I know Jim Murray and his bible-thumping book has been named here on more than one occasion. However, I'm naming and shaming Jim Murray for corrupting the whisky drinking youth of the last decade or so.
I feel Jim Murray is probably the biggest influence for over hyped and over rated whisky here on WB. Jim Murray is the rock star of whisky to the new whisky drinker (at least in North America anyways) and when Jim rates whiskies like he does; mundane in the 90-95 and good to not-so great in the 96 & up range, this may explain the rampant of high ratings here on WB.
Yes I know, new whisky drinkers tend to over rate early on in their whisky journey, but combined that with Jim and the way he rates whisky? Think about it for minute, Jim promotes (mostly) mundane to not very good whisky with sky high ratings through his books, some will agree with him due to ignorance, most won't. But, the floor has been set so now when these drinkers read Jim's books sip something better, what rating are they to give?
Jim along with the industry as a whole have been shilling lower quality whisky at ever higher pricing along with a higher ratings floor to back it all up.
The only bottle I own that was a Jim Murray whisky of the year is Old Pulteney 21yo. I only purchased it to try when I heard it was being axed. I liked it so much I purchased more, but not because it has the "Whisky of the Year 2012" sticker on it at 96.5. I'm sure the batch that was rated by Jim was better than mine as is was many batches ago (I know that, but many new to whisky don't, they actually thinks it's all the same).
So you have all these bottles like Crown Royal, Old Pulteney 21yo, Ardbeg Uigeadail and so on with theses "Whisky of the Year ?" stickers on them promoting these high ratings.
There's your floor.