Whisky Advocate

What does everyone else know?

July 9th, 2009

A lot, actually.

How ironic that I call this blog “What does John know?”. I never meant it to be a pretentious thing. I’m sorry if you interpreted it that way. In fact, it seems the older I get, the more I realize how little I really know. (Or maybe I’m just beginning to forget more?)

Either way, I feel that my calling in the whisky world has always been to bring people together to share a common passion, not to be the definitive authority on the subject. To this end, I have started to establish links under the category “What does everyone else know?” You’ll find it on the right hand column of this blog. (Scroll down.) I just started today, so the list is small. But I will continue growing it in the future. There’s some great stuff going on out there. Don’t miss out on it.

So, I ask two favors of you:

1) Check out the sites in my links and learn more than I alone can share with you.

2) If you see a good whisky blog that I don’t have a link to, let me know. I’ll do what I can to add them to my list of links.

To start, I’m focusing primarily on blogs. There are a couple of forums and podcasts I check out on a regular basis, and I am including them too.

I’ll still let you know, on a nearly daily basis, what I know. But please take a look at what the others are doing too. You’ll learn a lot.

31 Responses to “What does everyone else know?”

  1. Whisky For Everyone would be a good one to add. In addition to being very active, they have great background information about the distillery and/or expression they’re talking about at the beginning of each blog post:

  2. Neil Fusillo says:

    John, while I can’t speak for everyone, I can say this: you come off as anything but pretentious. You’re humble, unobtrusive, and eloquent.

    Good to see some links to other good resources, though.

  3. John Hansell says:

    Jeff, it’s a done deal. Link is up.

    Thanks Neil.

  4. Tim F says:

    John, many thanks for the link to the TWE Blog. I hope your readers enjoy it.

  5. Great, and I noticed you added as well, which is what I was just going to recommend. Ruben is also very active with that blog, with new tasting notes/scores almost daily. Great stuff.

  6. Whisky Party says:


    Much thanks for the link to Whisky Party. That’s a great vote of confidence and we’re honored to be in such excellent company.

    And no, the blog name is not pretentious. If anything I read it as questioning and humble.

  7. Todd says:

    John, in addition to the sites you have listed (Serge’s Whisky Fun and the Straightbourbon sites), the Malt Maniacs site contains a wealth of information, with good coverage of malts available worldwide as well as single malts available in continental Europe and the UK at The organization of the MM site is a bit obtuse, but has very high information content and tends to on the money for scoring whiskies (in reference to a recent post on this blog, note the MMs scores on the Macallan Fine Oaks, mostly in the mid-70s to low 80s except for the two oldest expressions at 25 and 30 yo).

    Gordon’s Spirit of Islay site is a gem for the peat lover at
    SOI covers cutting edge topics like bottling codes as a means to decipher when a malt was bottled and often has the first scoop on new Islay releases.

  8. bgulien says: springs to mind, right away. from Mark Reynier.
    Sometimes funny but always the voice of the independent distiller and other ramblings.
    Another nice blog, from Raymond Armstrong of Bladnoch fame.
    On the site is a forum and hidden in the forum is a ” A day in the life…” blog of the day to day goings on of a distiller.

  9. John Hansell says:

    Todd, bgulien, I’ll be working on those this afternoon. I have visited all of them in the past. Thanks!

  10. JC Skinner says:

    Hi John,
    I can only reiterate what others have said. Your blog is refreshingly informative and pretension-free.
    Any fans of Irish whiskey I would direct towards David Havelin’s excellent Irish whiskey notes blog –
    Just as interesting is the forum of the recently launched Irish Whiskey Society (but as PRO of the society, I would say that!)
    Their tastings and meetings are probably only of interest to those resident in Ireland who can attend.
    But the fascinating forum has some excellent and informed discussions about Irish whiskey, past, present and future from some real aficionados as well as us mere mortal drammers.
    The forum can be found here –

  11. John Hansell says:

    JC, yes I have visited those sites in the past and will be working on providing links to them too! Thanks!

  12. I think Jean-Marie’s page at
    is a great one for all those who like to have another deep and thoughtful tasting-review-site. It’s a true alternative to Jim Murray an Co.!!

  13. John Hansell says:

    I think I have linked to nearly all of your recommendations (and to some additional favorites of mine!). I am also reaching out to them to let them know about the links.

    I also made a separate category for industry blogs, like the Bruichladdich blog which I linked to. Thanks!

  14. WhiskyNotes says:

    John, thank you for linking to my blog. I had already done the same with your website.

    I’d like to suggest Whisky Reviews by Ralfy: – a video blog with a twist!

  15. John Hansell says:

    Yes WhiskyNotes, I just watched his review of Port Askaig 17 and found it very entertaining. I’ll be including the link shortly.

  16. Lucas says:

    Thanks a million for the Edinburgh Whisky Blog link, John! You’re a gentleman.

  17. bgulien says:

    Another one industry blog I visit regularly is the Glenglassaugh blog from Stuart Nickerson at


  18. bgulien says:


    Here are some blogs I visited some times.
    Had to dig through my collection of whisk[e]y links to get them out:


  19. John Hansell says:

    bgulien, thanks for the additional list. I already put up the Glenglassaugh blog and am working on the others.

  20. Patrick says:

    I would not mind if you had my website ( 🙂

  21. John Hansell says:

    Patrick, I put up the link for you.

  22. DavidG says:

    I’m not sure if this fits what you are looking for, but does a nice job with rating, tasting notes, organization, and they source bottles from LA where they are based, overseas, and the big national stores i.e. Binny’s. They also list pricing information.
    While not at all affiliated (a Chicagoan) they are a good refernce

  23. John Hansell says:

    Yes, DavidG, I am familiar with them. I posted up the link to their site. Thanks for the suggestion.

  24. butephoto says:

    Thanks for the link, John. Much appreciated and I’m glad you enjoy the forum. You’ve reminded me that I really need to get some links up too!

    Keep up the good work.

  25. John Hansell says:

    Good idea, butephoto. And thanks for the kind words!

    Lawrence, I already have Whiskycast and Whiskyfun on my links list, and I just included Whisky Intelligence. Not sure how I missed them. Thanks for reminding me.

  26. Lew Bryson says:


    Thanks for the link to Seen Through A Glass. I don’t know much…but I do try to share what I know!



  27. Sku says:

    Oh, and also Nonjatta, the best English language site for Japanese whiskey.

  28. Howdy John,

    This is a terrific thread/spot. What a wonderful reference resource!

    Any thoughts about a list of places to taste in addition to your growing list of places to read about whisky? Or is that too commercial?

  29. Adam H. says:

    Thanks for the link, John! And thanks DavidG for the props.

  30. John Hansell says:

    sku, it’s done!

    Two-bit: Thanks. and patience, my friend…maybe some day?

    Adam, my pleasure!

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