Whisky Advocate

So, do you want me to review these? Or not?

March 4th, 2010

Diageo has released Round 2 of the now famous (infamous?) “The Manager’s Choice” single cask whiskies. I first wrote about Round 2 in detail here back in January. Have a look. Diageo was kind enough to send me review samples last week, which you see pictured.

If you recall, when I first announced The Manager’s Choice here last year in September, it created quite a commotion. My blog posting alone received 178 comments, most of them negative.

I did eventually review these whiskies here last October.

So, my question for you is: do you want me to formally review these whiskies, or would you prefer I devote my efforts to reviewing whiskies with greater distribution?

You have been very vocal about my reviewing whiskies you can’t afford or don’t have access to. These whiskies will not be sold in the U.S. and are somewhat expensive for their age. (Although “expensive” these days is a moving target.) 

I don’t have enough time to review all the review samples I receive, so there is a definite trade-off here. Either way, I will still taste these whiskies informally and keep them on hand for my own knowledge and future reference. Besides, I am curious. But, since I feel my primary purpose here is to post up information that you want (rather than flexing my ego muscle), I’ll let you decide.

Do you want me to review these whiskies? Yes or no?

I will take votes until the end of the weekend, tally them up, and let you know on Monday morning.

117 Responses to “So, do you want me to review these? Or not?”

  1. Michael C. says:

    I vote no, simply because, as you said, it’s not like you can review every whiskey sample you recieve anyway, and these aren’t going to be an option for a good percentage of your readers.

  2. Rick Duff says:

    I vote no. For time management I’d prefer to see you review other, accessible, affordable whisky.

  3. Red_Arremer says:

    Would there be anything exceptionally educational about these reviews over and above any other reviews you might do instead? Unless the answer to that is yes, then I vote no.

  4. G Llaguno says:

    I can taste them for you! : )

  5. Bob Stafford says:

    One of the commenters from January I thought made a good suggestion – take one or two of these samples and do a taste comparison between these samples and a “normal” / reasonably priced offering from the same distilleries. That would give some indication whether these were rare examples of fine whiskies due to their quality, or rare because there just weren’t that many of them available

    • John Hansell says:

      Bob, I will consider this regardless of the outcome of my poll here, because it’s a good idea. But, to keep from muddying the waters, I’m looking for a basic “yes” or “no” for the time being.

  6. Mark says:

    I’ll vote ‘no,’ due primarily to a desire not to lose more relevant reviews (“so there is a definite trade-off here”).

    This is not a ‘no’ based on lack of affordability. Also, Red’s qualification seems appropriate.

  7. Cary says:

    Let’s send a message to Diageo: I vote no.

  8. osu33jp says:

    I will vote Yes. Even though these are not sold in the US, people from the all over the world see and sometimes reference this blog. I would love to see his review.

  9. No. These prices for such young Whiskies is a joke (a sad one). Maybe you should refuse to review anything that doesn’t come in a real bottle (70cl or 75cl).

  10. Tom Q says:

    I vote yes. Saying no is like telling a car reviewer not to review the Bugatti Veyron because it is out of reach for most people. I still want to know how good or bad it is.

    • two-bit cowboy says:


      I see that you’re a photographer. Just imagine: you’ve been given a chance to do the photo shoots for the spring Sports Illustrated swim suit edition. You grab your gear and head to the beach to strengthen the requested portfolio. Gee, do you shoot the 19-year-old in the bikini or the 8-year-old with the beach ball? Decisions, decisions….

      • TheMandarin says:

        MrTh, I get the whisky analogy, but that example about the 19 yr old model or 8 yr old girl with a beach ball kind of creeps me out.

        I vote Yes if they will be reviewed next to a distillery bottling of comparable quality + lower price.

        • two-bit cowboy says:

          Reckon I don’t watch enough “prime time” tv cop shows to get why you’re creeped out!

          • TheMandarin says:

            I only watch Star Trek and X-Files…nothing else. But either way, I was just having a little fun.


