The following apply to my reviews and ratings of whiskies and restaurants.

  1. I do not solicit samples of whiskies from any commercial entities and nor will I post reviews of any unsolicited samples I may receive.
  2. I will always disclose the source of any whisky I review, whether from a bottle or sample I purchased myself or a sample I received from a friend or acquaintance.
  3. I will not assign ratings to any whisky that I have not sampled at least 30 ml of; as far as possible, I will post reviews with ratings only of whiskies I have sampled more than once–exceptions will be made for particularly expressive whiskies of which 30 ml seem sufficient to draw conclusions from.
  4. The whisky rating world, for better or worse (mostly worse), uses a 100 point scale. I have large reservations about such a scale as it tends to suggest an ability to make fine distinctions that are not actually humanly possible. However, as such scales/ratings are the way of the world I will use them anyway. My own ratings should be understood in this way:

    >95 points: as close to perfection as I can imagine.
    >90 points: an outstanding whisky in all respects.
    >85 points: a very good whisky.
    >80 points: a solid whisky
    >75 points: drinkable but with some obvious flaws.
    >70 points: acceptable in a pinch.
    <70 points: I would not drink it again even if it were free.
    <60 points: best served to enemies
    <50 points: probably banned by the Geneva Convention

  5. It should be borne in mind that there are all kind of variables in tasting–of environment, palate, the condition of a bottle etc. etc.. Each rating is a snapshot of an intersection of various variables. While a numerical rating may seem solid and precise, this is not really the case. A whisky that rates 85 points on one occasion might get 89 on another. And I may well review a whisky more than once and assign different ratings–in such cases, both ratings will be “accurate”. Nonetheless, as I rarely venture into the 90s, scores above 90 points should be seen as very solid and considered endorsements. Similarly, scores below 70 (if any should be posted; most whiskies are at worst acceptable) should be seen as indicating possibly poisonous swill.
  6. In the highly unlikely event that I review any restaurant from which I have received comped meals or with whose staff or ownership I have any relationship or history, I will divulge said connection/comps.
  7. In general, I prefer rigor to enthusiasm. I am not opposed to enthusiasm by any means, and I am certainly not opposed to enjoying things, but I don’t like to get carried away. It is my view that most whisky reviewers get carried away, as do most restaurant critics in places like the Twin Cities. There is nothing wrong with a good meal or a good whisky; they don’t all have to be great. Very few things are great.

2 thoughts on “Protocols

  1. I love your blog, your writing style and the accompanying comedic value. I’m a little concerned that I agree with most of your comments on the restraunt scene in MSP mostly because I feel the same way. There is so much hype and so little substance. Please keep up your annoying comments. Thoughtdujour


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