily for me. After all these years of drinking everything under the sun I oftentimes forget what I liked, disliked, really liked, poured down the drain. One tidbit to mention, when any member makes a post asking for recommendations arent we giving them our subjective recommendations based on our personal ratings? I think we all "rate" in some way be it mental or in a database, but not all of us are as OCD about it (such as me). Trust me, it feels like a sickness at times. I am an addict when it comes to accurate inventory and tasting notes. Just me 2 cents.

The Boozer
01-30-2009, 11:03
To expand on CallMeOx's rating system, I recall another one from a few years back. It goes something like this:

#1 - One and done
#2 - Good, solid bourbon
#3 - Tough choice between sex and drinking/buying this bourbon
#4 - Would sell wife, kids, dogs and run over anybody's grandmother to get a bottle of this bourbon.

TJ
I seem to have alot of 3's in my liquor cabinet

Also think Seinfeld used the run over grandmother theme for the "marble bread" scene. Still think its funny everytime I see it (given I'm not a big Seinfeld fan).