Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 84
  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,540

    What Good Are Ratings?

    I'm on record, in my book and elsewhere, as not thinking very much of rating systems. Their basic flaw is that they give a sheen of objectivity to something that is inherently subjective.

    I had a long conversation about this with Jim Murray once and his conclusion was, "we owe it to people to give them some kind of guidance."

    That point I concede. Therefore, I'm comfortable with a four or five point scale along these lines:

    0 = bad
    1 = barely acceptable
    2 = good
    3 = very good
    4 = great

    My problem with the 100 point systems is exactly what comes up here from time to time. "How can X get a 96 when Y gets a 95?" Consequently, one of the rules of my proposed system is no fractions, no 3 1/2 stars. The idea is to rate in a broad way without ranking.

    Subjectivity is still an issue as it always will be. The best bet for someone who wants to use anyone's ratings for guidance is to get to know the tastes of different critics. Either find one who generally agrees with you or just evaluate all of them based on what they seem to like and dislike.

    Anyway, I don't want to write a long essay here. I just mean to open the discussion.

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    KC
    Posts
    441

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    Great subject, Chuck.

    I wonder what happens when the authors who use the rating system encounter a subject that recalibrates their point system. It's useful in that it gives that persons relative rankings of the respective subjects at the time of writing, but that's only useful if that persons' tastes jive with the readers'.

    I decide what to buy based on what I read on this board. If there are a good number of 'yea' responses to a new bottle, I will buy one and try it. A few dissenters won't discourage me unless their tastes and mine have jived in the past, AND the bottle is expensive enough to make me think twice.
    I come here because you people make me feel normal.

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,540

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    Similarly, what if the ratings are from a tasting panel and the panel members change?

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    West of the Rockies
    Posts
    2,570

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    I'd completely agree that 0-4 is a much more reasonable way of rating Whiskey. As you've said before, nothing ever gets a 42.
    C

    "everybody defamates from miles away
    but face to face
    they haven't got a thing to say"

  5. #5
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    280

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    I like 0-4 as well. When rating my bourbon in my database, I frequently end up doing "Well, I would say 97, but this got 98 and I like the 97 better, but the other 97 isn't as good, 99 is too high, wait this is dumb." Then I put down a number in the general ballpark. 0-100 makes things way too tough. 0-4 seems really easy though.

    The bickering about if WLW 07 or 08 is better, or if the 09 higher proof makes it best gets silly. It boils down to preference at some point and people end up splitting hairs.
    "So long as the presence of death lurks with anyone who goes through the simple act of swallowing, I will make mine whiskey"

  6. #6
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    321

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    How about "by occasion" instead? Here are some samples...

    0 = I'm getting divorced. She's taking everything. (Early Times)
    1 = I'm degreasing engine parts or mixing with Coke (Jim Beam White Label)
    2 = I'm home from work and it's time to take the edge off (newer HH Old Fitz BIB)
    3 = I'm celebrating the end of a fine week, perhaps with another whiskey lover in attendance (BTAC)
    4 = I'm proving that America makes the best whiskey in the world, and here's why, so shove it, Scotch snobs! (Pappy 20. JRPS., etc)

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    4,318

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    I like my rating system. On my spreadsheet of bourbons I have, and/or have had, in the last column I enter my feelings as to whether or not I would buy a whiskey again. Looks something like this.


    BUY AGAIN

    NO
    PROBABLY NOT
    MAYBE
    PROBABLY
    YES
    DEFINITELY


    I guess it's a variation of a four point rating system. Just add a couple more points. At the very least, it gives me a reference point to work with in case I revisit, or run across a bottle of whiskey I haven't had or seen in a while. Cheers! Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  8. #8
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    321

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    Quote Originally Posted by fishnbowljoe View Post
    I like my rating system....
    You know, today at the store when I was perusing the shelves, I kept thinking of your tagline, and I bought two Weller 107's.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    4,318

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    Quote Originally Posted by dmarkle View Post
    You know, today at the store when I was perusing the shelves, I kept thinking of your tagline, and I bought two Weller 107's.
    Cool. At least I'm good for something. Joe
    " I never met a Weller I didn't like"

  10. #10
    Disciple
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NE OH
    Posts
    1,781

    Re: What Good Are Ratings?

    I like your system Chuck but it makes too much sense to be implemented.
    ~Robert BTOTY #2 2009

    GBS Member - 2011 Indoctrination

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Good day From Jax
    By Albatross in forum New to Straightbourbon
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-27-2009, 07:18
  2. Numerical ratings
    By Attila in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 01-30-2009, 11:03

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top