Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond Arts & Crafts Review Series Part 3/7

Here is the followup to a huge side by side tasting I did involving twenty years of Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond. The TL;DR version is after trying some amazing Henry McKennas distilled in the mid 80s that run circles around the current product, I thought it would be fun to run through the years since then to see how the profile has changed. The grand side by side turned into a bit of a disaster though as there were just too many samples involved. In an attempt to salvage some sense of usefulness, I'm running through what vintages I have remaining in a more typical review style. On deck we have:
bottle
(Left) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel No. 232, Barreled on 04/19/93
(Right) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel No. 3035, Barreled on 03/14/06
Nose: Pretty typical sweet bourbon notes and some spice like eucalyptus. It's richer, sweeter, and has more oak depth than the current product which smells light and young by comparison.
Taste: Rich, syrupy bourbon flavors. The sweet notes are deep, the oak notes have a lot of depth, and the mouthfeel is hefty. I hate to keep saying this but it's almost like you can chew on this stuff. Tastes more condensed and has more flavor than it should for 10 years and 100 proof.
Thoughts: This is similar to the 1992 barrel that I just reviewed in that it's really dense for a 10 year old 100 proof product. Side by side, the current product tastes grainy, thin, and young. This one isn't quite as solid as the best of these I've had and I think the color is a great indicator of that because while it's darker it's not as stark as some other examples. All in all it's a rich and easy to drink hallmark bourbon.
Rating: B / B+
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond Arts & Crafts Review Series Part 2/7

Here is the start of a followup to a huge side by side tasting I did involving twenty years of Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond. The TL;DR version is after trying some amazing Henry McKennas distilled in the mid 80s that run circles around the current product, I thought it would be fun to run through the years since then to see how the profile has changed. The grand side by side turned into a bit of a disaster though as there were just too many samples involved. In an attempt to salvage some sense of usefulness, I'm running through what vintages I have remaining in a more typical review style. On deck we have:
  • Barrel No. 0083, Barreled on 12/05/86
  • Barrel No. 0208, Barreled on 05/01/92
  • Barrel No. 0232, Barreled on 04/19/93
  • Barrel No. 0324, Barreled on 05/09/95
  • Barrel No. 0328, Barreled on 05/20/96
  • Barrel No. 0842, Barreled on 10/24/01
  • Barrel No. 1024, Barreled on 05/30/02
bottle
(Left) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel No. 208, Barreled on 05/01/92
(Right) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel No. 3035, Barreled on 03/14/06
Nose: Condensed bourbon sweet flavors - like all the normal sweet notes you get from a regular bourbon but way more concentrated. 
Taste: More of the same from the nose - honey, graham cracker, maple syrup, vanilla and oak for days. It drinks and tastes like bourbon syrup. Super rich and oily mouthfeel for only 100 proof, I'd had barrel proofers that weren't this viscous. Tasting this side by side with the current product makes that taste like hot young garbage which is nuts because on its own I think regular off the shelf McKenna is pretty decent.
Thoughts: Like many of the pre-fire McKennas I've covered, all you have to do is look at the color difference between this and a current product to know there's something special going on here. I keep harping on this experience with these but it tastes way more concentrated than it should for a 100 proof bourbon yet without all the heat that typically comes when you ramp up the proof. This isn't the best of these I've had but it's certainly up there - just a wonderful, easy to drink, incredibly rich whiskey packed full of classic bourbon flavors.
Rating: B+ / A-
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond Arts & Crafts Review Series Part 1/7

