Blogging it

Blogging it

Richard Jones surfs the ‘net to find some of the more interesting sites of whisky comment and debate

News | 01 Jun 2007 | Issue 64 | By Richard Jones

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Educated bees may not have cottoned onto to the idea yet, but every other man and his dog seems to be engaged in blogging at the moment. 60 million of us host blogs according to internet search engine Technorati and many multiples more spend time posting or reading their entries. To the uninitiated, a blog is effectively a website that is arranged by date in a diary form. The blogger will make a post on a given day, such as an event in their lives, a random thought or their views on a news story, providing website links to their sources. Hopefully other users then post comments on the site to generate some degree of debate. Bloggers range from the high profile (Chris Evans, Anita Roddick, Jamie Oliver) through to the specialist and obscure. The subjects covered are equally diverse depending on the interests of the blogger but common themes include personal, politics, travel, humour and business.Blogs specifically dedicated to whisky are still in their infancy but their number and quality are on the rise. Here is a list of the best whisky blogs which at the moment are all largely Scottish in focus. So, if anyone out there fancies starting their own American, Irish or other whisk(e)y blog, it would be much
At the time of writing, this is simply the best allround Scotch whisky blog on the web. Author Kevin Erskine provides frequent, well written, considered and often thought-provoking posts on a range of whisky related subjects. Recent examples of the more controversial variety include: ‘Men Behaving Badly’, a criticism of the behaviour of certain attendees at a recent whisky event and ‘Too Many Bruichladdich Editions?’, questioning the number of releases from this Islay distillery along with a robust defence by Mark Reynier. The blog is an excellent source of up-to-date whisky news with items such as the reorganisation of distillery managers at Inver House, the latest Ben Riach Wood Finishes and the new-look packaging for Highland Park. It also has features more commonly found on a traditional website / forum such as ‘Ask the Collector’, a chance to pick the wisdom of The Whisky Exchange’s Sukhinder Singh on matters of rare whiskies and their value. Kevin is a US based blogger so some of his entries on forthcoming tastings are only of interest to readers on his side of the Atlantic, but this is a minor criticism.The Scotch Blog is an invaluable, informative and highly entertaining resource for Scotch whisky lovers
Although lacking the updates and depth of The Scotch Blog, The Daily Dram provides plenty to commend. Posts are shorter and more news focussed than its American counterpart, with generally less author opinion and commentary.Recent articles have included the success of Japanese whiskies in the Malt Maniacs awards; the sale of ‘the oldest whisky ever’, Glenavon, at auction; and recent releases from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (with recommendations).Although the posts at The Daily Dram are brief, the author provides numerous links to his sources for those wishing to delve deeper into the subject.The blog is more Anglo-centric than The Scotch Blog and, as such, the two sites complement each other
A multi-lingual site that is still going strong after nearly two years of blogging. Posts are frequent, interesting and in-depth. Recent examples include an explanation of the Lyne Pipe, as well as a look at heavily peated
Part of the Malt Maniacs website hosted by Serge Valentin, this is not a blog in the strictest sense (you can’t post comments, for example), but it is one of the best sources for up-to-date whisky tasting notes on the web. Excellently designed, it also has plenty more to commend including music and concert reviews!
A blog hosted by James Thomson of Ladybank and Gordon Wright of Springbank, Murray McDavid, Bruichladdich and, latterly, The Alchemist fame.Don’t be put off by the ‘school’ part of the title, the content is aimed at highly knowledgeable whisky aficionados as much as novice drinkers with headings such as ‘Does spirit age in bottle?’; ‘Campbeltown, a classic, or cult, whisky region’; and an detailed look at ‘Maturation or oak barrel ageing’. There is obviously some degree of self promotion of the two authors’ own business interests, but the content is at all times enjoyable and well judged. The only criticism of Whisky School is the frequency of new postings, however the comprehensive nature of the articles makes them well worth the wait.
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