What is the end game if it is proven that the answer is "yes"? Class action lawsuit against reviewers? Or distilleries?
900 barrels. One is a honey barrel, and tastes very good. 899 are mediocre? That's what I'm hearing y'all say?
"Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama
Could another factor be that the bottle has not gone through the shipping and manhandling of the three tier system? The bottle shows up to the reviewer less disturbed than the bottle that was manhandled along the way.
either the reviewers do get honey barrels/bottles, or most of us just have higher standards. even Jim Murray, who i most often agree with on taste profile, gives out some numbers that seem too high.of course, he also gives out some very low numbers on occasion...
when sazerac 18 first came out, bt let reviewers sample whiskey at barrel proof. I'm sure it was absolutely stunning! although reviewers may not have reviewed the bottled whiskey based upon what they first tasted, would it effect a value judgement on the final review?
I'd like to see all professional reviews done blind. If you've ever been in a blind tasting, you have probably been surprised at what can happen.
I would be surprised if they didn't.
I thought about starting a whiskey review blog with the objective of getting some of these free samples. On further reflection I looked at how much it would cost to go out and buy enough bottles for my initial reviews to get the ball rolling until the freebees started rolling in. I do have some whiskey bunkered, but how many reviews of Ritt BIB can I write? I realized that its going to be cheaper in the long run to just buy my own whiskey.
As far as the honey barrel's going to reviewers, who cares? I have my own honey barrels.