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So, you wanted to know more about our scoring system? Then you've found your way to the right place!
I think everybody agrees Ardbeg 10yo and Ardbeg 17yo are both 'very nice' single malts. Only by assigning and comparing
scores can we determine which maniac likes which malt best, and how a certain malt performs compared to other whiskies.
For
the official matrix we selected the malts that were sampled by at least three maniacs and calculated the 'official' MM
average score. Pretty straightforward, but if you're really into statistics you should check out
Serge Valentin's website.
On the official Malt Maniacs 'dependance' you can find plenty of other nifty goodies for number crushers - like the Monitor.
The 'Malt Maniacs Monitor' includes all malts that were sampled by one or more malt maniacs - over 2,000 and counting...

When I'm trying to figure out how to score a malt, it really helps me to 'virtually' compare the whisky I'm drinking to 'benchmarks' I'm fairly familiar with. Do I like this more or less than the Glenfiddich NAS that scored 60 points? More or less than the Glen Grant 10yo that scored 70 points? More or less than the Glen Scotia 14yo that scored 80 points? More or less than the Ardbeg Lord of the Ilses that scored 90 points? With every sniff and sip I'm zooming in on my final score for that dram - on that occasion.

Above 50 points, my scores mean something like;

51 - 54:   All things considered I like it, but just barely.
55 - 59:   I'm far from crazy about this, but I could find some redeeming qualities.
60 - 64:   Quite drinkable, but I could find nothing in there to get very excited about.
65 - 69:   An altogether satisfactory experience, but somehow it doesn't fulfil its potential.
70 - 74:   An enjoyable drink, just a tad below average.
75 - 79:   A very enjoyable drink; above average but not exciting enough to be reccommendable.
80 - 84:   Reccomendable. Very nice indeed, thank you. Pour me another one, please.
85 - 89:   Highly reccommendable. Everybody should try this at least once in their life.
90 - 94:   Wonderful! These are the sort of top shelf whiskies where price starts to become almost irrelevant.
95 - 100:  Exceptional; the stuff of legends; true 'aqua vitae'. Great liquids of the world.

01 - 09:   Barely drinkable gagwater. Serving me this may result in physical violence.
10 - 19:   Truly disgusting. Varying degrees of awfulness; highly avoidable.
20 - 29:   Only suitable for intoxication purposes.
30 - 39:   Definitely not enjoyable; don't pour me another glass, please.
40 - 49:   Flawed. I'll drink it, but don't expect me to be happy about it.

I've explained my own feeling-score ratio in Liquid Log Entry #30, published on January 1, 2000.
FYI, here's the meaning of the bottom end of my own scale;

It's almost impossible to quantify and qualify why we end up
loving a malt whisky as much as we do. It's all very personal.
Do you prefer a nicely composed and balanced nose, or a very
expressive nose that highlights some extreme traits of the malt?
Are you looking for a nice clean finish - or a dry finish that just
goes on and on and on? Do you appreciate a malt that responds
very well to water - or a malt that doesn't need any water at all?

Personal taste and preferences may be the most important factors when it comes to rating single malt whisky, but we felt that we needed to consider the malt mileage of a maniac as well when it comes to to calculating the 'official' average maniacal score. We democratically decided that the opinion of somebody who sampled over 500 different whiskies should carry some more weight than the opinion of somebody who sampled a mere 100 malts. That's why we've used degressive 'weighing factors' for the calculation of the 'official' Malt Maniacs average scores you can find on the matrix. The higher a maniac's 'malt mileage' (the number of malts he sampled), the higher his influence on the average score. The order of the columns more or less reflects the 'matrix mileage' of a maniac; the percentage of single malts featured on the matrix that were sampled and scored by that maniac.

Visit Scotchwhisky.comDrop me a note...Contact the maniacs!

Many personal differences still remain, but that's the whole point
about the matrix to begin with. After a while we all learned how
to 'read' eachother's scores and how to translate them into the
feelings that maniac probably was experiencing when he scored
that particular malt. We're pretty consistent in the 65-85 points
area, but scores tend to diverge near the extremes of the scale.

Please note that not all certified malt maniacs are part of the 'matrix' team - a.k.a. 'The Dirty Dozen'.
The width of the pages of this website is limited to 1000 pixels, leaving only enough room for twelve columns. But that's just as well, because not all maniacs share the passion for numbers that haunts some of us. The matrix only displays the scores of the twelve most 'active' malt maniacs - including yours truly.

Since the WHY stuff all happens mostly in the 'Black Box' area of
our minds anyway, we decided to focus our efforts on trying to
'calibrate' and 'synchronise' our various individual rating scales as
much as possible. We'll probably never get completely 'in synch'
(some maniacs use scores below 50 while other maniacs don't),
but generally speaking most maniacs have become quite adept
at expressing exactly HOW MUCH we love a malt in two digits.

And that concluses my additional remarks regarding the Malt Maniacs Matrix.
Click on and lose yourself in the numbers!

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