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  1. #1
    Connoisseur
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    Numerical ratings

    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.

  2. #2
    Disciple
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    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)
    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?k...fZZNMYM1sV3DeQ
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  3. #3
    Guru
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    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.
    Last edited by Josh; 01-26-2009 at 11:52.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  4. #4
    Disciple
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    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".
    "A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all . . . "

    Andy

  5. #5
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    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

  6. #6
    Connoisseur
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    Jul 2005
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    New Jersey
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    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??

  7. #7
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by Vange View Post
    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
    Hope is subversive, for it limits the grandiose pretensions of the present by calling into existence the possibility of something better.

  8. #8
    Trippah and Admin
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    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.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  9. #9
    Disciple
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by callmeox View Post
    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.
    "A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all . . . "

    Andy

  10. #10
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Numerical ratings

    Quote Originally Posted by callmeox View Post
    I use the binary rating system below.
    I gotta hand it to you for elegant simplicity.

 

 

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