  11. If you don’t feel bad about ignoring free samples, I would also vote no.

    ps: You might want to consider a Worpress poll plugin for polls like this.

  12. Monique at the Dell says:

    I’d vote no because there are so many more relevant whiskies to review still waiting out there. Oh, but I am soooo curious. Maybe just post reviews of the great ones, if there are any!

    • Chap says:

      What Monique said. I figure you’d eventually get around to it (like Serge reviews *everything*, right?), but why do it now? Why not wait until later?

  13. two-bit cowboy says:

    Enjoy the samples, John. But spend the time with your family.


  14. The Leveller says:

    I for one like the comparative review point, but am mindful of the time burden of entering your review. Where there is a real insight in the relative differences between the ‘special’ bottling and the standard one (e.g. this whisky loves a sherry cask) maybe you should enter it.

    To be honest, I think the whisky community has, after gobsmacked outrge at the cheek of it all, now moved on – I’d forgotten about them!

    • Red_Arremer says:

      I know. I’d forgotten about them too. But then, the other day, I was hanging out with my parents and gf and my father started talking about how awed up and coming business people are by the success of Diageo’s cutthroat practices– Before I knew it I was dragging through their long list of crimes… When I mentioned the sock-puppetry on the Manager’s choice thread, my father just said “yeah, they’re way too greedy, too completely coming out of their marketing department, to even pretend that they care.”

      So now it’s on my mind again.

  15. WhiskyNotes says:

    Indeed, the excitement about this series seems to have disappeared completely. So my vote would be no, although I also think every sample deserves a review (you never know this batch contains a few diamonds).

  16. gal says:

    Sorry for the last brief comment. iPhone blues
    I also agree with Oliver k
    Tasting those whiskies that none of us will ever buy formally that is
    Notes and all is rather silly. Also it makes some angry about
    The pricing and can create negative buzz
    U can always send them over for us to just taste
    Hush hush say mo more 😉
    Gal, the holyland

  17. Mark Davis says:

    I vote no on this. People were really excited when you reviewed the cheap stuff and asked you to do more. There is only so much time.

    Plus you can keep it around to do a comparative review later on.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      Generally, it would be cool if John would surprise us occassionally with (a little more often than now) comparisons between new and old whiskies, just out of the blue. He could even feature it in Malt Advocate. It would be an entertaining way for him to inject his views about the whisky industry into his opinions about particular products.

  18. Whiskeyminis says:

    Yes, you should.
    Review and let us know if it is worth saving money to buy this bottle or not.
    You review also expensive bourbons which are even more expensive on this side of the pond but if it is good, i’ll save up and buy it someday. Like this one.
    Not available overhere and very expensive
    If you whould only review what is available (overhere or in some of your board-ruled states ) you’d be having a lot of days off. people like to read also about expensive cars so why not about expensive whisky.

  19. DeanSheen says:

    No. The endless parade of overpriced and unobtainium Scotch from these producers is boring. Let the collectors fret about editions like these and spend time on a review of a drinker.

  20. Seth Nadel says:

    If Diageo is going to advertise on your site, then I say yes.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      Wow– did you actually just say that, Seth? C’mon now. Anyways, John already reviews tons of Diageo whiskies, generally very positively, so if they’re not satisfied yet I doubt this will make much difference.

  21. Sean says:

    Since it is a simple yes or no, I vote no. But since you are going to informally taste all of them, maybe you could pick out one or two interesting ones after that to formally review.

  22. patrickj says:

    I vote yes. I actually enjoy reading reviews even if the product is inaccesible to me.

  23. H.Diaz says:

    No. The collectors with deep pockets know where else to look, and reviews for them will likely not matter anyway. They will buy regardless.

  24. Paul M says:

    NO. But I would like to see either you or one of your contributor put an article in your magazine about these whiskies. A less formal write-up would pacify my curiosity.

  25. Jason says:

    I vote yes – it’s interesting to see what’s locked away in the warehouses of these distilleries that either never sees the light of day or is lost as part of the standard expression.

