There are plenty of scoring systems out there. Some people use 1-5 stars. Others use A-F grades or a 1-10 scale. I choose to follow the unwritten industry standard of a skewed 100 point scale so that my scores can be compared “apples to apples” with a lot of the other reviews out there. That means almost all of my scores will probably range from 75-95 out of 100, which would equate to an “average” C grade through an “excellent” A grade.
If a whisky is scored above a 90, it’s something I absolutely want in my open bottle rotation at all times (when feasible and affordable). If it falls below an 80, it’s something I might be willing to own if the price is low enough. The 80s are the gray area. I probably want to own it but it really depends on the whisky.
I find that almost all of my scores these days are 80 and above and I attribute that to being experienced enough in my whisky journey to pick distilleries and expressions that I know I’m going to like. My exploration phase has long passed though I’m not opposed to trying something I don’t think I’ll like to see if my palate has changed over time.
There’s one more thing to note. Unless something crazy happens, I’ll never score a whisky 100/100. I’ve scored some 97s, 98s, and one 99/100 but I want to leave that perfect score open in case I someday drink something that’s simply on another level. I doubt it will happen but you never know!