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Which Critic do you most agree with?

Take part in our whisky polls and votes. You can also post your own polls in this forum.

Witch critic do you most agree with?

Michael Jackson
23
33%
Jim Murray
37
53%
Dave Bloom
10
14%
 
Total votes : 70

Postby Jon Barleycorn » Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:41 pm

I was just given the latest edition of JM's bible, and though it's enjoyable to browse through, I find myself questioning the number of whiskeys he rates in the 80's and 90's. 95 for standard Jameson's??? Anyway, as a relative newbie I am interested in reading most any whiskey book I can come across, and this one has the virtue of having not cost me anything. Meanwhile, I'll check out some of the websites that were mentioned on this thread.
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Postby Admiral » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:45 am

95 for standard Jameson's???


Yes, I've never been able to resolve that. I don't dismiss standard Jamesons's because it's a cheap blend, I dismiss it because it's a reasonably bland and uncomplex whisky. I've tried plenty of other malts that offer substantially more flavour, complexity, aromas, and personality, yet JM scored those lower in the 80's.

Each to our own.

Cheers,
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Postby Badmonkey » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:18 am

I don't trust bearded men -- fear of pirates, you see.

Wendy gets my vote.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:16 pm

Badmonkey wrote:I don't trust bearded men -- fear of pirates, you see.


Ahem.

Badmonkey wrote:Wendy gets my vote.


I think you're on to something there....
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Postby les taylor » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:20 pm

Is Wendy Jim Murray in disguise?

:?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:09 pm

I don't think so--I have seen the two of them in the same room at the same time.

If it is, it's a hell of a disguise.... :shock:
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Postby bamber » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:53 pm

Badmonkey wrote:I don't trust bearded men -- fear of pirates, you see.

Wendy gets my vote.


Why are pirates, pirates ?





Because they AYYRRRRRR !
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:08 pm

[quote="Badmonkey"]I don't trust bearded men -- fear of pirates, you see.[quote]

LOL :D
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Postby Mark » Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:20 pm

Jim Murray got my vote as i prefer his style of writing out of the 3 authors. None of the 3 authors actually influence which whisky i try and which whisky i dont.

I simply find it interesting to compare their opinion of a whisky with my own.
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Postby Aidan » Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:29 pm

laphroaig10_65 wrote:The web site of Johannes van den Heuvel is very useful to approach single malt whiskies.
I disagree with the critics when they don't see a clear difference of quality between the single malts and the more commercial blended.
Bye
Luca


That's the very reason i like Jim Murray, but as said above, I don't value his opinion as much anymore. I don't think he's as independent as he says he is, but at least he's willing to look beyond single malt scotch.

Anyway, I voted for Broom.
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Postby Mustardhead » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:34 am

I voted for Michael Jackson. Some of his beer writings made me take notice of some beers which I might not have considered and his Malt Whisky Companion is such a fine guide to what has interested me for over 20 years.

I just don't like Jim Murray's style :(

And as for Dave Broom, I haven't read enough of his opinions to form a view. I've read more reviews by people on this site and the Malt Maniacs
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Postby Wendy » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:16 am

les taylor wrote:Is Wendy Jim Murray in disguise?

:?


Arrrrr...It is a good thing I shaved this morning! :D

Hands down, my vote is with Jim.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:26 am

Wendy, you're disturbing me! :shock: I'm disturbed enough as it is.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:35 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:Wendy, you're disturbing me! :shock: I'm disturbed enough as it is.


Come now Mr. T, it's just late in the night for you......
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Postby Rory B Bellows » Wed Feb 14, 2007 8:12 pm

I think that Jackson's descriptions are the most straight-forward of the three.
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Postby Badmonkey » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:50 pm

Jim Murray seems to be the only one of the lot that really knows Japanese whisky, and for that I hold him in very high regard. I do enjoy Michael Jackson's writing though.
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Postby killerwhale » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:24 am

this is an interesting question.... I like to read all views on whiskies though I think my 'new' palate is not going to corrispond to an experts..... however this is an interesting experiment.... take a dram of a 'new to you' whisky and write ones notes, then at another time, have another dram of said whisky and whilst sipping, read the experts notes.... one may indeed agree with both :shock: or disagree ofcourse .... it just goes to show what suggestion can do to ones mind..... and how ones taste buds ultimately react
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:37 pm

