When I started, I would refer to Michael Jackson a lot before purchasing. As my knowledge base expanded and I discovered Whisky magazine I tended to lean towards Dave Broom as being similar to how I would judge whisky. So that is where my vote leans, towards lil' Dave Broom.
At present, I tend to base my choices on what I either read in the forums, especially those who are trapped in the same distribution system as I am (LCBO) or from personal recommendations. For very special aquisitions though, (ie: Glen Albyn; my first Royal Lochnagar; Port Ellen; and the CS St. Maggy),I still run it past my buddy at the local LC. He's never steered me wrong and I've acquired 90%
of my collection through him.