My Scoring System

Apparently even the below explanation is confusing!  So I will have another go:
It's a 3 point scoring system - A, B, C.  A is best, A stands for "Good".

Now imagine you had that system, and you were tasting a lot of good things. After all, you don't go seeking out mediocre whisky.  How would you mark out those which were your favourites, or slightly better or worse than their peers.
Little modifiers.  I used + and - to say they were a little bit better or worse.   A+
Then I needed more differentiation.  So I drew a circle round the plus - A.  That's a bit more than a plus.  
Again, I found a better whisky (Tomatin 30 year old it was), so I put another + on the end.  A⊕+.  

Does it make sense now.

Note that I didn't design it like that, it just ended up like that!


My scoring system evolved when I was writing wine tasting notes over a decade ago and spilled into whisky.  Like my method for organising my CD collection* (when it wasn't in the loft, completely obsoleted by Spotify) and my tshirts** (they're still relevant) it's based around what's convenient for me rather than anyone else to use.  

Apparently it's completely opaque, and as I've been asked three times now to explain it and post a key, here is one!

It's based round a basic three grade system with modifiers.  This isn't quite a "out of 27 points" or whatever the cross product of the grades and the modifiers is as chunks of it aren't in use.  Also nearly everything sits in the A bracket - this is because nearly all whisky is "Good".  This is because Scotch whisky distillers are now excellent at it, and because I really like whisky.  There's a lot of headroom in the As and not much use elsewhere.

Anyway the grades are

A - Good
B - Just OK
C - Faulty
D - Rarely used but = disgusting

Modifiers are
- = Bit less than
+ = Bit more than, or with some good features
⊕ = Another bit more than, or with some very good features (I think of this as "augmented plus" or "circle plus")
⊕+ = Lots more than

A- = Good but has some fault (for example, a short finish, some off note or small thing I don't like)
A = Good
A+ = Very good
A⊕ = Excellent
A⊕+ = Epic
A⊕⊕ = Absolutely incredible
B = OK
B+ = OK with some good features
B⊕ = OK with something great about it
B- = OK but with some faults

Sometimes within a flight/session I'll add ticks (') to indicate which of two identically scoring whiskies is slightly preferred in the current context, for example:
A⊕ and A⊕' - they're both excellent but if I was going choose one, right then, it's the ticked one.  This is probably because I'm about to buy one, and want to note which it is.

Finally, just to note that while the marks are really most relevant within the session they're written rather than across sessions, they are meant to be somewhat absolute.  Hence a £30 whisky that scores A+ is better value than a £250 whisky that scores A⊕, and I am not just buying whiskies that score A⊕+, I’m buying lots in the As, and may buy low scoring, expensive whiskies if I find them interesting. In other words, the price isn't factored into the score, and the score is a subjective assessment of overall quality rather than just a shopping list.

In summary, it's a bit cryptic but it's really just there to help me catalog things.

Hope that helps!

* split into "Good electronic", "Rubbish electronic", "Good metal", "Rubbish metal" and "Other", grouped by band with the most played stuff furthest left.  They're alphabetised in the loft though.
** the t-shirt drawer forms a matrix with "BBQ t-shirts", "Acceptable t-shirts" and "Band t-shirts" on the x-axis, and "t-shirts", "Polo shirts" on the y-axis.  As there are no band polo shirts, this spot is taken up by "other" - vests, things that don't fit anymore, etc.

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