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Scoring Criteria Defined

Below is the scoring criteria that is used when rating Bourbons and Whiskey. These definitions will evolve over time and this page will be updated with any new information as we know it. Each review is started with a 1.5 ounce pour with a single ice cube. Additional testing is done with a pour on the rocks.

Scoring Grades
90-100 - Go buy this bourbon right now
80-89 - Top notch and recommended
70-79 - Solid
60-69 - Some uniqueness and could be good in the right situation
0-59 - Not one of our favorites

Taste - 35 points - This is fairly straight-forward... does the Bourbon or Whiskey taste good? How is while drinking? What flavors come out?

Smoothness / Finish - 25 points - This is what is left on the palate after tasting and how enjoyable it is.

Color / Appearance - 15 points - This measures the overall color of the bourbon. How appetizing it looks, both in the bottle and in the glass. Additionally, this measures the uniqueness and appearance of the bottle itself. Bottle and color each make up half of this score.

Availability - 5 points - Ohio has some of the dumbest liquor laws in the country (although nothing close to Pennsylvania). For some reason, the government controls the purchasing and selling of all spirits within Ohio. This means that supply is extremely limited and we don't have a true open market. Additionally, this means it is often difficult to find new and unique bourbons and whiskeys. Since I'm in Ohio, it's important to rate how easily accessible each bourbon that we're reviewing is within the state of Ohio.

Overall Value - 20 points - The overall worth of the bourbon. Does the price justify the flavor and experience of the bourbon.