Happy New Year everybody!
It’s been some time since my last update
here at the blog. Today I’ll explain the “My score” category in my
tasting notes. Many of you might know the system although there are slightly
different ways to interpret the numbers. I’ll keep it with the Master himself,
Michael Jackson. In his “Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch” (4th
Ed.; ISBN 0-7624-0731-X) he lays down the different categories regarding the 100
points scoring system. Here’s a short overview how
he defined it:
<59 points: “lacks balance or character,
probably never meant to be bottled as a single”
60 – 69 points: “enjoyable but
70 – 79 points: “worth tasting, especially above
80 – 89 points: “distinctive and
>90 points: “the greats”
He took the scoring system from Robert
Parker who used it to score wine. And Robert Parker again was inspired by the
scoring system from the American school system. Michael Jackson also states
that “A modest score should not dissuade anyone from trying a malt.”
I totally agree with him on that statement!
I also agree with him on these categories.
They’re approximately the same as we use at tastings with the SMWS-AT. I’m not
sure how Michael Jackson would have thought about this but I’d like to add a
limitation. A Whisky with a score of 100 simply does not exist. Because there
may be always another Whisky in the future which is just a hair better than the
last one…

Jason S. Turner leading the Bruichladdich Tasting
at the Whisky Weekend Salzburg 2015

Sometimes you might have seen that I used
five numbers in the scoring. That is for the four main categories
“Nose”, “Palate”, “Finish” and
“Body/Overall” and the sum of them. I’m going to exclude these
detailed scorings in the future because I think it is not that important. It’s
more for me to remember why I liked the Whisky – or didn’t. I’ll just post the
score to give everybody an idea how good or not so good this particular Whisky
is. In my humble opinion of course. So if somebody doesn’t agree with my scoring
– that’s absolutely fine! You can leave a comment on that tasting telling me
why you agree or disagree with my scoring! I’m always looking forward to
talking with other Whisky enthusiasts about Whisky! That is also one of the
reasons I like to attend Whisky tastings. Because of the possibility to discuss
Whisky and opinions with other people who love Whisky as much as I do!

Some Whiskies from Bruichladdich

It may sound like an excuse but it isn’t.
There is no right or wrong while tasting a Whisky. If you want to discuss a
particular Whisky you have to find a common ground in this case the glass.
During some tastings I held I got often asked “What’s the perfect
glass?” Well, it’s the glass in which you like the Whisky most. If
you are going to do some tasting everybody should use the same glass. Well, not
the same but the same form, you know. I typically use the “Glencairn
Glass” but I’ll write another article about the “right”
glassware for tasting.


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