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!
Our latest podcast has an #exclusive interview with John Campbell on his move from Islay's Laphroaig Distillery after 27 years to join Lochlea Distillery in Ayrshire as production director and master blender. We'll also have the latest whisky news, tasting notes, and much more (including a new WhiskyCast sponsor)! Listen with your favorite #podcast app or at WhiskyCast.com.
Just finished one of the first interviews with John Campbell since he announced that he's joining Lochlea Distillery in Scotland after 27 years at Laphroaig. We'll have the interview on the next episode of WhiskyCast!
Ready to get back to work after a long weekend? Good thing there's a new WhiskyCast episode to help keep you going! We'll talk with Dan Callaway of Bardstown Bourbon Company, arguably one of the most aggressive distilleries riding the wave of Bourbon's global growth. Listen with your favorite #podcast app or at WhiskyCast.com.
Here’s a look at the Rosen Rye distilling project at @mount_vernon featured on the latest WhiskyCast #podcast. @NPR-style segments like that one take a lot of work, but they’re also a lot of fun to do!
While the Friday night live webcasts are on hiatus, we're still producing new podcast episodes of WhiskyCast each week! This week, we'll take you to George Washington's Distillery at Mount Vernon in Virginia, where a team of craft distillers gathered earlier this month to help revive a rare type of Rye Whiskey. Rosen Rye almost disappeared from the whiskey world, but a unique project saved this heirloom grain. We'll have that story and much more! Download the #podcast at WhiskyCast.com or with your favorite podcast app.
Our Friday night #HappyHourLive webcasts are going on hiatus for the holiday season, and will return in early January. I'm still recovering from the #ConcussionFromHell, and this will allow me to focus on that while producing the podcasts each week. Thanks for your support!
Many distillers will use a piece of burlap to ensure a tight seal between the bung and the barrel, and that can make for an interesting photo such as this one at @WestlandWhiskey warehouse on Washington's Olympic Peninsula in our Whisky Photo of the Week.
The Whisky Fairy was busy delivering these whiskies today! We'll be talking about them on today's #HappyHourLive webcast today at 5pm NY time on Twitter, @Twitch, the WhiskyCast @YouTube channel, and our Facebook page! Join us as we celebrate the 16th anniversary of the very first WhiskyCast #podcast today!
We're excited to welcome a new #WhiskyCastSponsor! Please join us in welcoming Scarabus, the Islay single malt Scotch #Whisky from @hlaingwhisky, as the new sponsor for the Your Voice segment on the #podcast each week! We're grateful for their support and the support from all of our sponsors!
Just dropped our latest episode as we celebrate the 16th anniversary of WhiskyCast tomorrow! We'll talk with Kim and Tom Bard of @thebarddistillery about mixing monster trucks and whiskey, along with the week's #whisky news and more! Listen with your favorite #podcast app or at WhiskyCast.com.
Left the house today for the first time since the concussion to visit the folks at George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon as they distilled a batch of rye with heirloom grains. More coming soon…