Scotland: Whisky & Distilleries
For about 10 years now, the website whisky-distilleries.info is online, providing valuable information to the general public and has contributed to the success of Scotch Whisky, specially in French speaking countries.
The forum associated to the site is very active and is at the origin of some active whisky clubs in France.
A hard core of about one hundred whisky aficionados are very active on the forum, sharing experiences and tasting notes, helping newbies in their choices regarding whisky.
All the regular members of the forum are experienced whisky lovers who use to buy as much whisky as they can. Many of them are sharing samples as whisky gets more expensive every day.
The visit statistics of the site are available: http://www.whisky-distilleries.info/Publicite_EN.shtml
In addition of those figures, between 500 and 800 (depending of the period in the year) visitors are reading the topics on the forum.
Early 2011, the idea rose to organise blind tasting sessions with participation of the most experienced tasters on the forum.
The idea was to build a system where all parties would be winners.
In short, here is the way it works:
- Producers, bottlers, importers or retailers send me one or more bottles they want to be reviewed by a large panel of tasters (between 20 and 27 for each session).
The tasters get a sample without any other indication than a number. The samples contain 2,5 cl (this is why it is not possible to have more than 27 participants for a session). To be completely honest, I limit the number of taster to 23, keeping a few cl as a salary for the work done... This is a very low salary, considering the huge administration work it represents for me...The producers are completely free to use the tasting notes.
Most of the tasters are active members of the forum. They use the same nickname on the forum and for the WDTS. So it is rather easy to get an idea of their tasters profile.
To be completely honest, not everybody is currently an active member of the forum. One of the planned enhancements is to provide more information about the taster himself, by publishing his tasters profile. This will happen in the near future. Tasters are coming from several countries: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Luxemburg.
Amongst the tasters team, there are some professional retailers too. They probably have another approach to whisky than the real aficionado. This because they care about their own customers...
The style of the tasting notes are very different from one taster to another. Some are very prolix while other just describe shortly what they are tasting.
All of them give a quotation on a scale of 100. Here too, there is no real standard... but the average is meaningful of the appreciation of the whisky by the members of the jury which can be a good indication for the readers to buy or not.
My role is double. I am one of the tasters (and because of the administration role I have in addition, my tastings are the only ones which are not blind - which is rather strange, knowing most of the tasting notes on the site are "blind").
The administration role consists of trying to get more and more bottles to taste, select them for the different sessions, gather and translate the notes and finally publish them on the site and on the newsletter.
Sampling and expedition of the samples is outsourced.
The public can read the notes and decide to buy or not the whiskies presented. Retailers also are interested in advices of whisky lovers.
The WDTS summary is published on the home page of the site, and since recently, a ad campaign on the site refers to the WDTS in order to increase their visibility.
Whisky is an alcoholic drink. Let's prefer quality to quantity as the abuse of alcohol beverages can damage the health. Consuming alcoholic drinks during pregnancy, even in small quantities, can seriously affect the health of the child. Consumption of alcohol impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.
This site does not collect any private data from it's visitors. Is is purely static.
The tasting notes
The production areas
|WDTS: blind tasting sessions||List of all distilleries||How whisky is made||Central Highlands, Eastern Highlands, Northern Highlands,Western Highlands|
|Recent tastings||Distillery owners||Whisky history||Speyside|
|Visitors notes||The independent bottlers||All the bottles in collection||Lowlands|
|Post your own notes||The distilleries in their historical context||By order of preference||Islay|
|Interactive map of the distilleries||By order of value for money||Campbeltown|