Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Whiskey Wednesday: Why I (Now) Rate Whiskeys

Last week, I wrote extensively about why I've never given scores to whiskeys on the blog, but recently I have started to rate whiskeys for the LA Whisk(e)y Society. Why?

The LA Whisk(e)y Society is a small, private tasting group that has a fabulous website with all sorts of information about the local whiskey scene. It's far and away the most complete source of information about whiskey at LA bars, liquor stores and restaurants. Members of the club also rate whiskeys that they taste both in Society tastings (which are usually blind tastings) and on their own.

When I first joined, I balked at scoring, but after reviewing the scores, I found them to be quite helpful, particularly because each member rates individually and you can get a real sense of where there is consensus on a whiskey and where there is not. I also like the scoring system the Society uses, which is very practical, indicating whether you would recommend tasting it, recommend buying a bottle or simply not bother with it. The notes and scores are also pretty casual, so I don't feel the same consistency pressure that I would on the blog. It's just people's impressions of the whiskeys, nothing more. And there is one thing I never counted on; it's fun and challenging to try and convey your opinion in a single grade.

As a result, if you want to see how I would rate a whiskey, you can always flip over to the Society site and see. Anytime I review a whiskey on the blog, I will try to add a review and score on the Society site. I'm also putting up some scores from my collection which will include many whiskey which were previously reviewed here. The Society site is very high-tech and fully interactive. You can search by type of whiskey, by country of origin, by reviewer, or simply enter a search time.

Hey, if it works out, maybe I will eventually rate whiskeys here, you never know, just don't count on seeing a 100 point system.

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