I don't use Jim Murray's bible anymore but it's great to have around should there be a need for it. I do however really like Michael Jackson's monthly column in the Whiskymag and I ususally find his descriptions on whiskies alright. If I have to pick a favourite it would be Dave Broom. So often I find his descriptions and concepts on taste and smell in tune with my own - or is it perhaps the other way around :roll: And lets not forget Martine Nouet.
I think what appeals to me about Michael Jackson and Dave Broom is that they are both journalists/writers/authors with "literary" qualities. They make better use of the language and thus I tend to enjoy them more.
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Postby kljostad » Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:48 pm

As I am fairly new to whisky, I tend to read critics before I buy a bottle. I lean on both the critics in Whisky Magazine and Jim Murray. Especially Jim Murray have been good help. I don't always agree with him. A few whiskies he gives a bad score, I have enjoyed very much. But I have yet to find a whisky he has given a good rating, that I don't like.
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Postby Steve Rush » Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:39 pm

This is a difficult one if you ask me. Initially within the five or so years I have been taking whisky seriously as it were I would have to say that Michael Jackson is the one that has excited me the most with regards to critique of whisky. Also thrilled to of met him at this years Whisky Live in London.

Having said that for the last few years through his Whisky Bibles I have also been latched on somewhat to Jim Murray whose tasting and nosing notes have been just spot on and have made very interesting reading.

My first encounter with Dave Broom was one afternoon a few years back when I saw him on Great Food Live and his enthusiasm and knowledge made me want to find out more about him and ever since I have been an avid Dave Broom fan through his books and indeed the articles he does for such fine publications as The Whisky Mag.

It's really a case of mix and match to be honest and I enjoy comparing the different critiques between all three. And indeed comparing the three to my own.
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Postby Admiral » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:15 am

Also, I think to a certain extent there has been a changing of the guard, so to speak.

MJ's Malt Whisky Companion has been around for a long time now, and the book was such an authorative work that for years he was simply regarded as king of the whisky writers.

However, it must also be acknowledged that the book didn't really have much in the way of competition. Sure, there were other books on whisky around, but none that provided tasting notes or scores so many different whiskies.

Jim Murray's Bible was the first book to compete and offer an alternative. Jim's timing was brilliant, because his book also picked up momentum at the time MJ's 5th edition of the Companion came out.

Many long-term whisky enthusiasts acknowledged that MJ's 5th edition did not do a good job of keeping up to date, at least with the tasting notes, i.e. he did not re-visit or update the listings from the 4th edition, he simply added in the new listings and repeated the old notes that were at least six years old.

This gave Jim a bit of an edge, and I think the title of "best whisky writer" has possibly shifted from MJ to JM as a result. It should also be acknowledged that MJ divides his passion with beer, whereas as JM is a little more single-minded.

Cheers,
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:52 am

Admiral wrote:This gave Jim a bit of an edge, and I think the title of "best whisky writer" has possibly shifted from MJ to JM as a result.


Well, "best whisky rater" for sure, if only because there is no real competition. "Writer" is considerably more subjective.
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Postby pkt77242 » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:52 am

I voted JM mostly because I find his writing style interesting. I don't always agree with him but I do enjoy reading his books.

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Postby victor tango whisky » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:16 pm

While I enjoy Jackson's writing style more, I find myself more in agreement with Murray. And his Whiskey bible is not confined to Scotch.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:07 pm

victor tango whisky wrote:While I enjoy Jackson's writing style more, I find myself more in agreement with Murray. And his Whiskey bible is not confined to Scotch.


Welcome to the forum VWT (at one point in my life I was Kilo 6), I like many other the other critics but find their info is out dated; MJ's last book came out years ago, the ratings are generally not relevant today.
Last edited by Lawrence on Tue Apr 24, 2007 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ardbeg311 » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:52 pm

Welcome Victor Tango Whisky!

