My goal with this series of “Whisky Review Preamble” posts is to paint a clear picture of me and my whisky tasting process so you can decide on how much value to place on my whisky marks. A rating of 95 can only be useful if you trust the reviewer!
Whisky and Me
I have been seriously enjoying whisky since early 2012. I had tried Glenlivet before that (in think the year was 2005) but did not enjoy it. I probably drank it too fast, as a young twenty-something might do. When I revisited whisky in early 2012, it was a very different experience. A friend ordered me a glass of Macallan 18 at a wedding – a place where I was already a bit out of my element. Circumstances made me approach it without my earlier expectations, and I found it pretty tasty.
The next day I did a bit of research on the internet and found Ralfystuff and his blog at ralfy.com. I spent the day watching whisky videos, and I started researching which whiskies to buy first. I chose Glenmorangie 10, Laphroaig 10, and Talisker 10. That was the start of my journey. Incidentally, if you are just starting out with whisky tasting, I highly recommend Glenmorangie 10 and Laphroaig 10 – but I’ll save the details of that for another blog post.
I am a software engineer by trade, so I tend to come at processes with a technical mind. My workday is a mentally intense and fast-paced environment, and my specific job sometimes has me switching tasks a lot. Whisky is the other side of that environment for me; slow, specific, and only as mentally challenging as I decide I need. If I’ve had a long day, I’ll enjoy a less-pricey whisky (or no whisky at all), since I’m not able to focus on it completely. If my day has been less tiring, I’m able to enjoy a more challenging whisky.
My profession has ingrained character traits in me that apply to Whisky tasting (that I can think of right now) – precision and repeatability. With respect to precision, I tend to require more precision in my descriptions of things (to the detriment of my friends), and I hope that will carry over somewhat to my tasting notes. With respect to repeatability, my goal is to review each whisky under the same conditions (for example, I will always taste from a Glencairn, adding water only after nosing and tasting neat).
In the end I hope to create reviews that can be compared (at least somewhat) side-by-side to help you make a decision.