All reviews, ratings, and tasting notes are those of Jason Pyle, Sour Mash Manifesto’s founder.
There is a lot of stock put on product ratings and reviews. And for good reason. It’s not the only reason but an important one for me when starting Sour Mash Manifesto. Alcoholic beverages are an affordable luxury relative to other “luxuries”, but they can cost a pretty penny. It’s my sincerest goal to provide you with reliable reviews and ratings of Bourbon, Rye, and other American Whiskeys to help make those purchasing decisions a bit less “risky”.
Before I discuss the Sour Mash Manifesto rating system I’d like to remind you of something very important. Regardless of what I or any other whiskey enthusiast says, if you like a whiskey – it’s good! Simple as that. I encourage you to use my ratings as a guide or point of reference to determine which whiskeys you might enjoy more than others. I provide detailed tasting notes for this purpose.
This brings me to the rating system itself. The more traditional 100-Point rating scale is widely used by most publications, websites, and blogs. Even with the same scale they are all just a bit different. In fact, even classifications for the ranges within this scale are different depending on the source. These variances can be very confusing.
Instead, Sour Mash Manifesto has deployed a system that is designed to bring in a wider variance than many of the popular sites and publications. I use a 10 point scale with decimals (9.2, 8.4, etc. etc), to get away from the 100 point system, allowing me more leeway to distinguish world-class whiskey from merely good or even great whiskey. This is what it looks like:
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating Scale (out of 10):
9.6-10.0: Epic – One of the finest Whiskeys in the world and an amazing achievement.
8.8-9.5: Superb/Outstanding – A classic expression of Whiskey, highly recommended.
8.0-8.7: Very Good/Excellent – A Whiskey with character and quality.
7.0-7.9: Good/Solid – Average to slightly above average whiskey
6.0-6.9: Decent – Palatable only, but certainly not recommended.
5.0-5.9: Poor – Avoid
<5.0: Horrid -No explanation required.
The products we review are available in the United States market and to some degree globally. Specific availability may differ depending on your local market. I do receive samples from time to time from distillers, and that does not alter my rating criteria in any way. If a distiller/distributor/wholesaler chooses to send a product to review, they must do so with the understanding that I will rate that product as I do all others. And at the end of the day all we have is our integrity and credibility. I won’t ever compromise on that!
Product Review Process:
I have a minimum of two to three tasting sessions with each product I review before posting my video, rating, and tasting notes. I simply believe these products deserve a thorough review. My review periods generally take place over a period of days or even a week to account for changes in environment, diet, etc. All whiskeys are tasted in a copita-style or Glencairn glass. I rarely add water, and when I do, only in small amounts. That is the only thing that might be added to a whiskey during a tasting session.
One thing is for sure – there is no perfect rating system out there, including mine. However, with some repeat visits to the site I am hopeful that you will come to understand how my descriptions and ratings align with your own thoughts and experiences.
Thanks for visiting!
Sour Mash Manifesto
1738 Liberty Pike
Franklin, TN 37067