To keep the nose and palate in. You might notice that there are no scores. There’s a good reason for this. I hate scoring. I’ve always had to, but as this is my website and I’m not beholden to others’ whims, I can do what I’ve always wanted to – grade by a star system.

This gives bands of excellence, rather than the frankly absurd idea that you can define quality by a number. Stars give a degree of flex, they operate in bands of excellence. Maybe it will also guide eyes away from ratings and towards the words.

Oh, and what is tasted will be rated according to its competitive set.

Rating system

* Only useful if you need a solvent
** Somewhat disappointing.
*** This is good! I’ll happily have a dram thank you.
**** Hits the spot. I’ll have another.
***** Exceptional. Hold me back!


Pleasing to the pocket and palate. Edinburgh, Girvan … and Africa

A quartet of drams which won’t break the budget. All hover around the £40 mark. You know it…

bush 30

An Irish Trio: Bushmills ahoy!

An Irish trio: two from Bushmills’ Causeway Collection and a single grain from those cheeky chaps at Simply…


A December Roundup

A round up of some new (and newish) releases including the new batch of Traigh Bhan from Ardbeg,…

Watt Highland

Watt whisky?

Two independents this week. There’s a look at the first tranche of bottlings from the brand spanking new…

Blue Spot (4)

Spot The Whiskey

With the arrival of Blue Spot, Mitchell & Sons.’ family of single pot still whiskeys is reunited for…

GlenAllachie Distillery Sept 2020.
Pictures Simon Price/Firstpix Photography

Glenallachie’s Virgin Oak Series

  A quartet from Glenallachie featuring three 12 year olds which have been finished in different types of…


Extra-old drams – including the return of Rosebank

A clutch of extra-aged whiskies have arrived over the past few weeks so it made sense to group…


Johnnie Walker Anniversary Trio

Johnnie Walker is 200 years old this year. As well as a rather fine book, there’s a trio…


Two brand new whiskies: Ardnamurchan & Nc’nean

The first releases from two west coast distilleries. For more musings – head over here and indeed here…


Batch 18 The Sweet Side

I’m not a man for desserts, but put that aside for this week’s tasting featuring drams from the…