I’ll use this page to provide categorized links to my most-used whisky resources on the internet.
- Malt Madness – Directly affiliated with Malt Maniacs and WhiskyFun, you can hit those sites using the tabs at the top. On the next row of tabs, you can get great whisky information on the “Beginner’s Guide” tab, and distillery info (and related reviews) on the “Distillery Data” tab.
- Whisky For Everyone – I’ve been turning more and more to this site as they continue to add great content about distilleries, the whisky making process, and interesting whisk(e)y trivia. Check out the links at the top of the page for “Whisky basics”, “Whisky regions”, etc.
- Distillery Map – Part of the “Scotsman Whisky – A definitive Guide” web site, I haven’t explored the whole site much yet, but I keep a link to this interactive map of distilleries. It’s pretty good, although the whole site renders a little funny in the Safari web browser (huge left margin).
- Distillery pronunciations – Audio files with pronunciations of distillery names by an ex-chairman for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Although, a couple of the pronunciations seem to be at odds with what I’ve read and heard elsewhere (like Caol Ila). Maybe these have multiple accepted forms.
- Ardbeg Project – If you want to know anything about Ardbeg, this site is shaping up to be really cool. Now…do we have volunteers to create similar sites for other distilleries? 🙂
- whisky-distilleries info – There is an interesting page on this web site that lists the distilleries by owner. Click on a distillery link to see more info, as well as reviews of that distillery’s expressions.
- Ask Richard Paterson – Now you can get direct answers to your whisky-related questions from a master blender! [New!]
- How to taste whisky (Richard Paterson) [Video link] – Here’s an entertaining video from singlemalt.tv featuring Richard Paterson (“The Nose”), master blender for Whyte and Mackay. I like to show this, or explain it to people I’m trying to introduce to whisky. Especially the concept of “intruducing yourself” to the nose.
- How to taste whisky (Gerry Tosh)[Video link] – Another video from singlemalt.tv about how to taste whisky (even though it’s listed as if it were simply an HP 12 tasting). This one is with Gerry Tosh, head of brand education for Highland Park. Watch this video and the Richard Paterson video and take away from them what works for you. I find both to offer great insight into the scotch tasting process.
- Whisky Wheel – This is a link to the Whisky Magazine tasting wheel. It takes a lot of the descriptions that you’ll read in reviews and groups them into categories, making it easier for you to make sense of the whisky tasting lexicon.
- Whisky Classifications– Whisky distilleries clustered by characteristic. This is great for figuring out what other whiskies you might want to try based on your preferences for the ones you’ve tried. It’s great, as it puts taste over geographic boundary. For example, Talisker ends up with a bunch of Islay distilleries, which is appropriate, as it’s often treated as kind of an honorary Islay malt based on its peat and smoke characteristics.
Here’s where I start when I want to research a particular whisky expression
- WHISKYFUN.COM by Serge – Select a distillery on the left side, then look for the desired expression. This is THE go-to source for whisky reviews. Top notch tasting notes and lots of them!
- WhiskyNotes.be Blog – Ruben has great tasting notes and puts out new, well written posts at an amazing rate. He’s become my #2 source after Whiskyfun. Especially for keeping an eye out for “interesting” independent bottlings.
- Malt Advocate – John provides very concise and useful notes. I check both the Review archives for Malt Advocate magazine, and John Hansell’s blog.
- Whisky Magazine – Notes, ratings and forum discussions. I used to have this listed at #2, but over time, I’ve found myself going to the above sources first. I do still spend a lot of time on the Whisky Mag forums, though. A great group of enthusiasts there…
- Whisky Pages – A pretty good selection of reviews…the selection of expressions within a range can be hit and miss, but for what they do have, I find myself agreeing with their ratings more often than not.
Next, I’ll hit the following sites:
- LA Whisk(e)y Society – Notes and ratings from members, sometimes a particular expression will have a whole bunch of ratings, so it’s interesting to see how it averaged out, and how consistent the opinions were.
- Whisky Emporium – Keith Wood has recently posted a ton of tasting notes up on his web site. He doesn’t score them (which if fine), but he does provide his overall impression and talks about his preferences between bottlings, which is really all I try to accomplish when I assign ratings.
- YouTube Subscriptions
- Ralfy – Great scotch reviews, and on-location video blogs. Entertaining personality, and you get to hear how somebody from Scotland pronounces some of these distillery and expression names.
- Peatluvr – Entertaining whisky reviews that I enjoy watching, even if he does like Ledaig 10 more than anybody has a right to. 🙂
- IslayScotchWhisky – Appears to be on hiatus right now, but has a pretty good stock of whisky reviews on hand to review.
- Singlemalt.tv – These folks have been adding to their video library at a pretty good clip lately. I linked to a couple of great videos up in the Whisky Information section, as well as other videos in various blog posts. Now if they would just add a video search feature.
- Whiskycast – Subscribe to this podcast in iTunes and listen to it on your commute. Mark has a lot of great industry insider guests.
- The Whisky Exchange (TWE) – Amazing selection and great prices. Expensive shipping if you buy just one, but you get a tracking number, and once it hits the states, it gets overnighted to your house.