  26. Steffen Bräuner says:

    My vote is no, no reason to jump on Diageo’s marketing tricks

    @Tom Q. I think you got this wrong. This is not Bugatti Veyron , this is a common car priced like a Bugatti Veyron. I don’t mind WDJK rate “exclusive” whiskies, but let it be REAL exclusive whiskies, not something made exclusive by a marketing department.

    To take an example I’d label something like Glenglassaugh 21 as exclusive (rare malt from a limited stock,), now there’s a real Bugatti Veyron for you


  27. Texas says:

    I vote no. I would like to see you devote the majority of time to ones that will be available in the U.S. regardless of price.

  28. Zach says:

    I vote yes, mostly because a majority of the whiskys that you (and all whisky bloggers) review are not available here in Vermont anyways, these are no different. I think you should review a solid cross section of the whisky world that includes everything from the low to the high, from accessible to all to accessible by few.

  29. Dave says:

    I vote no. I really love the blog, by the way. I’ve forwarded it to my Madison, WI whiskey club and whiskey friends.

    • Dave – Could you tell me more about this whisky club? I live in Madison, WI, and have not had occasion to meet with any other whisky drinkers outside of my circle of friends. I’ll be at the Steve’s Liquor Glenmorangie tasting next week, though.

  30. Robert says:

    Another “no” here.

  31. Louis says:

    I’d say pass on the formal reviews in favor of more relevant whiskies. But a casual survey with the best of the bunch getting a formal review would be OK.

  32. Chris says:

    No. The bargain/best buy whiskies are something I’d definitely be interested. A review of $17 Old Fitzgerald would be great.

  33. bgulien says:

    I’d say yes. Why? Maybe I win the lottery next week.
    In that case I have to know the best whisky to treat you all!
    I will buy the whole lot and throw a party for the WDJK contributors.
    In that case, wouldn’t you want to know what you are about to drink?
    Ah well, we can dream 😉
    No dream is, that today the Ardbeg Rollercoaster came in and right now I am enjoying my first dram.

  34. AaronP says:

    No, thank you.

  35. PaterNoster says:

    NO NO NO!
    These whiskies will not be sold in the U.S.
    John, don’t be part of that suspect marketing.

  36. Matt Z says:

    Not too interested. I’d vote no.

  37. PeteR says:

    No. Please use your valuable time to review spirits most of us have access to.

  38. Chris Hiatt says:

    I vote no. Diageo already makes enough money. If they think these whiskies are worth it, they should put their own massive marketing team on it.

  39. I’ll just say that my favourite reviews of yours have been from small, owner-operated distilleries, producing world-class whiskies at a reasonable price. I think Diageo’s Manager’s Choice is about as far from that as you can be. Once again, thanks for being so conscientious of your readership!

  40. Tim B says:

    I vote yes. Given that I have finite resources, I can only afford to buy/try a handful of the whiskies you review. With that in mind, it is unlikely that I will ever try most of the expressions you review. For me, I simply enjoy reading your reviews, and I don’t worry whether I’ll ever get to try the bottlings. It’s just good fun reading for me. Would reviewing these whiskies help Diagio? Probably. But every review that is posted is marketing for one company or another.

    In the absense of formal reviews, I’d still be curious to see you general impressions.

  41. Alex says:

    I would be interested in the reviews to the extent that they compare the expensive bottles to the standard bottlings. But if they’re going to displace reviews of commercially-available whiskies, I would rather have something else reviewed. As others have said, an informal review would be perfect, if John can do such a thing. Thank you!

  42. laz says:

    no thanks

  43. Shaun Farrier says:

    NO. Let’s hear more about the new Springbank offerings!!!!

    • Texas says:

      I agree, I would love to see reviews of the new Springbank wood finishes. I loved the Fino Sherry finish.

