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Why I Don’t Rate The Whiskies I Review

thewhiskylady - 2016-10-24

Grades are basically everywhere those days: from restaurants to taxi drivers, we’re always encouraged to rate every experience, every new product put to the terrible test of our ever-demanding taste buds … And whisky is no exception to the rule.

Many – if not all – reviews you’ll read in blogs, magazines, books etc. often comprise this xx/100 grade. I’ve chosen not to rate the whiskies I review on my blog, prefering to stick to simple words. All you’ll find at the end of my reviews isn’t a grade but a tasty food pairing ­čśë [Yeap, you know where my priorities lie… #FoodFTW]

But as I received quite a few messages asking me why I don’t rate the whiskies I review around here, here’s a small explanation for you!

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First of all, I’m convinced words speak better than grades.

Also, I’ve never wanted to enter the “whisky rating” system out of respect for the people behind the whisky I’m reviewing. They may be multinational empires or small one-person companies, they’ve all put efforts and work into their product and who am I to tell them what they’ve devoted their life to is worth a 71/100? I don’t want to be at the origin of any “bad buzz”- behind brands and products, the human aspect is even more important to me – when blogging, you have to take into account that – at a small level of course – you may be influencing your readers’ consuming behaviour.

Beside this, I believe in positive thinking and I want my blog to reflect my state of mind. I’ve created it to share things I enjoy and that inspire me. There’s way too much negativity on the internet (and more globally in the world we’re living in), you don’t need me to add to this grim climate. Some can think only posting positive reviews make me not frank or not worth reading? Then be it. It does happen quite a lot that I sample a whisky and don’t necessarily enjoy it (even find it awful or undrinkable…) – when that happens, I simply choose not to feature it on my blog instead of demolishing┬áit in public space. What I’ll do in this case is send a private message to the company to let them know my thoughts and how it could be improved in my opinion. It’s all about being constructive and not negative.┬á

Anyway, I used to hate my high school & college teachers for rating my philosophy essays with a 12/20 without considering the sleepless nights I spent on them. I’m just not willing to replicate that. #SorryNotSorry. A grade is simply too reductive and doesn’t take into account many side aspects you simply can’t rate with a stupid number.

So, to answer the question I’m always asked: NO, I won’t be rating the whiskies I review. Not before, Not Now and Never.


Cover Pic: Scotch Whisky Experience

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