I’ve spent the last couple of months focusing on not just reviewing whiskey, but on really dialing in the review style not just for the written review itself, but the visual representation of that review as well. I’m finally at a place where I feel like it’s 95% there and so I thought I’d take this opportunity to layout the details of the reviews I do here on The Whiskey Jug.
Let’s start with the image. So the purpose of the image is simple. It’s a simplified visual representation of the larger text review. It’s meant to be a snapshot of the whiskey so that you could get the entire gist of the whiskey in 5 seconds. My goal with this is to make it very utilitarian and easy to understand.
I know you’re pressed for time and so am I so one of the things I’m also working on is keeping my writing tight and concise with an attempt to keep this fore section above the main review to only 3 paragraphs and those paragraphs to no more than 4 sentences each. I want to keep it easy for everyone to easily get the point of the review which is why this last paragraph will always be my overall feelings of the whiskey. That way you can read the image, read the last paragraph and get on with your day if you so wish… though the paragraph layout might change… only time will tell.
ABV: This is the % of the whiskey that is made of alcohol. If you double it you get the proof. 50.5% Alcohol By Volume = 101 Proof
Price: The price I paid for this whiskey. Unless it’s from a tasting, then I’ll put the price I can either find it for locally or online.
Distiller: Who made the whiskey
I’ll also include anything else like batch #, barrel #, mashbill, etc. that is relevant to the whiskey.
A quick description of the color of the whiskey
NOSE* – worth 25 points
The smell of the whiskey. Here I’ll do my best to describe the various aromas I get when sniffing a glass of the whiskey being reviewed.
TASTE* – worth 25 points
What the whiskey tastes like. Here I’ll do my best to describe the various flavors I get when tasting the whiskey being reviewed.
BALANCE BODY & FEEL – worth 25 points
The experience of drinking the whiskey being reviewed. Are all of the flavors and aromas balancing out without any one aspect sticking out too much? Is it thick and rich with a full body or thin and watery? Is it smooth or rough? Easy to drink or do you have to choke it down? Does it burn like hell or is it obscenely easy to drink? All of this, and more, is answered here.
FINISH* – worth 25 points
This is the aftertaste. The flavors that are left after the whiskey has been drank and how long they hang around for.
SCORE: This is always out of 100 and it’s an accumulation of the points above. I don’t list how many points each section gets on the actual review (those are in the hand written notes in my review books) but I give the end sum here. I also link the Score to the whiskey scoring section so that if you’re curious about what the scoring means you can click on the score and see more about my scoring method.
Empty Bottle Reflections (XX-XX-XX update)
This is another little something that I think is rather unique to my reviews. Once I’ve completely finished off a bottle of whiskey I’ll come back to the initial review and post any thoughts or feelings I’ve had about the whiskey while drinking it and update the score as well if I think it deserves it. I’ve started doing this because whiskey can change on you while you’re going through the bottle and something with a very unique aspect, that may have initially been pleasant, can become cloying and annoying the more you drink it turning a “daily drinker” into something you never want to buy again.
I keep updating my personal notes when drinking each whiskey and once I get to that last glass I’ll sit down and compile all the thoughts and notes I’ve added since the initial review and write this section while sipping on the last dram in the bottle.
*SOME ADDITIONAL INFO
Each glass of whiskey has between 200 – 300 chemical compounds associated with flavors and aromas. Everyone’s palate and olfactory systems are a bit different as is the vocabulary we use to express it because it’s all based on what we have eaten and experienced in our lives. What that means is it’s very possible that you and I won’t taste or smell exactly the same thing and that’s no big deal because at the end of the day the only thing that’s important is if you enjoy the whiskey or not.