Scoring Bands

Malt uses a full 10-point scoring scale, with sensitivity based on price.

Scoring is problematic, because it imparts a false quantitative precision to what is an inherently subjective experience. Acknowledging that, we still feel that scores provide a meaningful basis for distinguishing between which whiskies are better and worse, and the gradations therein.

Graham wrote an excellent meditation on scoring; please read it now if you haven’t. Going forward (as of January 2021) we’ll be adopting his scoring framework, which is as follows:

Chart

Click here to see a high resolution version of this chart.

Rather than litigating the merits of a 6 versus a 7, we’d encourage our readers to take scores as a general guide to each whisky’s value for the price. 5 is average. If a score is a 6 or above, this means that the reviewer would probably go out and spend their own money to acquire another bottle. If 4 or below, this means that the reviewer didn’t enjoy the whisky, or didn’t think it worth the expense.

While this definitely won’t end the debates around scoring generally (or individual scores specifically), we hope this framework is a reliable reference for both writers and readers when considering the scores attached to reviews.