The Whisky Blogger Commandments

1. Thy blog shalt not feature white text on a dark background.

2. Thou shalt not worship false gods, whether their names be Michael Jackson, Jim Murray, Jim McEwan, Stitzel-Weller, Pappy Van Winkle, Ralfy Mitchell or Serge Valentin.

3. Thou shalt not blog about or post photographs of the time thou and thy friends drank 10 ml each of 80 whiskies in one day.

4. Thou shalt not mention haggis or refer to Robert Burns as Robbie or Rabbie Burns unless thou is Scottish, and then only once a year. Relatedly, thou shalt lay off the Gaelic unless thou is one of the three people who actually speak it. 

5. Thou shalt not post tedious April Fool’s prank posts unless thou wishes to be smited with extreme prejudice.

6. Thou shalt not post tasting notes or impressions of a whisky thou tasted 10 ml of in an unclean plastic tumbler at a crowded tasting in a liquor store.

7. Thou shalt not tell people to not put water in their whisky or encourage them to use pipettes to add water to their whisky.

8. Thou shalt disclose the source of all thy samples.

9. Thou shalt not participate in Twitter tastings.

10. Thou shalt not refer to thyself in the third person unless thou is making a considered rhetorical point.

9 thoughts on “The Whisky Blogger Commandments

  1. Funny stuff mongo…no worship of Ralfy, but I do enjoy his vlogs. I agree that the volume tasters are highly annoying. Anyone of experience knows that after three or four cask strength drams your palate is shot for a while.

    The only other thing I’d add is thou shalt not post reviews of one off, single cask, no one has been able to purchase at retail for ten years whisky. One or two now and again is fine, but some bloggers overdo it. I tune out.


    • Restaurant reviews and food talk come under “occasional cultural commentary”. A few more reports to come still.

      Elsewhere, I have been taken to task for poor grammar with my “thou shalts”.


  2. I violate commandment #1, so I conclude you preach a false religion even though I concur with and obey all the rest. The dark background is like the resting silent dunnage and the pale golden letters the spirit within. But other than this one grave blunder it’s all good…


  3. #6 – hell, yeah! I’ve seen that more than once (although on the same blog), and it always baffled me to no end. One page of full sentences in fine print about the pluses and the minuses of the whisky that turned out to be a 1/4 or 1/6 oz thimble, since that’s what the state-allowed limit is at a tasting. Really? I don’t think even that guy at UC Davis, Tom Collins or John Collins or what’s his name, can do a chromatography or chemical analysis on 1/6 oz of whisky.

    And thanks for #8, Serge and Sku, that one goes to you. Although Sku does disclose that he always tastes in the buff. So he has that going for him – which is nice.


  4. These were at least partly tongue in cheek. However, as I pay more attention to conversations among whisky bloggers–on Facebook and Twitter–I am amazed, and somewhat disturbed by how untroubled, and indeed gung ho many bloggers seem to be about schmoozing with industry figures, getting invites to free tastings and then writing up gushing reviews of those events/products. I went into this in great detail in my other, longer screed but it’s really as though whisky bloggers are the p.r arm of many distilleries, and happy to be so, and happy to do it just for a few pours and the excitement of access.

    And then, of course, there’s a whole you scratch my blog, I’ll scratch yours aspect to it as well.


    • You’re right about that, but those writers are usually easy to figure out and ultimately discount/ignore. 2oz of free whisky are definitely not worth it!

      To be clear, that’s not what I had in mind re: Sku and Serge, two pillars of integrity in the whisky review world, as are you for that matter. I just wish I knew when they drank from their own bottle and when they had a sample (especially Sku; with Serge I assume it’s all samples). How many times have you thought/written: “I did/didn’t quite like this when I opened it but now, 1/3rd into the bottle I’ve changed my mind!”.

      As for that “you scratch mine I scratch yours” I thought it had a name: Twitter, no?


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