Whisky Advocate

Okay, now here’s what YOU can do.

February 26th, 2010

Back here in January, I asked you what I could do to make WDJK better for you. Many of those recommendations I implemented. And I’m still working on the others.

Now, I would like to ask you to do something that will also benefit you. Tell more people about WDJK. The more whisky enthusiasts reading this blog, the better the conversation and intellectual discussions.

If you have whisky drinking friends, or if you belong to a whisky club, get them involved in WDJK. Give them the link. And it’s an easy one to remember. It’s


25 Responses to “Okay, now here’s what YOU can do.”

  1. JWC says:

    the least we can do john. i’ve already told my friends about your site and reviews. i have you on facebook and just today, started following you on twitter.

  2. B.J. Reed says:

    We promote it a lot John – I know it is your business to drive people to the site but this blog provides a reciprocal benefit to those who care about the industry as well. A true “win-win” situation

  3. booka says:

    Will do. Since I missed the first thread (almost never comment on blogs in general), let me make a request. I’m new to whiskey (been drinking bourbon for a couple years, but I don’t drink much) and don’t have much money. A beginner’s guide would be really nice. Ideally it would suggest a few less expensive (<$40) bottes to try of each style, what to look for, and so on. It would help me sort of calibrate my palate and figure out what means what in the whiskey world. It would also be useful because sometimes the most instructive whiskeys might not taste the best – they could just be really good examples of certain styles or phenomena.

    This blog is a tremendous resource already, and I thank you for it. I've never regretted spending my meager funds on a whiskey you've recommended.

    Edit – I just found your “New to Whiskey?” link, I suspected I might have missed something. I realize it’s probably problematic for you to make perpetual recommendations for certain less expensive whiskeys, so you’ve already done everything I suggested!

    • John Hansell says:

      booka, I really do try to listen to everyone’s requests and do what I can to honor them.

      • booka says:

        I can see that – your attentiveness is one of the things I really appreciate about this blog. I’m sorry to hear that WDJK is losing money, I didn’t realize that keeping a blog up could cost more than the ads (aside from your time, of course, I’m talking about hosting and stuff).

        I for one wouldn’t mind more ads at all – especially if more ads would let you get more out of the excellent work you do on the blog.

        A quick question – is it better for you if I use RSS or just go to the site?

        • John Hansell says:

          booka, to be honest, the Glenfiddich ad is a freebie. When we redesigned the blog in January, we created the ability to have banner advertising. Glenfiddich has, in the past, paid to advertise on our Malt Advocate web page, but not here. I’m only including it to show potential advertisers what it looks like. So, there is no income on WDJK. Only expenses. But we are shopping it around. The more people who tune in to WDJK, the more I can sell advertising.

  4. John Hansell says:

    Thanks everyone. For now, it’s a labor of love. As you know, I commit a fair amount of time to WDJK, and it is losing money. All this, just to allow you to the opportunity to pick apart everything I put up here. 🙂

    Perhaps I need to have my head examined?

    • Mark says:

      “Perhaps I need to have my head examined?”

      Nope. Or, if anyone does mess with your head, please don’t let them change how it processes input from your palate!

      I’ll encourage every drinking friend with a degree of interest in whisk(e)y. And some of those guys use Facebook.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      I’m sorry to hear that, John. Though I’m not familiar with the nuances of your psyche, there are many general reasons that any sane, rational, level headed whisky lover would feel proud to head up such an exceptional blog. Since I started putting in my two cents here, I’ve gotten all my whisky friends to follow it. I often encourage them to comment and, with increasing frequency, they do.

      If you don’t mind my asking, how does this blog make money– advertising or is there something more to it?

      • John Hansell says:

        Red, there are two ways I can make money here:
        1) Get a large enough of an audience where I can convince someone to advertise here.
        2) Charge readers an annual fee to read my posts.

        As I explained to booka above, at this time, WDJK has no paid advertising. That’s why I am asking for your support in spreading the word to get my readership numbers up (which will also be good for the discussions here). I don’t want to charge people a fee to view the content here. I want WDJK to be a free site.

        Every minute I spend either here cuts into my income-producing efforts in my business (WhiskyFest, Malt Advocate magazine, consulting) or, like it is right now as I am typing this, it cuts into my free time with my family on a Sunday morning.

        My guess is this is the reason why other sites I have enjoyed that were once very active (Scotch Blog, Dr. Whisky) are not very active anymore. Every six months (January and July) I evaluate and make a decision whether to continue WDJK or not. I ask myself: is it worth it?

        True, there are indirect benefits that WDJK has on my business. It keeps my name out there: the whisky industry definitely reads this blog with interest. But, this is negated by the number of whisky companies I piss off because of my honest reviews of their products.

        So there are. An assessment of where WDJK is right now. Like I said. It’s a labor of love.

        • B.J. Reed says:


          One thing I have seen is that by providing more on the web site that is free to everyone there is less that comes with being a member – So, for instance, when we get Whiskynotes now most everything has already been on the site – I think that’s great but may want to make membership of more value in some way that could generate income unless you have tried that and it simply doesn’t work.

        • Ken says:

          Thanks John. One thing I’d pay for is the opportunity to taste what you taste. If you divided your leftovers into 25-50ml portions that you could send to paid members of some kind of club, I’d join that. It would certainly give some folks more to comment about….

  5. Chef! says:

    I passed-on this blog the other day after getting a dram of good whisky at a local pub. Bartender asked, “would you like like neat?” I said “Sure, and can you put it in a one of those wine glasses”, pointing to a small white wine glass. He gave also gave me a glass of water with it and a straw for dripping. That’s when we started talking.

  6. Chef! says:


    Just tried to subscribe to the magazine and it would not let me. Said my credit card info was invalid. I checked all the information and even tried submitting the card number with spaces.

  7. two-bit cowboy says:


    As I’ve seen on other Web sites, I’ve included your linked “Malt Advocate” logo on my site. I tried to capture your “WDJK” banner at the top of this page, but I couldn’t make it work. If you’ll send me a .jpg file of the banner, I’d love to include it as a link on my site too.

  8. Joe says:

    John – I don’t know if you ever posted on hosting a whisky tasting party. If not, I would like to get your opinion on hosting such an event and what food pairings you recommend. Thanks!

  9. Ken says:

    Hi John,

    I only found your site a few weeks ago and only know a couple whisky drinkers, but I’ll do what I can. Meanwhile, I have a suggestion: add (and maintain) a historical listing of all the Malt Avocate Whisky Award winners somewhere. For example, to fill in the following list Google had to dredge up old distillers’ press releases and Korean blog posts, and it’s still not complete (or maybe even correct):

    Malt Advocate Whisky Awards, Best Buy of the Year

    2003 Evan Williams 7 Year Old
    2005 The Dalmore 12 Year Old
    2006 Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond Rye
    2007 Black Bottle Original
    2008 Ancient Ancient Age Ten Year Old
    2009 The McPhail’s Collection

  10. John Hansell says:

    Ken, we had a list of our annual award winners on our old Malt Advocate website, but it was dropped with the new design. Let me see if I can get that organized and put back up on the website. Give me a little time to see what i can do.

  11. Red_Arremer says:

    You know, John, one concrete thing I did notice was that after the Ledaigs got awarded to the top commenters more people started posting more. Maybe doing more little incentives like that is the way to go.

  12. Steffen Bräuner says:

    The follow up has been leaked

    The Rowan Tree

    read more here :


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