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My whisky journey started about 15 years ago with an interest in expensive quality/high end spirits. Over time I learned that there is a huge difference between expensive and quality. Like many people out there, I cut my teeth on The Glenlivet and The Balvenie. I got serious about whisky about 9 years ago.  It was around that time I really began to expand my horizons and try as many different whiskies that I could get my hands on. The bottles slowly started to pile up and the inventory grew in to what is now the Private Pantry. The Wicked Swill was created to provide independent and unbiased thoughts and opinions on the many options in the whisky world.  Hopefully I can help you make a good decision on a purchase or prevent you from making a bad one. I am not exclusive with whisky but that is my go to drink more times than not. At some point in the future you may see some posts on rum and mezcals. Below are some additional pieces of information, as well as my personal grading scale. Please email with any questions or comments by using the contact us on the main page.


Whisk(e)y  - what’s up with the E? Don’t buy into some of the myths about the spelling.  It has nothing to do with the name of the country or how it’s made. In Scotland it’s spelled without the e and that is it. It’s simply a matter of preference. The folks from Scotland spell it Whisky so you can assume that all whiskies from Scotland will not have the e. Most Irish and American whiskies (please notice that I said MOST) spell it Whisk(e)y but there is no hard rule for this at all.  Whiskies from other countries like Canada, India and Japan spell it without the e. They are most likely showing some measure of respect to the history of scotch whisky.


Glassware matters– Whisky is expensive and if you want to get the most out of the experience you should use a proper Glencairn whisky glass or a Copita or some other tulip shaped glass. Snifters also work well.    If you are simply drinking whisky for taste alone then use a tumbler or whatever you have available.


Don’t listen to people who tell you that you should or shouldn’t use ice.  Once you purchase the bottle it is yours to enjoy the way you like it. Experiment with it and drink it the way you like it.  


Maximum Points 100

Smell – 25

Taste – 25

Finish – 25


Bonus Points:

Cask Strength +15

46% - +5

50% - +5

Natural Color + 5

NCF + 5


A -  90-100 -  Excellent

B -  75-89 - Good

C -  60-74 - Average

D -  50-59 - Poor

F -  0-49 - Awful, not drinkable

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