Thumbs up, thumbs down

I had this idea to include a small thumb up/thumb down picture with every Quick Dram we do (see previous post on Tamdhu), just to be perfectly clear on whether we liked the whisky or not. What do you think? Vote and leave us a comment. If you give the idea thumbs down we’ll drop it.


[poll id="41"]


  1. What about a “middle thumb” for the so-so,
    “It’s okay, but…” kind of drams?

  2. I guess they fall under the ‘thumb down’ category… Tamdhu 25 is the perfect example. There is nothing wrong with it, it just doesn’t grab you by the balls.

  3. Just as long as you still include the tasting notes! I commented on the Scotch Hobbyist blog about just this combination of sensory information and preference; how our good friend Mr Murray often passes over completely a full evaluation of a whisky he isn’t keen on, rather setting a police search light on those aspects of it which particularly offended him (the Tobermory 10yo tasting note is a fine example). I think an effort should be made to inform the reader of both: what it tastes like (as objectively as possible, although I know that term opens up yet another area of contention) and whether this is to the tasters… er… taste. Including both is very useful for those more familiar with the style of any one blog and the people behind it. I agree with Mark’s suggestion, but then I see your point about the “Does it or doesn’t it” approach. First three thumb options, then a score out of 100!

  4. I don’t really see the point of the thumbs, to be honest. I mean… does it really say anything the notes/overall comments don’t make clear? If you were to do away with the ‘overall’ comment, then the thumbs up/down would clarify to the reader whether or not you actually liked the observations reported in the tasting notes.

    But in the current configuration, as I said, it doesn’t seem to add anything.

  5. Valid point InkRose, thanks.

  6. I don’t like the thumbs, I personally think you should either decide if you want to score whiskies or to not score them and leave the tasting notes to stand by themselves.
    I am not particularly bothered which path you take, but if you DO score whiskies I don’t think that a simple good/bad score is ever appropriate, you probably need a scale with at least 5-10 levels (stars, points out of 10 etc). And if you want the notes to stand by themselves and people to read your opinions then I think that anything along these lines completely undermines that intention.

    One possible alternative use could be to only use thumbs up/down sparingly for whiskies you thought were actually bad or for a truly fantastic dram.
    It may also be helpful to make clear if you’re judging the quality of the whisky or whether it’s good value (would the Tamdhu 25yo have received a thumbs up if it was half the price?).

    Just my opinions, feel free to ignore them all.

  7. Thanks Matthew, rest assure we never ignore any opinions:)

  8. I voted FOR the thumbs. I thought: anything that’s going to steer me clear of a whisky I’m not going to enjoy or a bad purchase compared to others is surely a good thing.

    Thinking again though, thumbs up or down might be a bit black and white, or maybe even a bit ambiguous. It might be like labelling the whisky good or bad. I know it’s not like that though and you’re saying if you liked it or not.

    The tasting notes are great though and I guess they tell the whole story while the thumbs would give an overall opinion of the whisky which might be useful if someone were picking between two whiskies.

    You can probably tell I’m a bit unsure. People might say “an amazing whisky to one man will be dull to another; you can’t say what’s bad and what’s good”. This being a blog though, I think it’s perfectly valid for the writers to say if they liked a whisky or not.

    Sitting on the fence here… Great blog, thumbs or no thumbs!


  10. Quite ‘handy’ as a quick at a glance reference. I won’t dismiss a whisky just because I see the thumbs down..but I will read and see why you gave it the thumbs down and then form my own opinion..taste is subjective and notes are fun to read

  11. Unless it’s similar to paint thinner, I don’t envision too many thumbs down. Down with the thumbs. Too simple.

  12. J’apprécie la façon dont vous abordez ce sujet. En tout cas, je vais revenir vous rendre visite très prochainement. Bonne journée

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