Whisky Scoring Bands / Distribution

2 min readDec 3, 2021

Much like Malt Review, I feel that the current hundred point system is both capricious and arbitrary, and too much time is spend around the 80/100 level and not enough range is given to the full possibility of expression.

Current Distribution of Scores

So, future reviews will be marked up on a 10-point scale without wiggle room of a 7+ or an 8-, and the midpoint — previously which seems to hover around 80/100 and crowds the upper range — will be a 5.

Price, if excessively abnormal, will also be a factor in nudging scores higher (cheap and delicious) or lower (expensive and disappointing) to better reflect the subjective experience. When price is taken into consideration, I will explicitly make note of it.

Future Idealized distribution of scores

Without further ado, here is a rough guide to the scoring levels I will use in my reviews going forward:

  • 0 — Drainpour / Fake Johnny Walker Red
  • 1 — Would never drink this again, and might consider never drinking this line of products again
  • 2 — Potential use in pungent cocktails
  • 3 — Not good, but perhaps redeemable in a highball
  • 4 — OK; some flaws, but passable whisky
  • 5 — Good; could be the “standard” 10/12 year in the lineup
  • 6 — Good+, I would happily buy this over and over again
  • 7 — Great! I am excited to drink this!
  • 8 — Superb, a fantastic bottle
  • 9 — Stellar, almost cannot imagine anything more delicious
  • 10 — Perfect, I love it and can find no flaws. The bottle will disappear faster than you can imagine it…




Personal interests in literature, SF, and whisky/whiskey/scotch, Software Engineer by Trade