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”, our 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 32 of the 1,884 whiskies listed here would get an “A+” grade. Here’s how the scale works:
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.
Still time to get tickets for tomorrow night's tasting in Houston at Reserve 101! Tickets are $20, and all proceeds benefit the Rescued Pets Movement! We'll be tasting Reserve 101's own bottlings of Old Weller Antique and Knob Creek Single Barrel, along with Redbreast Lustau, the Lagavulin 8-year-old 200th anniversary bottling, Johnnie Walker Gold, and Yamasaki 12.
Tickets are available at https://t.co/KPgNGICVQg, and if you're not in the Houston area and want to support the Rescued Pets Movement (which helps find homes for pets all over the USA), please consider buying a ticket...you won't knock a local out of a seat at the tasting. If you're in the area, I hope to see you there!
Jim Boyko's career took him from the old Seagram's distillery in Waterloo, Ontario to the Canadian prairie in Gimli, Manitoba, and eventually around the world for Diageo. Once he got to Gimli, though, he and his family made the tiny town on the shore of Lake Winnipeg their home. Now retired, he shows up at the home of Crown Royal to lead the occasional tour for distillery guests. He'll share his stories with us on this week's WhiskyCast In-Depth, including the saddest day of his career when he was one of 210 Seagram's employees suddenly put out of work when the Waterloo distillery closed in 1992.
In the news, there's talk yet again of reviving whisky production at the old Dallas Dhu Distillery in Scotland, while another spirits company is investing in Irish Whiskey. Heaven Hill is about to wrap up yet another expansion of its Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, and has also unveiled this year's special Parker's Heritage Collection whiskey. We'll also find out about next month's Bourbon Women "Sip-osium" in Louisville and put four Texas whiskies to the test in this week's tasting notes.
Jim Boyko’s career took him from the old Seagram’s distillery in Waterloo, Ontario to the Canadian prairie in Gimli, Manitoba, and eventually around the world for Diageo. Once he got to…