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 3,293 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 named WhiskyCast’s Mark Gillespie as “Communicator of the Year” in the 2021 Icons of Whisky Awards! It was 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!
We'll look at the new distillery to be built on the shores of Islay's Laggan Bay on this week's WhiskyCast #podcast, along with a preview of this week's Kentucky Bourbon Benefit auction for flood relief! Listen with your favorite podcast app or at WhiskyCast.com.
The TTB will publish its proposed definition for American Single Malt whiskies tomorrow in the Federal Register, opening a 60-day public comment period. Here's a brief (updated) outline of the proposal, and we have more details in the news section at the WhiskyCast web site.
The TTB will publish its proposed definition for American Single Malt whiskies tomorrow in the Federal Register, opening a 60-day public comment period. Here's a brief outline of the proposal, and we have more details in the news section at the WhiskyCast web site.
This week's WhiskyCast has tasting notes for two new classics from Gordon & MacPhail, the Glenturret 12 year old, and the new Woodford Reserve Batch Proof. We'll also talk with Camper English, author of the new book "Doctors & Distillers," about the intertwined histories of alcohol and medicine. Listen with your favorite #podcast app or at WhiskyCast.com!
We have a poll over on Twitter after this week's podcast episode. Seems there's demand for Glencairn Glass to make a polycarbonate version of its trademark whisky glass available. Users cite outdoor use, poolside, and travel as good uses for one. The poll will run through Friday, but you can also share your opinions here.
This week on WhiskyCast, Jackie Zykan explains why she gave up the security of her corporate job as master taster at Brown-Forman's Old Forester whiskey to help launch the new Hidden Door Whiskey brand. We'll also have tasting notes for the debut Hidden Door release and much more! Listen with your favorite #podcast app or at WhiskyCast.com.
This week's WhiskyCast features author @ShelleySackier. Her new book "Make It a Double" is one of the few whisky books that's made me laugh out loud while reading...it combines great humor with solid whisky knowledge! (Photo courtesy Pegasus Books.)
This @JackDaniels_US Coy Hill High Proof lives up to its name...at 76.6% ABV, it could start its own #fireworks show! My tasting notes for it can be found on this week's WhiskyCast #podcast!
Whisky makers around the world depend on American White Oak trees, and we'll discuss a project aimed at ensuring the long-term future of White Oak forests on this week's WhiskyCast! We'll also have tasting notes for a whisky that could set off its own Independence Day fireworks show, too!
This week’s #HappyHourLive webcast will be a bit different…it’ll be an “ask Mark anything” show fueled by your questions! We’ll start right at 5pm NY Time on the WhiskyCast YouTube channel, Facebook page, Twitter, and Twitch.
Tasting notes are back on this week's WhiskyCast after a brief bout with Covid. We have notes for the new @RedbreastIrishWhiskey Kentucky Oak, @brothersbondbourbon Cask Strength, and @WyomingWhiskey's National Parks No. 2 Bourbon.
The nose knows what's going on in a glass of whisky, and we'll go deeper into how the nose works on this week's WhiskyCast. Dr. Paul Wise of Philadelphia's Monell Chemical Senses Center is a sensory researcher who can explain how the nose parses the many different aromas in a glass of whisky. We'll also have the week's whisky news and much more!
(Image from Shutterstock.)