Tasting and Review Guidelines

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At, the editorial independence and integrity of our tasting and review program is paramount. Our tasting panel consists of a broad range of spirits industry professionals, each selected for their knowledge, background, expertise, and previous experience judging international spirits competitions such as the Ultimate Spirits Challenge, San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and TAG Global Spirits Awards, among others.

For each review, three evaluators are selected by our editors from this larger pool of tasters, based on their individual experience within a given category. Each reviewer evaluates the bottle independently, compiles tasting notes, and rates the product on a scale of 1–5 across four categories (detailed below). Scores and notes are then submitted to’s editors, who average each panel member’s numerical scores together into our final rating. Editors then evaluate the three sets of tasting notes and compile them into a final review that we believe best reflects the common views of each judge, while limiting the potential impact of any individual bias or outlier opinions.

Neither nor its reviewers accept any form of compensation from the brands we review. Bottles are chosen independently by’s editors before being assigned to the review panel, and editors do not in any way influence the final review, tasting notes, or opinions of the review panel (though notes are edited for clarity and compiled by editors). Bottles are assigned to tasters in groups that typically revolve around flights of a given spirit category, to allow the reviewers to best explore the merits of each while still being able to evaluate them within the context of their peers.

The categories within which we rate bottles are:

Mixability: Our rating of how well this product can be used as a component in cocktails.

Sippability: Our rating of how well this product tastes as a stand-alone pour.

Value: Our tasting panel’s assessment of this product’s quality-to-cost ratio within its larger category of competitors.

Overall Quality: Our tasting panel’s overall assessment of the quality of the product, as well as its rank in comparison to others within the category.

For more information on our tasting and review program, contact