Scoring Bands

Note: older posts on Malt were without scores.

Scores are tricky when it comes to whisk(e)y. They’re inherently subjective, they don’t account for differences in style and flavour, and they’re generally fairly confusing. What makes one particular whisky 93 points as opposed to 94? Or, God save us, 93.5? And would you give that whisky the same score were you to taste it blind a second time. Seems unlikely.

What’s more, very few scorers seem to use the full spectrum of their own points system. How often do you see a whisky scored lower than 70%? And have you ever seen a whisky awarded full marks?

So, after some thought, we’ve gone for a ten point system. But, to frame those ‘scores’ in context, we’ve translated them below. They’re more like bands than points really. And, as ever, it’s the wording of the reviews that matters most.

1/10 – Probably Fujikai 10 years old…

2/10 – Would go a long way to avoid ever drinking this again.

3/10 – Pretty not great. Or astonishingly dull. Either way, no thanks.

4/10 – Some glimmers of hope, but the negatives draw more focus than the positives.

5/10 – Bang average. Not bad, per se, but don’t expect your pulse to raise.

6/10 – Pretty good. Worth a glass now and then, but perhaps not one for a special occasion.

7/10 – Very good. Might um and ah over buying a full bottle if the price is high, but you can buy a glass with confidence. If it’s under £50, take a punt.

8/10 – Really excellent. Well worth picking up a bottle. If it’s under £50 you shouldn’t think twice.

9/10 – Exceptional stuff. The missing mark is probably because we’re fussy.

10/10 – Mind-bendingly brilliant. Whisky almost has no business being this good. An absolute must-taste. To expect more would be soulless and churlish.