Here is the start of a followup to a huge side by side tasting I did involving twenty years of Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond. The TL;DR version is after trying some amazing Henry McKennas distilled in the mid 80s that run circles around the current product, I thought it would be fun to run through the years since then to see how the profile has changed. The grand side by side turned into a bit of a disaster though as there were just too many samples involved. In an attempt to salvage some sense of usefulness, I'm running through what vintages I have remaining in a more typical review style. On deck we have:
  • Barrel No. 0083, Barreled on 12/05/86
  • Barrel No. 0208, Barreled on 05/01/92
  • Barrel No. 0232, Barreled on 04/19/93
  • Barrel No. 0324, Barreled on 05/09/95
  • Barrel No. 0328, Barreled on 05/20/96
  • Barrel No. 0842, Barreled on 10/24/01
  • Barrel No. 1024, Barreled on 05/30/02
bottle
(Left) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel #083; Barreled on 12/05/86
(Right) Aged 10 Years; 50.0% ABV; Barrel #3035; Barreled on 03/14/06
Nose: Typical caramel wood sweets, light young green wood note, and a little spice.
Taste: Creme brûlée sweets, a decent amount of oak and a bit of spice. Again there is a touch of a green wood, like a young sapling tree. It's not that it tastes young, there is just a strange young wood note in addition the older oak notes. There are some darker notes in the finish like cocoa but overall the whole profile is a bit muted.
Thoughts: I had high expectations for this one considering it was the oldest McKenna bottle I personally acquired. I was hoping for something close to the quality of the 1984 distilled bottles but it's not there. Tasting this side by side with a current bottle, it does taste noticeably richer, more sweet, has less grain notes, and has more oak depth. The condensed bourbon notes I mentioned in reviews other pre-fire McKennas are there but it's just not as impactful some of the best ones. While this is still better than the current offering, I think the best lesson to take away here is even in the pre-fire era of McKenna, older does not mean better.
Rating: B
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Baker's Bourbon Review

Baker's Bourbon is one of four products in the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection which was launched by former master distiller Booker Noe. The other three bourbons in the collection are Booker's, Basil Hayden, and Knob Creek. For various good and bad reasons those other three get discussed often but it's rare you hear anyone talk about Baker's. I'd say that's because price-wise it's never made sense versus Booker's or Knob creek before those products have gone up in price or lost an age statement over the last couple of years. Through all that, Baker's has been stable in price, still bears an age statement, comes at a very respectable proof, and yet still it seems largely slept on. 
This product is so far out of mind that I wouldn't have thought to buy it on my own but the crowd over at /r/bourbon voted it as the May community review so here we are. On the noteworthy side of things, according to their website, Baker's uses a special strain of jug yeast. I point that out because most folks get a lot of nuttiness in Beam products that we attribute to their yeast so it will be interesting to see if this deviates from the typical Beam profile.
bottle
Aged 7 Years; 53.5% ABV; Batch B-90-001; $58
Nose: Smells like classic, highish proof, middle aged bourbon. Vanilla/toffee/burnt wood sugars, etc. It checks all the boxes you'd expect for the age and proof.
Taste: Again no surprise here, it just tastes like middle aged highish proof bourbon. Burnt caramel and other wood sugars, almond toffee, light rye in the form of baking spices, and a decent amount of umpf from the 53.5 % ABV. The age is apparent as there is some wood depth but there are still some traces of the grainy new make corn spirit.
Thoughts: This tastes exactly like I'd expect for the stats which is a good thing. While it isn't as peanut forward as something like Booker's or Knob Creek, I'm still getting a slight nutty vibe in the form of nut toffee. All in all, this is a decent, bordering on good bourbon though it is somewhat boring. Therein likes its real fault as $60 for the most okayest bourbon profile is quite a stretch and probably the main reason not many care about this. 
Rating: B / B-
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Barrell Bourbon Batch 014 Review

