Recently, John Hansell opined about a bad reaction to his giving a whisky a low score. There wasn't any indication on who did it, but it was evident that it happens enough times to give him trouble. People's bad reactions to scores below their expectation is not surprising. It's like lowballing a seller when you're buying a house: the seller is taking it personally that you don't think his home (note the emotional attachment) is worth as much as the seller feels it should be. The buyer has no attachment to the house so his price is probably more accurate, but that doesn't mean the seller's feelings aren't hurt.
So this is one of the major reasons I don't score alcohol: No matter how objective the scoring system, someone is going to take offense at it. I might not care if they get offended, but why make up a system that, by design, causes such a negative emotional reaction?
Along the same lines, I don't actually make tasting notes. Sure I'll throw some together for a tasting event, but that's largely because they're expected. But I find comparative analogies to be more helpful. People know what they like, and tend to like things similar to their existing tastes. Do you like Irish Whiskey? You'll probably like Springbank more than Lagavulin. Big fan of Macallan? Try a Glenfarclas, and you'll probably be happy. Not a big fan of the "pine cone" gins? Try G'vine, it's the anti-gin gateway drink.
This comparative approach feeds into the closest thing I do to an actual score: suggesting something is or isn't a good buy. Any liquor that's not as good as its closest comparison AND costs more money just isn't worth the money. On the flip side, if there's a liquor that's better than its closest rival and costs less, then it's a good buy. Why pay $25 for something that isn't better than something that costs $15? Call it a different approach to buyer's remorse, but knowing that something is both good and cheap is a delight.
My point in all of this is that we all have our own versions of tasting notes and they're internalized memories of what we've had in the past. We all rate these drinks in a massively subjective way because smells cause such emotional reactions. This is why comparative analogies work so well when you're talking about alcohol. The "tastes like" comparison is rarely so far off the mark that people will think you're smoking crack. But if you say something has a "leathery" texture and someone else thinks that it tastes like "wet dog playing in mud", they're going to think the first person is off their rocker. Even though, really, they're probably the same taste.