The number of whisky blogs on the internet has risen massively over the last couple of years and each contributes to a lively and vibrant whisky community online. Some say that there are too many, but the beauty of the online whisky community is that there is enough room for everyone's voice and opinions. The fact that each blog is written by different people, with different writing styles and with differing opinions is what makes it so interesting.
From the comments that we receive, a whisky blog seems to tap into something in people - they don't want to wade through endless pages of convoluted notes, they like up-to-date and honest reviews that are concise and describe whisky in layman's terms and they value the writer's personal opinions as these are perceived to be more genuine than manufacturer's notes or other PR material.
In 2010, we decided to champion some of the best whisky blogs that we had discovered since we first joined the whisky community in 2008 - click here to read the old list. We have now decided to update this list - it now includes new comers alongside some of our old favourites. As before, it would be unfair to rank these, as each offers something unique and which you prefer is up to you, so we have listed them in alphabetical order. A similar list of our favourite whisky websites is available by clicking here.
Cask Strength - www.caskstrength.net
This is one of our fellow London-based blogs and we regularly bump in to founders Neil Ridley and Joel Harrison at functions around the city. Cask Strength started roughly the same time as us in 2008 and offers an eclectic mix of informative, highly descriptive tasting notes and hot topics relating to the industry. It feels different from many other blogs and you will often see it described as irreverent, but it is better than that as Neil and Joel have forged themselves great reputations in the industry as accomplished writers and their annual Best In Glass has become a highly regarded industry award.
Dr. Whisky - www.drwhisky.blogspot.co.uk
One of the pioneers of the online whisky blog, Sam Simmons began Dr. Whisky over seven years ago when there were very few online resources available to whisky fans. His Malt Missions, which are now totalling over 400, hold legendary status and offer probably the most descriptive and thought provoking tasting notes available anywhere. He also offers background information to the whisky in question, giving it context. He may not now post as regularly as in the past, due to his current role as Global Ambassador for Balvenie, but the blog is a vast and valuable whisky resource. Go check out what the Doctor has ordered.
Edinburgh Whisky Blog - www.edinburghwhiskyblog.com
Lucas Dynowiak and Chris Hoban write one of our favourite blogs and cover pretty much anything whisky related – comprehensive tasting notes, new releases, hot topics, industry news, interviews with experts and the occasional rant . They are lucky to be situated in Edinburgh and have brought their industry experience to the world from there for the last four years. They are also never frightened to offer a controversial viewpoint that others may think but dare not write. The blog has become so popular that they now have three other contributors and it underwent a major revamp/redesign last year.
Guid Scotch Drink - www.guidscotchdrink.com
GSD is a cracking blog written by Jason Johnstone-Yellin from his base in the USA. It was formerly an extension of the Whisky Host website but Jason went solo about three years ago – the blog’s name pays homage to a line from the famous Robert Burns poem Scotch Drink. The blog offers mostly whisky reviews (complete with thorough tasting notes), plus latest news and various other snippets of information and video clips. In addition, Jason runs tasting events and leads private whisky tours to Scotland, as well as being one of the founder members of the new independent bottling company Single Cask Nation.
Nonjatta - www.nonjatta.blogspot.co.uk
Nonjatta is the most comprehensive guide to Japanese whisky and the Japanese whisky industry that is available in English. It was founded in 2007 by Chris Bunting, a British journalist living in Tokyo. Now the majority of writing is done a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts including Chris of Whisky Wall, Ruben of Whisky Notes (see below) and Stefan of Tokyo Whisky Hub. There is also an impressive list of guest writers including industry legends such as Ulf Buxrud and Serge Valentin. The back catalogue of tasting notes is extensive and other features include the history and origins of Japanese whisky.
Scotch Odyssey - www.scotchodysseyblog.com
The premise of this blog was simple when it was first written back in April 2012 – one boy, one bike, one whisky-making country, 42 distillery tours, 1,400 miles, six weeks. The boy was James Saxon, the whisky-making country was Scotland and he spent that six weeks, on that one bike cycling around nearly half of the country’s whisky distilleries. The story of his journey was fascinating and offers a new perspective on the whisky industry. Since then, the blog has grown to cover many wider issues of the industry that are not covered in other blogs, plus a good helping of descriptive whisky tasting notes.
The Whisky Wire - www.thewhiskywire.com
This blog was started in April 2010 by whisky enthusiast Steve Rush and he has carved himself a real niche in the industry with it. The Whisky Wire combines news, expressive tasting notes and interviews with whisky industry insiders. However, for us the real triumph of Steve’s blog are his Tweet Tastings which he now runs on a regular basis. These have become industry recognised and involve a brand sending samples sent out to whisky fans. The tasting then takes place from all locations of the globe at a set time with Steve hosting, and the last few have featured in the Top 10 trending topics on Twitter in the UK
Whisky Fun - www.whiskyfun.com
Serge Valentin is the brains behind Whisky Fun and he almost single handedly pioneered whisky online. Serge started Whisky Fun over 10 years ago, making him the grandfather of the online whisky community. He also part-runs the iconic Malt Maniacs website. Whisky Fun is an eclectic mix of highly detailed tasting notes, news and music/concert reviews, which offer a unique air of quirkiness. The back catalogue that has built up over time is massive and almost any whisky that you care to try and find will be on there - you must check it out. A unique and excellent blog, that all other whisky blogs aspire to be.
Whisky Israel - www.whiskyisrael.co.il
Gal Granov battles the astronomical Israeli tax rates on alcohol to bring his expert and descriptive tasting notes on Whisky Israel. The blog was started around three years ago and he has already racked up an impressive number of whisky reviews, totaling over 500. There is also a regular news feature and other general ‘whisky geekery’, as Gal puts it. The blog is for beginners and connoisseurs alike and has a distinct ‘no nonsense’ approach. Gal is also highly active on Twitter and Facebook, so if you are on either of those social media platforms and like whisky, then you have probably met him already.
Whisky Notes - www.whiskynotes.be
This blog is written by Ruben Luyten, who is based in Belgium. Whisky Notes has only been going for about four years and Ruben has already built up an impressive back catalogue of over 1000 tasting notes of whiskies, including some that are only available in mainland Europe. Most of the blog posts are whisky reviews and these are concise yet descriptive with a little background information about the bottling included. Other articles include whisky news and views, bar reviews and discussion about what is going on in the industry.
If you regularly read these 10 fine blogs, plus Whisky For Everyone (naturally), then you have pretty much all facets of the world of whisky covered. In addition, there are many other good whisky blogs on the internet – we could have done an alternative Top 10 including ten different ones to be honest – and some of these can be found on a separate page by clicking here.