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nails5240
03-14-2008, 08:59
Ive recently come to appreciate the taste of a good bourbon.

I tend to drink it to compliment a good dark beer or cigar, or often by itself, but always neat. As Im sure with most poeple here, I started of with Jim Beam and moved up to finer bourbons from there.

Does anyone know of anywhere on the internet with good ratings for bourbon?

Just like with my cigars, Im not afraid to pay a price for good spirits, and look forward to learning more from all of you.

Sijan
03-14-2008, 09:26
Well, whether the ratings are "good" or not is subjective, but here are a few resources with ratings:

Malt Advocate Buyer's Guide
http://www.maltadvocate.com/buyer.asp
(also visit the Malt Advocate blog (http://blog.maltadvocate.com/) regularly for recent reviews)

Whisky Magazine - Whisk(e)y Database
http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/ (mostly scotch, but lots of bourbon/rye ratings too - searchable in a variety of different ways)

Wine Enthusiast - Spirits Buying Guide
http://www.winemag.com/buyingguide/spirits/search.asp?db=spirits (you can run searches by name or other criteria to find whiskey ratings)

Beverage Tasting Institute
http://www.tastings.com/spirits/american_whisky.html (click on the categories on the right. although sometimes just using the search function works better. Unfortunately, their database seems to delete older reviews even if there's not a newer replacement.)

San Francisco World Spirits Competition yearly results archives:
http://www.sfspiritscomp.com/archives.html (http://www.sfspiritscomp.com/archives.html)

2007 World Whiskies Awards - American Whiskey
http://www.whiskymag.com/awards/wwa/best_american_whisky.php

Spirits Review
http://www.spiritsreview.com/reviews.htm (http://www.spiritsreview.com/reviews.htm)

Liquor Snob Blog whiskey archive:
http://www.liquorsnob.com/archives/cat_whiskey.php

barturtle
03-14-2008, 09:36
Welcome and congrats on your new hobby.

Luckily, bourbon is comparatively inexpensive compared to cigars/scotch/wine when it comes to connoisseur grade stock. It is a bit more needy space wise than cigars or wine though as you can't lay down bottles and stack them.

Ratings however are inherently flawed. Best are reading tasting notes and seeing if it sounds like something you'd like. There are lots of tasting notes spread throughout this site...though they end up everywhere, check the BOTM threads, VBT competitions, Tasting sections...or just use search and see what comes up.

Many of the members profiles have lists of favorite bottlings, so checking peoples profiles may give you some direction for searches.

Above all, enjoy what you like, regardless of what anyone else thinks of it.

CorvallisCracker
03-14-2008, 10:04
Beverage Tasting Institute
http://www.tastings.com/spirits/american_whisky.html (click on the categories on the right. although sometimes just using the search function works better. Unfortunately, their database seems to delete older reviews even if there's not a newer replacement.)


Actually, for a time they remain in the database but seem to be de-linked from the search engine.

For example, if you do a search on "winkle" it will return nothing.

But if you go to Google, select "advanced search" put "winkle" in as the search string and tastings.com in the "Search within a site or domain:" field, it will return their entries for the PVW 15 and the VW Family Reserve Rye. Down at the bottom Google will state "repeat the search with the omitted results included". Click on that and it will additionally return the BTI entries for the VW Lot B and the ORVW 10/90.

Weird.

Another thing about BTI - if you analyze the way they do their ratings (described at the web site) you'll realize that it's not possible for a product to get a 99 or 100 score - 98 is the highest possible score. So the 98 points they give to the PVW 15 and the VW Lot B means that, in the opinion of the three tasters on the panel, that's as good as bourbon gets.

I would caution you not to put too much weight on any particular reviewer's rating. Visit many sites and note if there seems to be a consensus, and pay particular attention to the tasting notes as well as the scores.

It's my own opinion that forum sites like this one and bourbonenthusiast.com will give you better advice than from a "rating" site.

Don't buy anything (wine, beer, spirits) "by the numbers". I've noticed that people who do this tend to fall into the category of those who "know the price of everything but the value of nothing". They let other people define for them what is good and what isn't, rather than trust their own judgment.

Above all, you should trust your own reactions to various bourbons. You may discover you like corn/rye bourbons more than corn/wheat, or prefer rye to bourbon. "To thine own self be true".

CorvallisCracker
03-14-2008, 10:10
Whisky Magazine - Whisk(e)y Database
http://www.whiskymag.com/whisky/ (mostly scotch, but lots of bourbon/rye ratings too - searchable in a variety of different ways)

A site much diminished by the recent death of reviewer Michael Jackson.

(no not that Michael Jackson)(we should be so lucky)

One of their reviewers - Martine Nouet - tends to give lower scores than any other rater. I have have to wonder whether she even likes whiskey...

Sijan
03-14-2008, 10:41
Ratings however are inherently flawed. Best are reading tasting notes and seeing if it sounds like something you'd like. There are lots of tasting notes spread throughout this site...though they end up everywhere, check the BOTM threads, VBT competitions, Tasting sections...or just use search and see what comes up.


I agree to some extent but I don't think ratings are useless. They remain an easy way to communicate how good a reviewer thinks something is in a way that is less vague than "okay" or "good" or "excellent." (Is "excellent" better than "outstanding" or vice-versa?) Granted, there are problems in how different people interpret the 100-point scale (or whatever scale is used) differently. But you can see at a glance which whiskey any given reviewer prefers as among a group of whiskeys they've reviewed. And that can be helpful to know.

I think ratings in combination with tasting notes (and very few ratings have no tasting notes) can be a very helpful buying guide to whiskeys that you've never tried, particularly when viewed in composite. (I'd be reluctant to rely on a single review unless you know your tastes are frequently very similar to that reviewer.) Given that we generally can't afford to buy everything and sample it all, it helps to get advice and tasting notes from those who have tried the whiskies rather than simply purchasing blindly.

Tennessee Dave
03-14-2008, 12:25
Welcome to SB. This is the place to be to get all the opinions and reviews you will ever need. Great bunch here.:grin:

nails5240
03-14-2008, 13:49
Thanks for the advise

Slob
03-14-2008, 14:19
Welcome. I'm new here myself and I've found this place very helpful. It's a great community, although for some bizarre reason some people like to sign each and every one of their posts.