Q. Is there a way to see all the reviews in one place?
A. There is. You can see all of our reviews in one consolidated Google Spreadsheet. You can even sort and filter based on any of the columns. You can check it out here.
Q. What is the review criteria and what are you looking for in each category?
A. There are five categories that I rate on and assign different weights to each. The first is taste, which includes the nose and how the bourbon feels on the mouth during the first taste. I assign 35% to this as this is one of the most important parts of the review.
The second criteria is finish, which makes up 25% of the score. This is how the bourbon feels in the esophagus going down and is sometimes referred to as the burn or Kentucky hug.
Thirdly, I factor in color and appearance. This is how the bourbon looks in the glass and how attractive the bottle is. This counts for 15%.
Fourth is availability in Ohio. A bourbon isn't very worthwhile if you can't get it. For this, I take into account how easy it is to get a bottle at different stores. This is 5% of the review.
Lastly, I take into account value. Is the bourbon worth the price? This counts for 20%.
I then add those up and it gives the total score of the review.
If you want to know even more on how the ratings are compiled, you can find more details on the rating criteria here.
Q. What bottles are scheduled for reviews in the future?
A. The plan is to review Bulleit 12 Year Rye, Sazerac Rye, Willett Bourbon, Michter's Sour Mash, and a Four Roses Single Barrel. I also have two Russell's Reserve Single Barrels and I want to review them at the same time to see if there are any noticeable differences.
Additionally, if there are some fun bottles I see while I'm out, those will also make the cut.
Q. Why did you get started with reviews?
A. This started in late 2018 when I was running out of space in my liquor cabinet and it was becoming clear that I needed to start drinking some of the bottles before buying any new ones. I needed a way to track what I liked and didn't so the plan was to create a spreadsheet so I could remember.
Since I was already planning on tracking the reviews, why not make the reviews public so I could hear from others and get their opinions and feedback.
Q. Does everyone agree with your reviews?
A. I certainly hope not. Everyone's palette is different so while I rate Woodford (83.5/100) and Old Ezra Single Barrel (85.5/100) high, I fully expect others to not care for the taste. This goes the other way too. I know people who swear by Buffalo Trace (65.5/100), which I thought was average at best. I don't think my reviews are better or worse than anyone else, but merely my opinion to help start a dialog.
Q. Do you think you'll run out of bourbon to review?
A. I really don't think that will ever happen. There are so many varieties and new distilleries being opened all the time. I think the more likely scenario is I slow down the number of reviews due to how busy life can get. Thankfully, I haven't reached that point yet.
Q. Is there anything you can do to help the site?
A. Tell everyone you know and spread the word!
I want to send a heartfelt thank you to getting this far in the post and for your support of ColumbusBourbon.com. This has turned into an incredibly fun hobby where I've learned more about bourbon and whiskey than I ever thought I would and the organic growth has been so cool to see. Later today, I'll go over 20,000 page views since October.
If you have any questions or thoughts, please drop a note in the comment box below!