  44. Ralph Biscuits says:

    My vote is no. I’d rather reviews be done on whisky that’s more affordable. I think most of us here are
    drinkers of whisky rather than collectors and let’s face it, a formal review of these whiskies isn’t going to alter sales one way or another. Collectors are going to buy these regardless. Most will go on a shelf and never be opened. Whether they’re formally reviewed isn’t going to change that unless you review how nice the bottle reflects light or how attractive the box is.

  45. Cababa says:

    I say yes.
    No, I’m not in a tax bracket that would afford me the purchasing of such luxuries. I’ll probably never even physically lay eyes on the whiskies in question. But the same could be said of many of the other limited production whiskies that are reviewed, and while they are in the minority, there are some collectors and connoisseurs out there who could benefit from a review. Let them know what they might expect should they be so fortuitous, but remember to dedicate equal time and effort to whiskies for the rest of us.
    But if need be, I’d be happy to send you my contact information should you need some one else to do the review for you.

  46. Whiskeyminis says:

    Well John , in the same amount of time you wrote the article and read all those comments you also could have reviewed those whiskies.

    • John Hansell says:

      I gotta tell ya. I thought this post would take about 20 minutes to put up, but it ended up being more like an hour with taking the picture, adding the links, etc. But still, I usually taste a whisky twice before posting up a review. And there are seven whiskies. By the time I organize my tasting(s), taste them, write up my tasting notes, and then format them formally for this blog and my magazine, with artwork, we’re talking about hours…

  47. AdamH says:


    It’s important that all the “official” critics/reviewers get their opinions out on this sort of thing. If it’s good whisky and/or a justified price, then Diageo deserves recognition for it. If it’s the opposite, then likewise Diageo needs to be sent a message. And the public needs “expert” opinions to help guide their purchases, particularly when considering buying something like this.

    • Red_Arremer says:

      That’s a very levelheaded perspective, Adam. Of course not reviewing them would send a message as well. Also, I think there is a growing sense that the enduring marriage between the true whisky lover rich whisky buyer should be annulled– A fantasy that there will be a community of people, with variously but certainly limited funds, who will buy exclusively on the nose/palate value of what’s in the bottle and who will pay no mind to marketing, packaging or hype– who will in fact have a bad reaction to standard marketing practices because they understand those practices– who will disregard overhyped whiskies out of hand, almost unfairly, not because they know they won’t be good, but because they know that there are others they haven’t tried which are just as good and which do not include the marketing departments and the concept of luxury in their price tags. That’s a less levelheaded perspective.

  48. Jeff H says:

    I think you’re being too democratic. Super-premium whiskies have been and should continue to be part of your review portfolio. I know you talk about primarily focusing on U.S.-imported whiskies, but we’re living in a global world now. These are available if we want them. If your gut instinct is to provide reviews of these, I’d run with it. If you’ve got enough “super premium” whiskies in your queue to keep a good mix (regular, premium, super-premium) going, then I can understand needing to make a choice. Maybe just point out any that you find “special” or really poor for the price.

    My vote: Yes. I’m interested in hearing your opinion about them. I won’t be buying any, but as somebody else pointed out, I like reading reviews of expensive cars in Car and Driver (mixed in with “regular” cars) as well.

    [Edit] Oh…and what AdamH said, too. 🙂

  49. Michael Z says:

    …So many whisk(e)y’s… little time….’on we go’

  50. Patrrick says:

    If you have received them, why not tasting them? If not, I am volunteering for tasting them for you.
    Just publish the notes. The reader has after the choice of reading your post or not, like he/she wants
    One might not appreciate the pricing of these whiskies, but why not tasting them? it is always interesting to know what do you think of them.
    If you have any “ethical” concerns, then you should simply refuse publishing all tasting notes above a certain price tag?

  51. Kurt says:

    No. Teach Diageo a lesson. Get real around whisky and we’ll be thankful. Act crazy and we’ll ignore you.

    Power to the people. Finally. 🙂

  52. jbart says:


    Even though I will never taste or buy, some good and no harm will come of it.

    Knowledge is good.

