How we rate Whisky and Whiskey

We want to provide our readers with independent, honest and authentic tests and reviews, as well as enable them to form an informed opinion. While reviews are inherently subjective, we will do our best to research and present accurate, objective information where possible.
The interaction of tasting notes, flavour profile, rating on the scale and textual evaluation should finally give a first impression of the tasted Whisky.


Taste and smell depend on the environment, the company, the glass, and the mood of the day. A peated Whisky tastes different in a bar with an interior of dark oak than in a well-lit seminar room with white walls.
To ensure an objective basis for evaluation, we adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Each Whisky is tasted in the recommended glass. This ensures the perfect development of the aroma.
  • Each Whisky is tasted by two. Since you don't drink alone and whisky thrives on company, enjoying it together goes without saying. The exchange about the perceived aromas helps to better assess the whisky.
  • Each Whisky is tasted in a neutral room. This ensures that the environment provides the required neutral basis.
  • Each Whisky is tasted several times. Often, taste and smell are influenced by personal form of the day and previously consumed food and beverages. In order to reduce this distortion, multiple tastings are recommended.



First, the history of the bottle, the interaction of bottle, outer packaging and Whisky in the glass, as well as the color of the Whisky in the glass are viewed. Packaging design and color of the Whisky are not only marketing tools, but should send the tasting person on a journey and convey a certain feeling.


Nosing is the process of smelling the different aromas that the Whisky releases after it has been allowed to linger in the glass for a few minutes. Humans smell 1,000 times more than they can taste, and the vast majority of our taste sensations are created in the nose. That is why nosing is an important part of tasting.


Finally, the Whisky is tasted. It is important to chew only tiny sips so that the palate gets used to the alcohol. Tasting is related to the sensory receptors on the tongue. Thus, the Whisky is placed on the front, middle and back of the tongue for several seconds to perceive the variety of aromatic effects. The finish stimulates the sensory receptors through the aromatic molecules at the back of the throat.
A final deep breath through the nose completes the experience.


Inspired by the professional Flavour-Profiles of The Scotch Whisky Malt Society we use labels on our ratings to give a better impression.
We use the following labels:

  • Mellow, Sweet Fruity
  • Delicate, Juicy, Oak, Vanilla
  • Floral, Nutty, Hay Like
  • Rich, Dried Fruits
  • Spicy, Maritime, Costal
  • Peaty, Leathery

Rating scale

Usually a scale from 1 to 100 (explained by Whiskysponge) is used. We change this scale, because by default the points 0 - 50 are rated as undrinkable whisky and on the usual pages most whiskys are on the rating scale between 85 - 94. In addition, we always compare within a flavour-profile.
We structure these as follows:

  • 0 to 9: Unacceptable. Not worthy of the name. Barbecue lighter?
  • 10 to 19: Catastrophic. Not worth a drink.
  • 20 to 29: Bad. The water served with it is more valuable.
  • 30 to 39: Drinkable. Maybe it tastes better in a cocktail?
  • 40 to 49: Below Average. You can drink it. We wouldn't spend money on it.
  • 50 to 59: Average. Here you will find the most whiskys for beginners.
  • 60 to 69: Good. Nevertheless, that certain something is missing.
  • 70 to 79: Very Good. We'd drink a dram of that any day.
  • 80 to 89: Excellent. If conscience permitted, we would strike here at any time.
  • 90 to 99: World Class. Tasting it is an unforgettable experience.
  • 100: Perfect. Does it actually exist?


Textual rating

We summarise our impression and opinion of the Whisky in a two to three sentences to convey our result in support of the rating scale.


Finally, we assign a rating (5 = very good to 1 = very bad) to represent the value-for-money-ratio.

About us
How we evaluate