- Loch Fyne Whiskies – Good prices, some exclusive deals, and cheaper to ship a single bottle than TWE. Uses regular air mail, so a little slower than TWE, and no tracking number, but I’ve not had any problems. Newest releases posted to Twitter.
- Royal Mile Whiskies – I’ve heard good things about them, but haven’t ordered from there myself yet.
- bkblankenship on eBay (United States) – I’ve bought Glencairn glasses and watchglass covers on multiple occasions from bkblankenship with good results.
- Specialty Bottle – This is where I’ve purchased my Clear Boston Round sample bottles (with polyseal caps and shrink bands).
- whiskysamples.eu – Purchase 3 cl whisky samples for sought-after and rare single malts [My whiskysamples review]
Forums and other “Social” sites
Forums worth checking out for information, and to chat with others sharing an interest in whisky. You’ll definitely see some overlap in membership between these different sites. [Todo: Add descriptions]
- Whisky Magazine – Very active forums, and the place I started when my interest in whisky was picking up steam.
- Spirit of Islay – Warehouse 4 – Lots of great tasting notes and Islay-specific info on the forums. Also check out the main Spirit of Islay site, which Gordon has done a great job on.
- Whisky Whisky Whisky – There are a lot of parallels between this forum and the Whisky Magazine one (similar long-running threads). Mark has done a great job with this forum. Check it out!
- Whisky Connosr – A great looking Whisky Social Networking site. Jean-Luc has been adding great new features at a breakneck pace. It’s really coming together, and the membership is growing rapidly.
Blogs I subscribe to:
- Caskstrength.net – A 2008 “drammies” winner, Joel and and Neil usually provide some kind of entertaining story, then notes on the whisky(s) they’re tasting.
- Dr. Whisky – Entertaining whisky tasting notes in his “Malt Missions.” I had been following this blog, but his posts had slowed down when I first created this list. I guess he was busy working in Scotland at the time. Lucky bastard…
- Dubber & Clutch – I enjoyed following them on their trip to Jura. They’re not always active with the blog, but when they are, it’s entertaining.
- Edinburgh Whisky Blog – Check out their rating system. Quite unique!
- Islay Blog – Great blog if you’re an Islay fan. This really is an “Islay” blog, not just a whisky blog, although he does discuss whisky, and does regular internet round-ups that include links to Islay whisky stories and blog posts. Follow Armin on Twitter and check out his awesome daily pictures.
- What does John know (Malt Advocate) – A must-read blog. John is the publisher of Malt Advocate, and an “industry insider” who gets the scoop on all of the latest whisky happenings.
- The Whisky Exchange Blog – Tim Forbes from The Whisky Exchange does a great job with their blog. This is his voice, not just a company “what’s new” list.
- Whisky for Everyone – I already linked to their main site in the Information section. Be sure to check out the blog for great tasting notes, along with interesting info about the corresponding distillery and/or expression.
- Whisky Notes – Be careful about following Ruben’s blog. You’re going to be jealous of all of the great whiskies he samples. Great notes, too.
- Whisky Party – These guys started blogging about the same time I did. Not only do I enjoy reading their reviews, but they post regular “best in blog” updates with links to the latest whisky-related posts from around the internet.
- The Scotch Blog – Kevin Erskine is the author of “The Instant Expert’s Guide to Single Malt Scotch”, and this is his blog. Some fine news postings, but his opinion pieces are particularly interesting. Worth following.
- Guid Scotch Drink blog [Update]- Jason has become quite the prolific blogger! He’s been posting 6 blog posts each week for quite some time now. Great features like “Say What?!” and his Twitter interviews, plus lots of tasting notes and guest posts. Make sure you get this one added to your blog roll.
- Distant Thunder Whisky Club – I think this looks like a fun group to be a part of. Their good-natured enjoyment of whisky comes through in the posts, and they do a good job of explaining why they do/don’t like a whisky without being pretentious about it.
- Whisky Israel – Gal and Kfir have created this new English whisky blog as an off-shoot from their awesome Hebrew food & wine blog. If you like peat, keep an eye on their blog. Gal is a huge peat freak. 🙂
- Jason’s Scotch Whisky Reviews – Hmm…I thought I had added Jason’s blog in here a long time ago. Jason is another guy like me with no industry ties, but an appreciation for the water of life. I enjoy reading his notes and stories about the whiskies he tries.
- Malt Imposter – Here’s another one I’ve been following for a while, but forgot to add to my Resources page. A humorous take on whisky tasting notes that serves to both entertain and remind us not to take ourselves too seriously when discussing whisky. If one of my reviews resembles theirs too closely, but I’m being serious, I’ll know it’s time for a reset!
- The Casks – [New] I’ve been enjoying Peter’s blog for a while now, and just realized I need to add it to my Resources page. Really high quality whisk(e)y reviews being posted at breakneck speed. How does he do it?
- Whisky Critic – [New] Another whisky lover, Martin actually lives in Scotland. I enjoy reading his reviews, even though his great description of The Dalmore King Alexander is tempting me to shell out more $$$ than I want to for a bottle! 😉
- Whisky Boys – [New] Jim, Dougie and…Nicola? Tons of great tasting notes. I’ve been visiting their site for a while now. Definitely worth checking out. You get three sets of tasting notes in one. Plus, they get bonus points for the cool cork graphics they use for their ratings. 🙂
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