  53. Scotchpro1 says:

    I agree with AdamH, review and let Diageo and the general world of whisky critics know whether they live up to their hype. There’s always a chance you’ll find yourself standing next to someone at WhiskyFest or elsewhere who happens to have a wee nip of one of these rarities that you can snag! Best to know whether to sip or not.

  54. RodionS says:

    John, I would say that these whiskies stand aside from other expensive/limited production whiskies, and in that respect, they deserve your attention. They are an attempt by Diageo’s management to hand-pick casks and charge a premium because they deem these casks of whisky to be better than the rest. I think that as a respected reviewer of whiskies, your review/opinion of these products and how they pertain to the evolution of the distilleries and industry is valuable. If, after reviewing these whiskies, you come to the conclusion that, for the most part, manager’s choice doesn’t necessarily result in extraordinary whisky, then isn’t that important and worth noting to your readers and Diageo? Maybe in the future they’ll conclude this experiment was a failure and stick to more accessible (in cost and quantity) whiskies. If, however, you determine these to be real gems, then maybe some of your readers will be willing to pony up the cash for these rare treasures.
    [EDIT] I guess AdamH said the same thing already … in fewer words. 🙂

  55. butephoto says:

    No thanks! 🙂

  56. tim d says:

    I’ll vote NO in general

    However, if your casual tastings tell you there’s something we shouldn’t miss out on, the feel free to investigate further.

    It’s only somewhat about price/accessability – I don’t reviews of things I can’t get/have… But not so much if it’s at the expense of your reviews/coverage of other offerings that are better, more accessible, or reasonably priced.

    Review the best stuff when you can – but don’t short change us on the “daily dram” offerings because of it.

  57. MrTH says:

    I was going to say yes, just so we could rant on these some more…but I guess we’ve just done that. I don’t really care either way, and I trust your judgment for the most part. People do like to read “Ferrari” reviews, but this line is such a lightning rod…and maybe (just maybe) Diageo would take some note if you declined to review these in deference to your readers’ sensibilities. I kind of doubt it–they know very well who this line was aimed at; their mistake was waving it in front of our noses so ostentatiously. “Let them eat cake.”

    I guess that’s a reluctant and qualified No. I appreciate the intent of asking–it’s good you want to check the zeitgeist, especially since the initial firestorm, I suspect, took you somewhat by surprise. You should trust your instincts…occasionally you will look back and find we have declined to follow where you are leading, and course correction is necessary. But, while it’s certainly a good idea to see what your market is demanding, you know very well that you can’t run a magazine by poll. I guess that all applies to Diageo, too.

  58. Lawrence says:

    Yes! So what if they are not available in the US? They’re not available in most of the world but this is as close as most of us will ever get to them so I say YES!

    I know it’s a lot of work but well worth the effort IMHO.

  59. paolo says:

    Yes , let’see the bluff…I mean high prices…super-quality…or not?

  60. Jon W. says:

    Yes. Primarily because I am curious to read your impressions, but also for reasons stated by AdamH above. I thought the relatively lukewarm reviews of the first set sent a stronger message to Diageo than just ignoring them would have. (I’m probably one of the few who really isn’t bothered at all by the concept of these releases, but if these keep getting less than stellar reviews then maybe they’ll rethink this type of thing).

  61. Eric says:

    I vote no.

    I’d rather see more stuff like what you’ve done this week. I loved the review of the cheap whiskeys, and I also really enjoyed the way you reviewed the entire GlenDronach line at one time, so we can compare the different ages/expressions. I’d love to see more of that.

  62. chef! says:

    I’m with Steffan on this and say NO! I would say Okay for a casual review of the best of the bunch, though…

    I’m sure it’s great whisky in the end but the more we promote Diageo on this type of marketing the more likely we won’t get what we want in the future… Good, readily available whisky, and at fair prices for what’s in the bottle. I can handle (and enjoy in most cases) reading reviews of mega dollar bottles that I’ll never taste because it’s cool to see what’s out there, especially if they’re available to all of us.

