Nick Brown wrote:I used to be a fan of JM but for me, he lost credibility with the Serendipity bottling. I used to really identify with his marks, but in the third edition, too many looked like political marks for distilleries that "needed support". I have also become increasingly frustrated by his peat bias. This was not so much of a problem when distilleries produced either peaty whisky or unpeated whisky (but not both) because you could use his marks to compare whisky within each distillery listing - even if it was hard to compare between distilleries. But with more distilleries now bottling both peated and unpeated, this is no longer possible. For example, Benriach has both unpeated and peated whisky now. It appears that because of the marks given to unpeated Benriach, the peaty ones need a premium mark that takes them up to silly levels. Ditto the Bruichladdich 3D. I haven't seen the latest Whisky Bible, but would expect to see similarly troublesome marks for some of the new peaty expressions.
Please do note that this is not intended to be a personal criticism, but rather an illustration of the difficulties of awarding objective marks - particularly if the marks are to hold a constant value between categories and over time.
Good points Nick, and well worth taking into account when reading TWB, I'm sure it's been discussed many times but incremental subjective ratings can be taken a little too seriously, they have some value when comparing expressions from one distillery but become less and less useful the broader the comparisons become ie Irish v blendedv single malt etc.
Gives everyone something to talk about and provides a benchmark to compare your own equally valid tastes to though.