The Whiskyphiles

Whiskyphile, noun [C] specialized / ˈwis.ki.fajl / a disciplined devotion to whisky.

About The Whiskyphiles

The Whiskyphiles is an online broadsheet keeping track of whisky & cask-aged spirits news, events, festivals, new releases as well tasting notes and reviews, started in 2013 as an online collection of my own personal whisky tasting notes. Over the last 5 years I have amassed over 1250 reviews and personal tasting notes of whisky all from one palate, my own!

Sandend-BayAbout me

I’m Barry, born in 1976 in Manchester, England. I relocated to Edinburgh in 1994 to start a long (and continuous, my family joke) spell as a university student, studying Neuroscience initially. I joined the Institute for Animal Health Neuropathogenesis Unit in 2000 working on Prion diseases (such as Mad Cow Disease). Undertook my MSc and PhD ‘on the job’ and currently work in the same job, only now at The Roslin Institute.

I started seriously getting interested in whisky in the mid 2000’s. Having regularly been a visitor to the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) venues in Edinburgh with friends, I started collecting bottles from every different distillery I could find in around 2009. In 2011 I embarked on a mission to visit as many whisky distilleries as possible.

Why Whiskyphile?

Why do I love whisky? Probably the enormous variety and complexity I guess. As an undergrad my drinks of choice were Beer, as I have always been a real ale fan, and Dark Rum & Coke (for which I blame Ocean Colour Scene’s 1996 hit ‘The Day We Caught The Train’). I was familiar with Glenmorangie (my first whisky experience) and Bowmore which was my whisky of choice for a long time before I started exploring whisky proper. In the early days I attended tastings such as The Jolly Toper’s in Edinburgh and also sampled across the SMWS range, in fact a specific SMWS Sherried Highland Park dram really switched the light on for me.

What is your favourite/what is the best whisky?

Probably the most asked question I get. Whisky is personal, and I don’t actually have just one favourite. Brands such as The Balvenie and Laphroaig introduced me to both high quality standard bottles as well as rarer cask strength and special editions of ‘Friends’ bottles of whisky. Jura and Bunnahabhain are my guilty secrets. Springbank and Highland Park offer a rawer, more elemental experience, the list could go on. In my early days I looked to those whisky writers I respected and sought out some of their favourites such as The Macallan and Mortlach and hit upon one or two supreme bottles that have a special place in my heart. My advice would be: go seek your own perfect dram.


Reviews on The Whiskyphiles are not subject to editing or advertising by the sample provider and represent our own personal opinions and rating scores. I always give my honest opinions, findings, belief or experiences on those products or topics. This blog accepts no forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Any product claim, statistic, or quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified by the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This website does contain links to affiliate and other websites. If you buy something through one of these links you won’t pay a penny more but I may earn a small commission, which helps with the running costs of www.TheWhiskyphiles.com

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The majority of the reviews on The Whiskyphiles are from personally purchased bottles, bottles shared amongst friends, samples swapped with other Whiskyphiles, whisky from tastings, festivals and other events and a small amount from industry provided samples. I would like to kindly thank the following for provision of samples:

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