Spirit Reviews

I've been drinking for a while.

I'm 41 years old. I started drinking when I was 19. Prior to that, in high school, I was the non-drinker who looked old enough to buy booze, so everyone else came to me to buy their stuff for parties. I'd seen too much of the dark side of drinking, in my family, in friends, and in the world at large. And the things I'd tasted didn't thrill me.

So I'd buy people their booze, come to the party, remain sober, break up the occasional fight, and drive everyone home. I just didn't have an interest in drinking.

As I got older, that changed. I drank a little, and found that with a bit of thought and some planning you could safely drink booze and have a little fun.

I also started to see that if you spent a little money...just a little...you could find things that tasted pretty damned good. You could have things that were delicious, and just have a glass of them.

I think most people go through those phases with alcohol. Not all, some never come to terms with it. Some find they have no taste for it at all, or find they can't control themselves, or don't like how it makes them feel even in moderation.

This blog isn't for them.

As I've gotten older I've found I really enjoy tasting new liquors of all kinds. I like talking about them. I like the weird craftsmanship behind how they're made. I like the territoriality of them. Alcohol is made all over the world, and every place put its own stamp on it. It's a luxury item, and no one needs it, but it has properties that make it different from most other things that were manufactured in the distant past. It's a drug after all, one of the oldest mankind ever ran across, and likely one of the first they ever cultivated.

Years later I ran into a group of aficionados through Reddit. I joined scotchswap and the whiskey network. I started doing reviews, and found I really enjoyed it! People there were so giving, eager to swap spirits of all kinds, talk about them in depth, get into the little details, and post reviews of what they tasted, what they thought, and what they liked.

Sadly, the Reddit whiskey network has been kneecapped. I won't go into it in depth, but I left Reddit as far as reviews and participation in the whiskey network are concerned. I decided to start this little blog to repost my old reviews, and continue reviewing. If you're reading this, welcome! Thanks for bearing with me.

A little about my scoring system. As much as people love the 1-100 system for how granular they feel it lets them get, I've slowly come to hate it. Data analysis has shown that the majority of reviews gravitate to 86/100. The whole bottom end of reviews gets unused.

In a lot of ways this makes sense to me. Whiskey that is good enough to make it to market isn't going to be terrible. If it is, the company will eventually fail, word of mouth gets out, and the spirit disappears. The things out there are decent in general. You make like something more than something else, but it's probably not amazingly bad. Not usually, anyway. So, I've decided to use a 0-5 system.

⛔: This is terrible. Do not buy this. Avoid it.
: Not great. I do not care for this. I see what they were trying to do, but it's not for me.
★★: Substandard. It's not the worst ever, but I am not enjoying this. You may, though. Check my tasting notes.
★★★: Average. This is an okay drink. I don't love it, but I don't dislike it either. I'd spend money on this, as long as it's not overpriced.
★★★★: Good. This is something I'd definitely look at purchasing. I enjoy it very much.
★★★★★: Exceptional. I love this. It's really tasty, and I'd like to keep a bottle on hand at all times if I can.

Another thing to keep in mind is that I'm a human, and I'm very swayed by the experience surrounding my perceptions. If I'm in a great setting, with great friends, having a great time...well, whatever I'm drinking is going to seem great. I now try to give some background as to where I am, both physically and mentally, when I provide a review. My old reviews didn't do this.

Honestly, I look at some of my early reviews and wince. But hey, we learn as we go, right?

There you have it. On to the reviews!

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