    It frustrates me that Diageo — the spirit mega-giant that makes a ton of money in the American market — just can’t seem to get these bottles to us despite their unlimited resources and our eagerness to try. It’s not like we’re dealing with a small IB or young distillery with limited logistical capabilities or uncertainty on a niche in the market. If diageo wanted these on shelves of every top store in the country by tomorrow morning I’m sure they could make it happen.

  63. No, don’t write formal reviews for these.

    You’re a great aid for the U.S. market, John. If you keep your focus on whiskys made available to the U.S. market, then perhaps producers and distributors will start sending more varieties to our continent.

  64. Hey John – do you moderate and delete whisky-related-but-ultimately-off-topic comments? One of my comments just disappeared and the 15-minute countdown was nearly complete! 🙁

    • John Hansell says:

      Yes, it t was completely off topic and served no purpose to this discussion. If I allow you to comment about something completely off topic, than I have to allow everyone. And if everyone can post up anything they want, then I will have complete chaos. I hope you can understand this.

  65. smellmyskunk says:

    I am curious how you would rate these whiskeys but I would prefer that you post reviews for whiskeys that I might be able to obtain and afford.

  66. JWC says:

    YES – i will not buy it but i’m curious. like jeff h., i also read reviews about cars i can’t afford (and most people can’t afford) but the role of a reviewed (unless said reviewer’s audience is limited to a certain demographic) is to review what is out there.

  67. Marc says:

    I vote yes, at least to 2-3 of them being formally reviewed. They may be overpriced and very limited, but even more reason to review; most of us will never taste them, and thus we can live vicariously through you John. It is the cheaper whiskies that I can afford and taste myself. (Also as Jeff.H said in previous post, although it may not be released in the USA, or even South Africa, this blog now has a very global readership, and the chance is always there one could be travelling and come across it.)

  68. kallaskander says:

    Hi John,

    by all means yes! Another review of one of the influential officinados which shows the whole series consists of whiskies not mana form the heavens and nothing else goes to show that Diageo did not deliver.

    Nothing that deserved the prices they ask anyway. It will help to get the high flying marketing buffs and ther stupid stands back down to earth. A bit at least let us hope.

    I have not read one raving review about the first edition and none about the second as yet. Not one.

    So if you take seriously what Diageo claimed they`d do and aimed to achive with the Managers Choice and the sounding of trumpets they put behind this series every confrontation with reality is good.
    Raving reviews is what I expected after all the work and efforts they put into the process of chosing etc. so well documented on blah blah etc. You get my drift.

    And what did I tell you? Good and in some cases very food whiskies is all they got for their efforts. But nothing more.

    And I would vote “NO!” if it were about voting for the marketing idea behind the whole thing. Don`t feed the whisky trolls!

    But that is not what it is about, isn`t it?

  69. Bobby says:

    Vote yes,we need all the independant info we can get,unlikely to buy one but reading the notes is the first step.You never know the lottery might come up this weekend.

  70. Pino says:

    No thanks, I boycott them….since I saw the price of the Oban from the first serie.

  71. Luke says:

    I vote “Yes” John. All whiskies that cross your desk should be reviewed, time permitting, and the result posted – let the axe fall where it may!

    But, for the record, I feel Diageo have displayed colossally poor judgement with the pricing of these releases (the word Cynicism is overused, usually inappropriately).

    Independent bottlers have nurtured this market for years (decades?), in some cases to the extent of buying their own wood for maturation where the distillery’s wood is not up to scratch.

    Good Luck to them!

  72. B.J. Reed says:

    I would say yes – Lots of whiskies are reviewed that I will never buy or likely taste – Doesn’t mean I am not curious about their strengths and weaknesses.

  73. Bartlomiej Niwinski says:


  74. JC Skinner says:

    I’m with Bob, above.
    Given the price points of such whiskies and their lack of general availability, it amounts to little more than ‘whisky review porn’ for the readers unless the reviews can be made relevant, such as by head-to-head tasting alongside general releases.
    That way, even if the reader cannot encounter such rarefied limited editions, they can make sense of them by comparison to more standard releases.
    To simply review them, though?
    I vote no. Not interested.

