Producing WhiskyCast has given me the opportunity to taste some really amazing whiskies, and I’m pleased to share my tasting notes with you here. You can search my entire database of tasting notes from this page, and I hope you’ll find it useful.
My scoring system is completely subjective, and I don’t pretend that it’s anything else. I score based on my impressions of a whisky’s nose, taste, and finish. I want something discernible in all three — in other words, a whisky that noses and tastes well, but has a flat finish will score less than what I consider a well-balanced whisky that has all three elements in tune.
I’ve often been accused of being a “high scorer”, but let me explain the scale I use for assigning scores. I decided to use the same scale as the academically rigorous high school my daughters attended. While most high schools would rank any grade above 90 as an “A” and scores between 80 and 90 as a “B”, their school sets the bar higher at 93 points for an “A” and 85 points for a “B”. By the way, an “A+” is anything 97 points or higher. Using that scale, only 38 of the 3,185 whiskies listed here would get an “A+” grade. Here’s how the scale works:
By the way, a little bit of math shows that only 6% of the whiskies I’ve scored have received 95 points or more. This proves my point that there are a lot of very good whiskies, but very few great ones.
Finally, please don’t take these ratings as anything more than what they are: the grade of one individual whisky lover. If you want to use them as a guide, that’s fine…but remember that everyone has his or her own sense of what a great whisky should be, and these scores are nothing more than my own academic exercise in that pursuit. There is no way to fairly compare scores and notes from different whisky critics, since each of us has our own unique sensory memories and scoring methods.
Click the "Search" button to bring up a window with the various search options.
You can search by the brand name of a whisky, distillery, or a specific country using the “name” and “country” boxes only.
Scotland and the USA (and use “USA”, not “United States”) are the only countries with regional designations, and entering terms like “Speyside” or “Kentucky” in the region box will return whiskies from those regions only.
“Type” refers to the type of whisky, such as Single Malt (all countries), Blended Scotch, Bourbon, etc. “Bottler” refers to the company responsible for bottling the whisky, and official distillery bottlings are labeled as “Distiller”.
You can also enter the name of an independent bottler in this box to see results for that specific company, such as Gordon & MacPhail or Duncan Taylor.
Finally, entering a number in the “Score” field will return all whiskies with that specific score.
We’re humbled and proud that Whisky Magazine has named WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie as “Communicator of the Year” in the 2021 Icons of Whisky Awards! It’s only the second year that this award has been presented on the global level, and thanks to all of you for listening along with our sponsors. Without your support over the years, this wouldn’t have been possible and we are truly grateful!
Still catching up while I recover from the #concussionfromhell, but this week's WhiskyCast just dropped! We have the latest on today's big changes at @johnniewalker, a chat with the founders of @LostLanternWhiskey, and a royal "oops" story from @TheGlenGrantscotch's Dennis Malcolm! Listen with your favorite #podcast app or at WhiskyCast.com.
Took a few extra days, but we have a new WhiskyCast #podcast in time for the weekend! F. Paul Pacult joins us with the story behind his new history of @buffalotrace. We'll also have the latest whisky news and much more! Listen with your favorite podcast app or download it at WhiskyCast.com.
Slowly getting better, but not to the point where I can sit at the computer with lights and a camera…no webcast again this week, but the #podcast version of our last webcast with @RanaldWatson and Findlay Ross of @Springbank1828 is now available!
It took three days to produce, but we're back with a new episode of WhiskyCast! @RoyalSalute Master Blender @whiskyblenderdude joins us on this episode with his latest challenge…creating a #whisky to match the decanter (It's usually the other way around)!
If you missed last night's #HappyHourLive webcast with @springbank1828's Ranald Watson and Findlay Ross, you missed a lot – including confirmation of plans for another distillery in #Campbeltown! The on-demand replay is available now at the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, and the #podcast version will be available later this week!
@whiskyblenderdude created a special blend of @royalsalute 21-year-old to go with this special decanter design by Richard Quinn to kick off the brand's new Couture Collection. Sandy tells us about the process of creating that new blend on the next WhiskyCast #podcast!
The Whisky Fairy delivered a sample of the new @redbreastirishwhiskey PX Edition today, along with the @redbreastwhiskeyus Lustau Edition that make up the new Iberian Series! Tasting notes on the next episode! #whiskycastsponsor
The podcast version of our latest #HappyHourLive webcast with Ashley and Colby Frey of Nevada's @freyranchdistillery, actor @BethBehrs, and Gareth Howells of @DewarsAberfeldy is now available wherever you get your #podcasts, and it's our 900th episode of WhiskyCast, too!