MrTattieHeid wrote:I think Jackson intended the "greatest allrounder" tag as a sports metaphor. It certainly has taken on a life of its own. Somehow reminds me of Steve Howe winning Guitar Player's "Best All-Around" award five years running.
I can recall thinking that I would never bother with a whisky that Jackson rated below the mid-80's. I now have favorites that he or Murray rate in the low 70's, and there are, I'm sure, some high-scored ones that leave me cold. So I simply don't pay any attention to scores anymore, except in idle curiosity. In fact, I don't really read tasting notes very much, either...I'm not sure if that's good or bad.
Just as well he didnt say Jack of all trades, Hps a funny one , not light enough as an aperitif and not always weighty enough for a nightcap.
If you ignore his ratings Jackson can be very informative especially in identifying the key components of a malt. I dont understand how his ratings work except as a means of identifying his favourite distilleries. He does earmark the classic starting points for the beginner but is useless when it comes to picking out good examples from the less well known distilleries.
I remember too looking at his ratings and wondering why on earth anyone would buy malts rated below 85pts. The curious thing is his notes dont seem to match these ratings,eg Knockdu 21 has sumptuous notes;"creamy, deep soft, fragrant, beautifully balanced" 77pts
Actually it was having a bottle of this LFW whisky of the year that stopped me taking his ratings too seriously. I tend to try almost anything now but i do fall back on JM ,Malt Maniacs and recommendations from this site in my choice of bottlings.
It's interesting that jackson's highly rated malts still lie at the core of most peoples collections and I do wonder whether most people's perceptions of what defines balance and complexity would have different if he hadnt favoured fuller flavoured malts ahead of the more subtle complexities of some of the comparitively lighter speysiders.
In a way though he does point you toward whiskies with distinct identifiable flavours which once you understand and recognise enables you to better understand other whiskies. Also whilst I dont agree with his ratings in a lot of cases, his book would have been much less helpful to the beginner if as in the whisky bible there were 90 plus rated bottlings from every distillery. To the beginner that could be pretty overwhelming .