So where is the best place to buy whisky in Vermont? My family spends some vacation time in Vermont and when I visited Burlington two years ago I had some hopes of finding a place similar to the stores in NH. Have to say I was a bit disappointed in what they had for a selection of single malts. Do most Vermonters hop over to NH if they can?
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Postby victor tango whisky » Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:00 am

Ardbeg311 wrote:Welcome Victor Tango Whisky!

So where is the best place to buy whisky in Vermont? My family spends some vacation time in Vermont and when I visited Burlington two years ago I had some hopes of finding a place similar to the stores in NH. Have to say I was a bit disappointed in what they had for a selection of single malts. Do most Vermonters hop over to NH if they can?


VT State Liquor prices (http://liquorcontrol.vermont.gov/retail/) are pretty good but those in NH are quite a bit lower. They do run some very nice sales, though. While the biggest store is in Burlington, the warehouse in Montpelier will special order to any store in the state. But, to answer your question, I do go shopping in NH when I'm there.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:40 pm

victor tango whisky wrote:But, to answer your question, I do go shopping in NH when I'm there.


So do many of us Massholes (the no-doubt affectionate term for folks from my state, used by other New Englanders). Can't beat their prices. New Hampshire is rare among jurisdictions with government liquor monopolies in using their position to try to undercut other markets. The intent, of course, is to bleed as much money as possible out of Massachusetts--a typical bit of hypocrisy from the "Live Free Or Die" state, the shark sucker of New England.

New Hampshire prices may be lower, and they do have a fair selection, but there is vastly greater choice in Massachusetts if you know where to look.
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Postby TheLaddie » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:10 am

MrTattieHeid wrote:So do many of us Massholes


I hope the M isn't silent... :wink:
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Apr 25, 2007 2:06 am

Most likely it is in the minds of those who use the term! Being from the more rural western end of the state, of course, I know they aren't talking about me.

Image
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Postby bond » Mon May 21, 2007 7:14 am

I voted for Murray. In hindsight, I perhaps plumped for him because I prefer his style of writing as opposed to agreeing with tasting notes. MJ seems to have a tendency to impress people with his command over the english language as opposed to being informative or making a point.

As regards another point made by Admiral, (regarding "Serendipity"), I feel leading whisky writers tend to contribute to glorifying some of these "special releases" by giving them extra points. Ditto for whisky retailers. The store manager at Whisky Exchange tried to hard-sell a bottle of serendipity.

As consumers, do we also get influenced by these "special releases" and make an extra effort to like them? I mean is Ardbeg "Very Young" actually as much "better" than the regular 10 yo as is made out to be? Guess the jury is out on that.

Cheers
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Postby Jon Barleycorn » Fri May 25, 2007 5:18 am

JM's Whisky Bible can be entertaining, but I find it hard to give much credence to someone who gives standard Jameson's a rating of 95 while dismissing Balvenie 12 with a 77, mostly because he cut his finger in the process of opening it.
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Postby smsmmns » Fri May 25, 2007 7:18 pm

That is the difficulty in any grading system, it can never be accurate to anyone but the reviewer... and even for him/her, the opinion and experience can be totally different in a different environment, time of day, etc.

It all just brings attention to what has been said dozens of times in this string of posts: tasting notes should be used as entertainment(for the writing) and guidance (to give a rough idea of the style of whisky). And then when things get really nerdy(but equally subjective), we will always have the Malt Maniacs, thank gawd.
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Postby Iain » Fri May 25, 2007 7:27 pm

Jon Barleycorn wrote:JM's Whisky Bible can be entertaining, but I find it hard to give much credence to someone who gives standard Jameson's a rating of 95 while dismissing Balvenie 12 with a 77, mostly because he cut his finger in the process of opening it.


I found it entertaining the first time, but the entertainment value palls with subsequent editions - it became just more of the same. I haven't bought the 2007 after being disappointed with 2006. I've stopped buying Michael Jackson for the same reason - the Jackson and Murray annual publications have both got a bit stale. Fresh and up-to-date info and opinions on new bottlings and old favourites is readily available from Malt Maniacs and other websites. Including this one of course.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri May 25, 2007 11:30 pm

I tend not to fully agree with any critic, I just accept their ramblings as their own feelings which have a slight relevance to my own tastes, then I tend to do my own thing.
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