Barrell is a company that has made a name for themselves sourcing and blending whiskies from various undisclosed distilleries in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana (which we can assume is MGP). In general, I've really liked all of their bourbons I've tried and a batch of their whiskey too. All of the Tennessee ones I've tasted were very George Dickel forward and while the Dickel profile is not for everyone, I find it unique and oddly gravitate towards it at times. That's probably why I like their bourbons as much as I do and why when I heard about this batch my curiosity was piqued. The highlights from barrellbourbon.com: 
We reserved a portion of Barrell Bourbon Batch 012 in the original barrels, which became the foundation for Barrell Bourbon Batch 014. We then selected additional 9 year-old bourbon barrels for their fruit notes, as well as a number of 14 year-old high rye barrels to deliver a bit of spice and oak. The result is complex and thoughtful - a nicely balanced spicy bourbon.
Distilled and aged in Tennessee and Kentucky
Selection of 9 and 14 year-old barrels
Aged in American white oak barrels
Mash bill: corn, rye, malted barley
While this isn't complete transparency in terms of ratios or distilleries, I think this is about the best we can get from a non distiller producer these days so kudos to them for continually publishing this information with each release. 
The only thing that's held me back from most of these has been the cost as I don't understand their pricing model. Every single release seems to be priced the same whether it's 4 years old or 13 years old. Considering they average for around $90 here, they are usually a hard pass however I was traveling recently and came across a bottle at a lower than usual price so I took a chance.
bottle
Aged 9 Years; 54.7% ABV; $70
Nose: A little bit of multivitamin Dickel funk, trademark Dickel high corn, and slight rye spice in the form of anise / menthol. There is also a touch of earthy bitterness which I suspect is the 14 year old component coming through. 
Taste: Corn, multivitamins, and sweet honey flavors up front. Lots of rye spice and light apple/pear fruit in the middle. A darker, almost bitter chocolate finish along with more spice. It's considerably spicy. It tastes like someone made a mixture of rye and corn bread with a little apple jam. The notorious multivitamin Dickel notes are there but they are rather mellow. While the nose smells like there is a higher ratio of Tennessee bourbon, the palate suggests it's more like 50/50. 
Thoughts: It is good but not great. At times I feel like there is too much going on as it's overly busy. There are a bunch of distinct elements at play that are all battling it out but it never really finds harmony. Spice is the only component that really shines through but beyond that, neither wood depth nor sweet notes really stand out and rather just seem to hang out in the back seat arguing with each other. Considering the quality of their previous bourbon releases, I'm a little disappointed. The 13 year old Tennessee bourbon (batch 009) still remains the best thing I've had from them.
Rating: B / B-
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Two Decades of Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond; Or, How Not to Do a Whiskey Tasting

bottles
For a long time, Henry McKenna Bottled in Bond has been a bourbon that flew under the radar of casual whiskey drinkers. That might be changing due to the fact that it just won bourbon of the year at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and there are now reports of people clearing the shelves (which is incredibly stupid) but that's not what we are here to talk about.
On paper, everything about Henry McKenna is great. It's a bargain at around $30, bottled at a respectable 100 proof, carries an age statement of 10 years (something that is more and more rare these days), and it's readily available. Heaven Hill has earned a solid reputation for making good bourbon and McKenna lives up to that standard, it's a solid daily driver / house bourbon material.
My real fixation with McKenna started though when a friendly redditor sent me a sample from the very first barrel of Henry McKenna ever dumped. Barrel 001 distilled on December 14th 1984 and bottled in December of 1994 making it "pre-fire" which means it was distilled at Heaven Hill's Bardstown Kentucky distillery before it was destroyed by a 1996 fire. I was floored by how good it was and to this day it remains one of the best bourbons I've ever had. All you have to do is look at the color side by side with a current bottling to know there was something magical going on back then. My curiosity had been piqued to the point that I sought out more samples, all of which were distilled on the same day. While they were all very good, the results were mixed - the 84-94 Barrel 008 wasn't nearly as good as the first barrel and the 84-94 Barrel 016 was somewhere between the two.
This got me wondering just how much variance there was in McKenna over the years so I went on a mission to seek out as many bottles or samples as I could. I had initially just planned to do reviews of each of them but along the way, my friend Alex G. and I got the idea to do one massive blind tasting of all of them to see how or if McKenna had changed since its introduction in the mid-90's. So, I headed over to his place one night, the samples were randomized, and we dove in. The candidates were:
BarrelDistilledPre-FireSource
#001612/14/84Alex G.
#008312/05/86
#014111/27/89
#020805/01/92
#023204/19/93
#032405/09/95
#032805/20/96
#037205/27/97/u/VulgarDisplayOfStuff
#072704/05/01Adam I.
#079709/28/01/u/Rev_Lijah
#084210/24/01/u/brettatlas
#128204/10/03/u/mikeczyz
#150805/04/04@bourbonooga
#303503/14/06

And the results?

