Whisky Samples – Let me make this clear!


On various whisky forums there is often much debate/finger pointing/conjecture, about whisky blogs and whisky samples. Mostly around who is getting freebee’s and what repercussions this has for objectivity or even the ability to write accurate notes from sometimes very small samples.
So to set the record straight, here at The Japanese Whisky Review I will confirm the following:
The closest I have ever had to receiving free samples comes in 3 parts.
I received a sample to go with a very expensive bottle I bought once. This may happen again, but only when I have purchased a full bottle. I wrote notes on this site from this sample.
I enjoyed tasting some samples at a bar once and then went out with the owner to another bar where I picked up the tab for food, whisky and cab fare. I only wrote tasting notes for this site on one of the samples(which I subsequently bought a bottle of).
I have swapped a small amount samples, often sending more than I have received and of greater rarity.
I buy 99% of my samples from whiskysamples. So when you read at the bottom of a review, notes taken from a purchased sample, 99% of the time, this is where I bought it from.
So why don’t I solicit samples? Because I believe it is the only way to remain totally objective when writing tasting notes. I am a Japanese Whisky Enthusiast pure and simple, just like my readers, putting my hand in my pocket to support a passion that I love, just like they do.

4 thoughts on “Whisky Samples – Let me make this clear!

  1. I admire your stance on this Brian, because it is the only way to be completely independent.
    All visitors to your site will know that the opinions you give are not swayed in any way & are simply your honest assessment – a great thing in my opinion.
    I know Jim Murray solicits samples from producers, which has to affect how he reviews whiskies. It is clear he loves Ardbeg as if it were his first born child!
    I’ve occasionally been sent samples by a chap I buy a bit of whisky from – in this case it’s his way of saying thanks for the business & a way for me to try things I might not have been able to otherwise.

  2. It’s the only way I work also as you know, Brian. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I buy my own bottles (with the occasional sample swap between mates), that way I can say what I want about something – without giving praise where it is clearly not needed. I certainly don’t think we need to justify ourselves so to speak as everything is all evident in our posts (pics, solid honest reviews, and a variety of bottling from old school to knew). Good to make it clear, I did that a few weeks ago with my sample sessions (swapping with malt mates).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *