The ModernThirst.com scoring system is a 100 point system based on 4 categories, taken in order:
- Appearance: 15 points
- Nose: 25 Points
- Palate/Taste: 35 Points
- Finish: 25 points
- 95+ Epic
- 90-94 Excellent
- 85-89 Solid sipper
- 80-84 Questionable, potentially flawed.
- 75-79 Low quality, flawed
- <75 Rot Gut, avoid
The Categories Explained
So now you know the categories we're judging. What are we looking for in each category?
Packaging: We do not assign a score to packaging, as it has no bearing on the whiskey in the bottle. However, we recognize that how attractive a bottle looks on your shelf might impact your desire to, well, have it on your shelf. If it's a sweet retro-earthen jug, that might be a reason for you to want a bottle. If it's packaged in an old condom...not so much.
Appearance: Is it light or dark? Clear or Cloudy? Does an older whiskey properly reflect its age? Are there bits of human flesh in the whiskey? These all impact our score.
Nose: Are the typical aromas we would expect from that particular type of whiskey present? Can we detect a white dog-like alcohol in a bourbon that may be too young, or too much oak in a bourbon that is over aged? Do my nose hairs burst into flame from smelling this whiskey?
Taste: Do the smells we detected in the nose carry through to the palate? Are those flavors in balance, or are they competing with one another? Is it too one-dimensional? Are there off-putting flavors? Does my tongue feel like I just licked a rotting gopher?
Finish: Is it long or short? Do more flavors develop? Which flavors linger long after the swallow? Is it the pleasing vanilla or the rotting gopher? Are my taste buds still functioning?