Well, here's the thing. A lot of these were so close in core profile it was really hard to distinguish differences in quality between them. Both of us ended up having to do a lot of tasting to hone in on the standouts. Combine that with the sheer number of samples involved, and well, we (unintentionally) got drunk. In the end, my notes were more or less garbage and I wasn't sure they accurately reflected the rankings. 
In hindsight, this was a terrible idea. I've done plenty of tastings before, some of which have involved lots of samples - like back when Four Roses would roll out 10 barrels or when Alex and I did a Russell's Reserve pick at Wild Turkey and Eddie insisted that we try every barrel. Both of those experiences were a slog - yet each was somehow easier than this night.
As useless as they are, my rankings for the night were in groups. On top:
#0328 (05/20/96), #0208 (05/01/92), #0141 (11/27/89)
Those were pretty close with #0328 being the standout. The next group was:
#0016 (12/14/84), #0083 (12/05/86), #0372 (05/27/97)
Everything beyond that was a wash except #3035 which was a clear last place by quite a margin. It is telling that the newest bottling finished last for both of us and that my top 6 was all pre-fire barrels so there seems to be a correlation of age to quality if you want to trust these results.

Final Thoughts

Don't ever try to do a tasting like this if you want accurate results. Instead, I'd recommend breaking this many candidates down into groups of four or at most six, playoff bracket style. As a penance, over the coming weeks, I plan to do a normal review of each of the bottles I have remaining to try and salvage some dignity here.
Thanks to Alex for helping source these as well as hosting the tasting and to all those who provided samples to make this happen.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C917 vs Stagg Jr Batch 9 (131.9) Side By Side Reviews

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof and Stagg Jr are two of the most widely recommended, non private store pick, barrel proof bourbons on the market today. They were introduced around the same time, are about equally as obtainable, and priced similarly. While Stagg Jr got off to a bumpy start with its first two releases, since then quality has stabilized and the batches now are consistently pretty good. Elijah Craig Barrel proof on the other hand came out of the gate swinging and up to this point reigns as the best bang for your buck barrel proof bourbon on the market. Given its high age and proof, I've even gone so far as to say it's the next best thing to George T. Stagg because I find a lot of similarities between them. No runs last forever though and last year there was a batch of ECBP (A117) that while good I felt was a step down in quality. That surprised me since up to the point, every single batch had been consistently awesome. With that in mind, I've been a little more leery about assuming every release will be a knockout.
Fast forward to a couple months ago when I happened upon the latest batch of Stagg Jr. The moment I tasted it I instantly knew it was fantastic. That got me thinking - had the folks over at Buffalo Trace finally been able to put out a better non limited release barrel proof offering that Heaven Hill? Armed with a few weeks of notes and both bottles on their last leg I tasted them side by side one last time to decide a winner.
bottle

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C917

Aged 12 Years; 65.5% ABV; $60
Nose: Really hot initially, almost too hot. After a lot of air, it's woody and sweet like a vanilla custard.
Taste: A lot of oak up front, hefty dose of typical syrupy sweet wood flavors like caramel, honey, and vanilla in the middle, then a nutty oak heavy finish. There is a bit of a rye spice bite that rides the finish along with all that oak. The finish is also a touch heavy handed with dry oak and a slight bitterness.
Thoughts: It's pretty good but certainly not the best batch of this I've had. I've been picking up nutty flavors in Heaven Hill more and more lately which is no surprise since supposedly their yeast shares a family lineage with Beam. This isn't nearly as peanutty as most Beam whiskeys like Knob Creek or Bookers but it does detract from what is normally a wood sugar bomb. Beyond that, I'm finding the aggressive wood profile here just a touch overwhelming due to a slight drying bitterness. 
Rating: B / B+