  75. John Hansell says:

    Well, with nearly 100 comments in 24 hours, one thing is for certain: Diageo’s “The Manager’s Dram” is still a polarizing topic.

  76. brian bradley (brian47126) says:

    NO… If we have to choose between other reviews and this, I will take the other reviews. Picking out single casks from standard stock does not make exclusivity–it just makes hype.

  77. BFishback says:

    I say NO but, if you taste them for fun a little later and one stands out then tell us about it.

  78. Matt C. says:

    No — throw it on the ground.

  79. Geoff K says:

    How about you review them for the blog and if they’re something special consider them for the magazine?

    I think it’s good to support when companies try something special. Feedback to them not only helps Diagio but it helps other companies who might consider doing something simular. If it’s a matter of time you can always do abbreviated reviews, or just taste a sampling of the ones they sent.

    Either way I think it’s very cool you’ve put the issue out to the readers to get feedback.

  80. EMalt says:

    I’d vote: Yes, why not? I have no idea if the review you would do instead is more ‘benefitial’ than this one (not that i’m able to buy such a bottling ;( ).


  81. chef! says:

    This type of bottling is exactly why a separate price vs. quality mark (in addition to the regular ratings) could be beneficial in the future.

  82. OGWhisk(e)y says:

    I find it strange that anyone would have a problem with you reviewing whisky that is totally unavailable, outrageously priced or just out of reach! I mean if they are unattainable your review will be the closest thing we’ll ever get to actually tasting these products! I’d rather live vicariously through you than bury my head in the sand. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE review any noteworthy whisky! If you taste a whisky worth mentioning to a friend or colleague, it should be reviewed here. Whether totally unavailable, piss poor blunk that no one should have to suffer through (other than you) or anything else. This is not only a forum for people to decide what affordable whisky to buy, but a resource for whisky lovers, professionals, and the industry itself. I’ve got an obsession to fuel and I enjoy reading about whisky whether or not I’m going to buy that product. Disregarding or neglecting certain whisky just because some of us won’t get to taste them does a disservice to us all. I find it interesting that many people here are very concerned that reviewing these products will somehow prevent you from reviewing others – I know it takes a lot of time and energy to formally review these products, if they’re not worth the time and energy for the full review and score- I’d really appreciate at least some brief tasting notes. Thanks for everything!

  83. Derek says:

    No, except for those whiskies that will become available in the American market in a reasonable period of time after the release. If some of these are never going to get to America then why bother.
    We in America, have received ” step children” treatment for too long and I resent it.

  84. bookman says:

    Hello All, I’d have to say NO to a formal review, there are other whisky blogs out there, if I remember rightly has already posted some tasting notes for these bottlings; though a side by side comparison would be interesting.

  85. nicolas vaughn says:

    Absolutely not! I love your whisky reviews, but it isn’t going to make a bit of difference because I cannot and will not afford these bottlings! Hell, i could go to the distillery pick a cask out and bottle it myself for 50-70 pounds. Lost a lot of respect for diageo latley, just don’t get it. Stick to reviewing the gems like the new glendronach lines, the 15, 18, and the older bottlings are absolute stunners! Don’t waste your time John

  86. Chris Riesbeck says:

    John I think you write in your initial statement exactly as to why these do not need to be reviewed. “You have been very vocal about my reviewing whiskies you can’t afford or don’t have access to.” This magazine to a large degree is enjoyed by consumers of fine whiskey and when something doesn’t satisfy the two previously mentioned criteria it fails to register in terms of importance.

  87. John, I vote yes! I’m not likely going to get samples to taste, and I’d like to see what you have to say about them…

  88. Jazzman31 says:


    Time is valuable, so my vote is no.

  89. Whiskeyminis says:

    What’s your verdict, John?

  90. […] week I asked you here whether you wanted me to review Round 2 of Diageo’s Manager’s Choice whiskies. By […]

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