About WhiskyNotes

WhiskyNotes is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky. A work in progress, and a continuous exercise for the senses.

I started it in 2008 while living in Spain for a couple of years. I had discovered whisky a few years earlier but suddenly I was cut off from festivals, shops and whisky friends in my home country. A whisky blog seemed a good way of keeping in touch. It quickly gained a following, first in Belgium but now from all over the world.

Nowadays, hundreds of interesting new bottlings hit the market each year. With this website, I try to be a “filter” and publish impressions of the bottles I really liked. Sometimes bottles are sold out very soon after their release, so my goal is to inform you about interesting things as soon as possible. Of course legendary old whiskies will also feature regularly.

Although bottlers and distilleries send me samples, I feel strongly about being independent and sincere in my opinions. That’s why I’m still paying for (or exchanging) the majority of the whiskies I write about – I have never done paid-for content or advertising. It’s an expensive hobby but I prefer working this way. If a whisky is not good, I will say so, regardless of the provenance of a sample.

Why whisky?

In the 1980’s, my father bought a bottle of Chivas Royal Salute 21y. That’s a very decent blend. It stood there mostly for friends and visitors, so the ceramic bottle didn’t seem to become any lighter over time. I liked it as a youngster… in my Coca-Cola. When I moved out, the bottle came along and was rediscovered when I savoured some of it in the company of my brother in law. After that, the Japanese blend Hibiki, Lagavulin 16 Year Old and anCnoc 12 Year Old sparked the fire for good. Since that time, I’ve been infected by the whisky virus. Ice cubes or Coke don’t come anywhere near the whisky now!

 

What’s your favourite?

I don’t have one in particular, but I have a sweet spot for Banff, Brora, ClynelishKaruizawa and Port Ellen. Instead of naming distilleries, I’d better list specific vintages, like BenRiach 1976, Tomatin 1976, Caperdonich 1972, Brora 1972, etc. Of course a lot of this 1970s stuff has become impossible to find, let alone to afford, but when I started blogging it was still relatively easy to find.

In general, I prefer older, gently sherried whisky, with loads of complexity and subtleties. I would describe them as unhurried “old-style” whiskies, made without computers or high-yielding yeasts.

In general I find the nose more important than the taste.

 

Who are you by the way?

I’m Ruben. I was born in 1978 and I’m living in Belgium, near Mechelen, about 400m away from a pot still whisky distillery!

 

Contact me

Feel free to send an e-mail to info@wh…notes.be

 

 

Who reads this whisky blog?

When I started in 2008, whisky bloggers could still be counted on two hands. Many years have passed and only a few of these original blogs are still active, but we are now joined by hundreds of others trying to catch up.

WhiskyNotes currently attracts up to 75.000 visits each month. In 2019, the site welcomed over 800.000 visitors, accounting for over 2,7 million pageviews according to Google Analytics. 

About 25% of my visitors are based in the US. Other loyal countries in the top-5 are the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

 

WhiskyNotes whisky blog popularity

 

 

Disclaimer: articles may contain affiliate links to trusted webshops, which means we may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase (think of it as giving us a thank-you dram). It helps to cover the costs of keeping this blog alive, yet all our opinions remain independent: the contents itself is never paid for or even guided by the industry.