Stagg Jr Batch 9 (131.9)
No Age Statement; 65.95% ABV; $50
Nose: Pretty beastly also but not as hot as the ECBP. More pronounced cherry, less oak, and more sugary sweet notes than the ECBP.
Taste: Cherries, cherries, cherries, and oak. The finish lingers with sugary cherries and other wood sugars. There is a lot of wood depth here which makes me think this is older than previous batches.
Thoughts: This is probably the batch of Stagg Jr I've ever had. It has a lot of wood presence but isn't completely dominated by oak notes. The fruity cherry notes also give it more complexity beyond just your typical bourbon sweets. Having just finally tried the 2017 release of George T. Stagg last night, this is right up there in terms of quality. I hate to give Buffalo Trace anymore hype than they already receive but this is a hell of a bourbon.
Rating: A-

Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Willett Family Estate Four Year Small Batch Rye Review

Willett is a brand I've covered many times with most those reviews having been of their earlier, well aged sourced products which is how they made a name for themselves. Those products are now mostly long gone or super expensive and hard to get when they do occasionally release them at the gift shop. What we have been seeing more of lately though is their in house distilled products which are finally starting to get some decent age.
I've had a mixed bag with Willett's self distilled products thus far. I liked the Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond, really liked a 4 Year Family Estate Single Barrel, was okay on the 3 Year Small Batch Rye but hated the 2 year small batch rye and the 80th Anniversary release. Fortunately I got to try this one before buying and liked it enough to bring some home.
bottle
Aged 4 Years; 74% rye; 57.5% ABV; Purchased in the Willett Gift Shop for $55 04/06/18
Nose: Wood sweets like vanilla/caramel and dry cinnamon powder spice. The nose leans more towards sweet than spicy which is surprising given that this is the their high rye mashbill. It's not hot at all for the proof and is rather nice.
Taste: A lot more intense than the nose. Lots of great typical bourbon sweet flavors up front but then a wallop of spearmint and baking powder spice in the middle and finish which lingers with a spicy tingle for quite a while. The intensity that you'd expect for 115 proof comes through loud and clear but is not overly hot. There's a lot of wood influence here and almost no real young grainy notes that you might expect in a 4 year old whiskey. The only real knock I can give is a little bit of artificial sweetener like splenda lingers once the spice dies down.
Thoughts: Color me impressed, this is good. Previous commentary on these small batch ryes have typically come with the disclaimer of "it's good for a young rye" or "it shows a lot of promise". I'm going to go beyond that and say this is already good right now with no caveats. I can't wait to see what this will taste like when it becomes a teenager but for now I'm very happy with where it is at.
Rating: B
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.

High West Double Rye Review

To say I am a fan of High West would be an understatement. Rendezvous Rye, Midwinter Nights Dram, and Bourye are all products that I quite like a lot. Though they didn't distill any of those products, all of them are fine examples of what is arguably High West's greatest strength - blending and finishing sourced whiskey.
Of course, High West isn't perfect so not all of their expressions turn out great. Yippee Ki-Yay is one that comes to mind that I thought tasted like a bad cocktail which I feel is due largely to its base whiskey - Double Rye. I've never been a fan of Double Rye as I feel it's a poor substitute for its older sibling Rendezvous. Ordinarily I would never consider reviewing it but since it came up as the April /r/bourbon Community Review I was left with little choice so here we go.
bottle
A blend of two straight ryes both at least two years old; 46% ABV; Selected by New Orleans Spirit Exchange; Thanks to /u/rhinusdax for the sample
Color: I rarely remark on color but I could not help but notice this is very light. It's more golden than brown which already isn't a good sign.
Nose: A ton of rye spice notes - cinnamon powder, spearmint, evergreen, eucalyptus, aloe. It's very spicy. Unfortunately there are also a lot of young alcohol notes - ethanol, menthol, isopropyl rubbing alcohol, bactine. Its quite a mess.
Taste: Taste isn't as bad as the nose but the same core flavors are there. Some woody sweet notes come in at the beginning of the palate, like honey and vanilla. Eucalyptus and spearmint spice notes start to take over in the mid palate and linger through the finish. There are also some off grassy notes that I typically associate with young craft whiskey. In the finish those young rubbing alcohol notes come roaring back and linger for quite some time. 
Thoughts: I've had worse but this is pretty awful stuff - I couldn't even finish the dram. Some try to say this is a good cocktail whiskey but I've been there and done that too and it's a good way to ruin a cocktail as well. If you want a good High West rye, stick to Rendezvous.
Rating: D-
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

