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Top 10 Bullshit Alcohol-Related Top 10 Lists

by Oliver Klimek on December 10, 2012

The web just loves Top Ten lists, my Twitter feed is full of links to all kinds of booze-related Top Ten of whatever. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are informative, more often than not they are plain annoying.

And then there are the lists that make you scratch your head, either for their inaccuracy or for just being weird. Of course bullshit is in the eye of the beholder, so not every subjective “Top 10 Best…” list qualifies here even if I disagree with it.

This is my personal pantheon of alcohol-related bullshit I have stumbled intoupon. As this is not an ordinary Top Ten list, the items are not ranked, though.

The Most Expensive

Not surprisingly this is a very popular category of Top Ten lists. You might think things can’t get much more objective than a price tag, but still it’s so easy so get it wrong…

1. “The top 10 world’s most expensive liquors” (foodbev.com)

8 cognacs, 1 wine, 1 whisky. Low: £4900 – High: £138000

2. “Top 10 Expensive Whiskeys in the World” (toptenofcity.com)

Low: Midleton Very Rare for $138 – High: Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 for $38000

How modest… 138 bucks for the world’s 10th most expensive whisky.

3. “World’s Most Expensive 10 Whiskies” (nowpublic.com)

Low: Ladybank for $4700 – High: Macallan Fine & Rare 1926 for $75000

This list has been copied many times without credits, so it is unclear where it originated. The Ladybank phantom whisky is particularly interesting. And please note how the price of the Macallan 1926 differs from the previous list.

4. “Top Ten Most Expensive Liquors” (whistitcosts.com)

Low: Bruichladdich Forty for $2500 – High: Blackwood Diva Vodka for $1 million

Note: Here is a list that lists a $44 million limoncello on top, and it also includes the Macallan Cire Perdue. But still it is not comprehensive. And before you ask: No, I will not compile such a list, neither for whisky only nor for alcoholic drinks in general.

The Best

Many Top ten lists are of the “The Best” kind. As stated before, there is much subjectivity involved and such lists are very much a matter of taste. But there are some examples of this category that still offer genuine bullshit:

5. “Top 10 Whiskey Brands: Worth The Shot” (top100arena.com)

Do I sense a slight Irish bias here? 8 out of 10 are Irish, and most of them are from Cooley. Honi soit qui mal y pense.

6. “Best Whiskey – Unbiased, Data-Driven” (findthebest.com)

Admittedly not strictly Top Ten, but top-grade bullshit nonetheless. This is an automated algorithm that combines ratings from several sources into a single score. Nice idea to begin with, but a gold medal in a competition is worth 100 points, and even if it was just in the “most efficient paint stripper” category.

7. “Top 10 best alcoholic beverages in the world” (funstuffcafe.com)

This is essentially a hard-to-debate subjective ranking, but mixing up generic drinks like sake or absinthe with specific brands like George Dickel Tennessee Whisky and Guineess is a bit strange. And attributing the Caipiroska to Brazil really puts this into the bullshit bracket.

8. “Best Alcoholic Drink” (the-top-tens.com)

Here we have a fabulous example for the unfathomable powers of crowd sourcing. The ranking and the comments reveal more about the readers of the website than about the drinks.

The Weird

9. “Top 10 Alcohol consuming countries” (icohol.com)

You would expect some staightforward statistics here, and in fact there is one by the WHO that shows up quite often in Top Ten lists. But this website decided to use their own metrics. They actually stated what they used, but the results still are quite enigmatic. For some strange reason they seem to value beer higher than other drinks (“We grade a nation of beer drinkers on this list much higher than a nation of wine drinkers”). But the fact that Germany ‘only’ is on 7th place is explained with “The downfall on this list for Germany was that the majority of their alcohol consumption was mostly beer.” Oh well.

10. “Top 10 Low Calorie Cocktails” (ifood.tv)

Get drunker healthier? Is a glass of champagne a cocktail? Is vodka with diet iced tea appealing or appalling? Why does freezing and adding salt to a Margarita add 230 calories to the drink? Questions, questions…

Picture via flickr by pppspics

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