Hooray! Some excellent dialogue, and interesting points of view. I would like to say that I find valid argument even from those who disagree with the points I've made; I don't really consider it so cut-and-dried.
Wendy wrote:Within that knowledge, if my tastebuds or papillae agree or disagree seems less important.
Wendy, what could possibly be more important than what you like
? I want to know what the fuss is about, too, and furthering one's knowledge is a noble aim--I consider, for example, the hideous dram of Littlemill I once had a most worthwhile experience--but if you think, as I do, that Alberta Premium tastes like kerosene, of what possible relevance to you would Murray's high opinion be? (Okay, it was witch hazel.) Of course we are all interested to hear what the "experts" say, and we love to match our own opinions against theirs. Yes, we can learn from them. But surely you are beyond needing an avatar for your whisky journey, which is after all your own. And more to the point, of what relevance is the lousy number, and the artificial and arbitrary method of arriving at it? If Murray says AP is marvelous, yes, I want to know why; and of course I am free to agree or disagree. But the attempt to quantify the quality of experience with a number is a meaningless exercise. Even in Murray's supposedly objective system, all a high number means is that he likes
it. Is Ardbeg 10 really well balanced? Of course not! Why should it be? It is what it is, and we love it for that, or hate it.
irishwhiskeychaser wrote:However sometimes I think that is JM's own fault for being too objective .....
Rubbish! (With all respect, iwc.) Tasting whisky is an inherently subjective experience. Certainly he tries
to be objective, but it's simply not possible, and it smacks of what someone described as a "lab mentality". If someone presented you with a chemical analysis of whiskies and said it showed that you should prefer an Inchmore 10 over a Glen Googly Bait Barrel, would you accept it? Of course not--you must taste for yourself. Likewise, if Jim Murray really could use his nose and palate to provide us with objective data, it wouldn't be of any real use to us. What he can
do, what he does
do, is tell us what he likes, and why. And actually, he's quite good at that, and it is proper food for thought and discussion. But it all must be taken on the understanding that it is his
experience, that none of us can share entirely. The notion that a score of 95 objectively signifies anything is misguided.
I'm sorry, it's late here, and I'm afraid I'm not being very cogent anymore. Let's come back tomorrow and argue some more. This is the best thread we've had in ages! Great fun.