Let's just clear something up right away. These reviews are our honest opinions - you don't have to agree with them. If we like your favourite bourbon and give it a good review then that's great - high five. If we don't, then instead of just doing the internet standard and telling us' we're wrong', 'we suck', 'we don't know anything about bourbon', we would like to hear your take on it in the comments. Honestly, tell us what you think about it, why you like it, what you smell and taste that we didn't, and why we should maybe give it another go? It's alright to have different opinions and we want to hear yours.
Our aim here is to build a site and a community that welcomes different views. It should be a friendly place for amateurs (like the Bourbon Gents themselves) and experienced people alike, to share their perspective and have good natured open discussions on the drink we all love.
Good, now we have that out of the way, let's look a bit more at how exactly we will be structuring the review. We're not doing anything ground breaking here so it should be familiar to those already checking out other bourbon and whiskey sites. Firstly (well after the picture of the bottle taken in Mav's kitchen) we will give some standard facts about the bourbon we are reviewing (who makes it, how old it is, volume percentage, mash bill etc), and if we don't know then we will make it clear that we couldn't find the information and maybe if we're feeling brave give a best guess. After that we will scourer the internet for the most interesting (well what we think is interesting anyway) history or information we can dig up on the bottle or manufacturer.
Then comes the review itself. We'll break the review down into the standard three sections - nose, palate, and finish, but within these sections is where we differ slightly from the norm. Instead of just giving you our comments we will also tell you what the experts say, so you can compare our amateur attempts to describe the bourbon vs the more professional reviews out there. We know we don't quite have the vocabulary just yet to describe what we're getting so it will be an interesting cross reference to see our 'minty mouth wash' description vs the experts 'hints of gentle eucalyptus'.
The all important score comes next. We have decided on each of us giving a separate score and not an average of the two. This way, after a while, you can start to see whether it is Mav's taste you agree with more or that of Mr Pie. On the score itself (after a lot of discussion) the Gents made the decision to go with an 'out of ten' scoring method. Below is a detailed explanation of what each number on the scale means:
1 = One
Essentially we're going with the trust that our readers are smart people who can figure out that a 1 out of 10 is bad, a 5 is average, and a 10 is the best thing we've ever tasted. We really mean that 5 is average by the way, none of this 7 out of ten, or 70%, is average bullshit. If we give something a 7 it's good!
Finally we wrap up with a summary on our overall experience with the bourbon, and maybe take a look at how different ours and the experts descriptions were.
And that's pretty much it. Our hope with all this is that we can give an amateurs view on the bourbon and give you the reader an honest opinion about what we taste and smell (at the moment Mr Pie is frantically looking up 'spice' in a thesaurus so we don't get repetitive).
One day in the future we might smell 'ripened red berries on a summer morning' and then we will know that we've made it!