High West Bourye Timeline and 2018 Review

Bourye is a blend of bourbons and ryes which High West has sourced form other distilleries over the years. I often see questions and misinformation about the provenance of each iteration so using various sources, I've put together a timeline of the batches.
2009
  • 10-year-old straight bourbon; 75% corn, 15% rye, 10% barley malt; unknown
  • 12-year-old straight rye; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 16-year-old straight rye; 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% malt; Barton, KY
Source: Back Label
2010, 2011
  • 10-year-old straight bourbon; 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley malt; Four Roses, KY
  • 12-year-old straight rye; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 16-year-old straight rye; 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% malt; Barton, KY
Bourye went on a hiatus for a few years only to be resurrected in 2015 with yet another new blend and every year since we've seen a new incarnation. All of the remaining was sourced from highwest.com.
2015
  • 9-year-old straight bourbon; 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 10-year-old straight rye; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 16-year-old straight rye; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 16-year-old straight rye; 80% rye, 10% corn, 10% malt; Barton, KY
2016
  • 9-year-old straight bourbon; 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 13-year-old straight rye whiskey; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 17-year-old straight rye whiskey; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
2017
  • A blend of straight bourbon and rye whiskeys aged from 10 to 14 years.
  • straight rye; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • straight rye; 53% rye, 37% corn, 10% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • straight bourbon; 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt; MGP, IN; 
2018
  • 14-year-old straight rye; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 13-year-old straight rye; 95% rye, 5% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 12-year-old straight bourbon; 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 11-year-old straight bourbon; 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt; MGP, IN
  • 11-year-old straight bourbon; 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley malt; MGP, IN
It's an interesting story over time. Early on it was Four Roses bourbon, MGP rye, and Barton rye; then MGP bourbon, MGP rye, and Barton rye; and now it's all MGP bourbon and rye. 
Historically, I've loved this blend as evidenced by my reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017. The whiskeys at play are of great pedigree, have respectable specs, and High West is known at being masterful blenders. Let's see if the trend continues this time around.

High West Bourye 2018

bottleNo Age Statement; 46% ABV; $75; Batch 17L19 (bottled December 2017)
Nose: Very woody and very sweet with a slight menthol twinge. Upfront is a lot of your typical woody bourbon sweets but towards the end it is more like spicy bubble gum sweets I get with ryes. There's a lot of wood influence here.
Taste: Tastes like the nose. There is a hefty dose of woody caramel sweets initially. The finish is spicy and sweet with cracked pepper, cinnamon gum, and some older wood notes. The older wood notes are giving it some dark cocao flavor that linger slightly bitter. 
Thoughts: Like previous iterations, it's a nice blend of wood, sweet, and some spice with plenty of depth. Having said that, for whatever reason, it's just not doing quite as much for me this time around. I don't even know if it's not as exciting as previous batches or I just have higher standards these days. I don't factor value into my reviews but I can't help but think at the price here, I could get a Four Roses private select and have money left over, so maybe I will start skipping these in the future. 
Rating: B
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.