Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Whiskey Wednesday: The Million Point Scale

There has been much discussion among whiskey bloggers about how best to rate whiskeys. Is it better to use a ten point scale, a one hundred point scale, letter grades, stars, Olympic-style medals or smiley/frowny faces? While these may all have their merits, the fact is that none of them are able to capture the diversity and specificty of whiskey. In response to a recent blog posting on What does John Know?, I revealed my new plan to start rating whiskeys on a million point scale.

From now on, every whiskey I review on this site will be given a rating on the million point scale. Unlike the crude 100 point scale, the million point scale allows me to rate every aspect of the whiskey and judge components that are much too subtle for a mere 100 points. Only with the use of a full million points (out to the second decimal) can you really hope to capture the complexity of whiskey. Here is how it will work.

In judging each whiskey I will look at separate categories, each of which will have a maximum point score as follows:

Nose: 125,362.43
Palate: 172,221.07
Finish: 88,864.37
Appearance: 73,322.06
Cost: 115,468.22
Degree of difficulty: 68,619.08
Coolness of bottle: 22,364.15
Coolness of box: 42,873.45
Way the whiskey makes me feel about myself: 190,153.27
Talent Portion: 25,109.73
Swimsuit Competition: 75,642.27

The total of these scores will be the total score of the whiskey. I have also put together a handy key for judging the whiskey which breaks down ratings into ten point segments and defines what each ten point spread means in terms of quality (i.e. 1-10 is undrinkable and possibly radioactive, 10-20 is undrinkable and possibly poisonous; 20-30 is undrinkable but likely nonthreatening, etc. on up to one million). The key will be available separately as a 568 page booklet which will be sent to my readers for a modest price.

I understand that people who are used to more simplistic scales may be skeptical, but once you observe the million point scale in action, I believe you will see its inherent superiority.


Regular Chumpington said...

I don't see the point of a million point scale if you only score stuff from 999,970.03 to 999,997.83 about 98.078% of the time.

Tim F said...

At last, sanity has prevailed :)

sam k said...

Can't wait for the swimsuit competition, as long as you're not competing...smart ass! :>D

Anonymous said...

Preach brother Sku! The choir hungers for more soaring, epideictic reviews void of the appearance of principle or rule. You've provided much-needed headroom (redundancy and overstress) for trivializing reviews in such a way that all individual's opinions are as important as 'the experts'. Genius! But, uh... remind me, what are 'we' reviewing???

snakeman said...

So let the reviews begin, and I too am awaiting the swimsuit competition portion. I always thought those 10 point, and 100 point reviews were too vague. The Million point score will really get down to the nitty gritty.

AaronWF said...

In trivializing review scales, you have left me utterly bereft of any compass with which to point me in the direction of my next whiskey purchase. 1 million points is so overwhelming, so unimaginably complex in diversity of defining characteristics, so rife with counterbalance, hands, birds in hands or birds in bushes, catch-22s, glasses partly engorged, highway on and off ramps, valleys, swamplands, mountains and moors, vampires, fairies, shape-shifters, werewolves, necromancers...

I need a drink.

sku said...

AaronWF, that's why you need my key, but I wouldn't advise buying anything that scores below 872,359.61.

Jason Pyle said...

Hysterical! Like the others, you had me at Swimsuit Competition. Though, the "Way the whiskey makes me feel about myself" category is a tad overvalued.

Josh Feldman said...

The Sponge has nothing on you, Brother, except character assassination of specific UK personalities. I've often keenly felt the lack of any swimsuit competition in whisky. Sex appeal in general is missing in a marketing segment marked by Satanic self-twisting barrels, walking men, men in kilts, and psychotic barrel defending Irish super heroes. Cognac really shows up whisky in this area. It wasn't always this way. Black Velvet (a Canadian whisky sorely in need of some premium expressions for whisky geeks) once had a killer swimsuit presence. But it's been years... As for the grading scale. I use a five star and I'm feeling grossly inadequate. A change is clearly in order. I feel that you've missed the boat with your million point scale. The required values must be much higher. I'm going for a billion or a even a trillion points. I'm waiting on the focus group testing results before making my decision...