Scotch Ratings

Scotch ratings, reviews and tasting notes by two average joes

It means “A hundred thousand welcomes to you” and it is a traditional welcoming in Scotland, see the Say What section for more details.

Scotch Ratings was created in 2012 by Nic and Djoph, two friends who enjoy the excellent drink that used to be called usquebaugh and is now known as scotch whisky. The site was created to share our love of this drink as widely as possible. Here you will find scotch ratings, reviews and tasting notes of the different whisky that we come across.


Laws have changed once again and it seems like things are back in order and The Whisky Exchange is now delivering again in the USA. But, in order to make it easier and cheaper on our readers from the US, we are still working to find a US-based spirit dealer.

P.S. If you are a US-based spirits seller and you would be interested in doing business with us, drop us a line at or

Nic and Djoph

Stay tuned for more
Slàinte mhath!

Leave A Comment, Written on September 15th, 2012 , General Tags:

World Whisky Day 2014For those of you who did’t hear yet, tomorrow is World Whisky Day which, according to, is a day of global whisky celebration. Thus, events are taking place all around the world to celebrate the water of life. Click on the logo to visit the official site and learn more. You can also find if there is an event in your area by checking the Event section of the site.

For the event, let us know what you will be celebrating with in the comments section of this post!

Happy World Whisky Day to all!

Nic and Djoph!

Leave A Comment, Written on May 16th, 2014 , News

Region – Speyside

Eye - Amber

Nose – The first word to pop to my mind was “nutty”, then it was followed by a zesty freshness reminding me of lemons or citrus. All of this was followed by a warm wood and caramel aroma.

Taste – For some reasons, I expected something all smooth, mellow and malty. Instead the first thing I tasted was pepper followed by something green reminding me of grass. This was accompanied by a feeling of wet leather giving it a very “organic” impression in mouth. All of this was followed by bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate that lingered on the finish.

Remarks – This scotch has all the characteristics of something I should be in total love with… and yet for some reasons it falls a bit short. I tasted this last year on vacation while I was very tired so maybe this had a negative effect on the whole experience. Don’t get me wrong, it is a really good product, but it just falls short of “awesome” for me. That being said, it is still a really nice product that I would never refuse.

Rating: 87


Leave A Comment, Written on April 30th, 2014 , Scotch ratings Tags: , , , ,

Region – Highland (Island)

Eye – Light gold

Nose – The nose is pretty rough to begin with. Almost only alcohol, some light sweetness in the back and a bit of peat. Some salt and maybe brine. I do not feel like the balancing work has been done, it’s just a bunch of elements thrown together. After a lot of nosing, I got some medical or phenol scents in it too. Honestly, not very enticing.

Taste – Yikes, it’s not a cask strength, but it kicks like one. In fact, it is actually a little better than what the nose led me to expect, but there is no greatness here. Once again, a  lot of alcohol, a sweetness that passes real quick, and then, a pretty astringent feeling of dried greens. After a few sips, once accustomed to its roughness, I could taste some more sweetness but could hardly define what is was, brown sugar, maybe a little cinnamon. I want to think of baked pastries, but the roughness of it keeps those sweet and warming thoughts away. The finish is of medium length, warm with alcohol and a lingering sweetness that is interesting.

Remarks – I bought that bottle with a gift certificate and that was all the money I had, that’s why I went for a 40$ scotch. I don’t think I’ll renew the experience. In fact, next time I’ll throw in the extra 20$ for a bottle that deserve to be called scotch. I will probably finish the bottle with ice and Pepsi.

EDIT: It also makes a pretty kick ass latte, just add a weeny dram of your less that awesome scotch in a coffee, cappuccino or latte, to gives it a totally new twist.

Rating: 65


Leave A Comment, Written on April 13th, 2014 , Scotch ratings Tags: , , , , , ,

Bottle of Maker's Mark bourbonRegion – Loretto, Kentucky, USA (Distilled by Beam Inc.)

Eye – Burnished gold

Nose – First thing that hit my nose was the scent of fruit jam, a little like some cognacs. Then oak and burnt sugar. In the end, I felt something like spiced honey or maybe maple syrup, but I’ll have to double check for that one.

Taste – After tasting the Maker’s 46 from the same distiller, I was expecting something along the same lines, but rougher as the Marker’s Mark is a bit lower end than the 46. Man I was in for quite a surprise! Maker’s Mark is smooth, deep, very rich and quite well balanced. No roughness at all here.  The finish is a bit short but very nice and perfumed with oak and vanilla.

Remarks – That bottle is a souvenir I bought while on a cruise from Alaska to British Columbia with the whole family. We parked the RV in Vancouver, rent a car and drove South to Seattle, flew from Seattle to Anchorage, took a bus from Anchorage to Whittier and then hopped on a cruise boat for a week long trip. It was awesome. For me, the Maker’s Mark will always hold memories of Alaska, glaciers and wildlife.

Rating: 85


Glenmorangie Extremely Rare, 18 yearsRegion – Highland

Eye – Light gold

Nose – At first smelling, I got lots of wood, mainly oak, some floral notes and caramelized fruits, prune, orange and raisins out of the Glenmorangie “Extremely Rare”. Later on, I detected aromas of vanilla, honey and all kind of sweet delicacies. It made me think a bit about the Nectar D’Or from the same distillery, it smells like a French bakery but with the added bonus of oak, more depth and roundness.

Taste – Ooooh! Smoothness. As promised by the nose, a nice splash of oak, quickly followed by the floral aspects announced. Then some notes of nuts, dried spices and a little salt. The finish is long, well balanced and very smooth with a touch of smoke, some lingering nuts and a marine or seashore feeling in the end.

Remarks – If this scotch had been rated by Nic, it would probably get the highest possible rating. That is an awesome dram and it really struck a chord with me but, like Nic likes to say about me, I’m a “This stuff’s melting my fillings, so it must be good!” kind of guy and I like my dram stiff, strong and smoky. I feel like it is an really good one but there is a little something missing for me and that is a good kick, the thing is, I understand it and realize that it is only a question of taste.

Ratings: 94


Leave A Comment, Written on February 14th, 2014 , Scotch ratings Tags: , , , , , ,

Bottle and box of Lagavulin 12 y/o Cask StrengthRegion – Islay

Eye – Light gold

Nose – At first, the Lagavulin 12 y/o Cask Strength gave me scents of peat and of a fire that had been doused with water, you know that heavy white smoke that comes out? There was also a little sulfur, like burnt matches, some light phenolic notes and a little brine in the end. There is also a very nice sweetness in it.

Taste – Woah! That is a Cask Strength, it kicked like a mule and I loved it. That is definitely the Lagavulin 16 younger brother, and a feisty one at that. Very peppery, in fact almost fiery, I could taste strong spices (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon), smoke and wood. There was also a little zest and crisp feeling like citrus.

Remarks – A friend brought that bottle one night. When I saw it I thought Wow! Lagavulin, my favorite of all time. And then, I noticed the Cask Strength indication on it, you know my tastes! After a bit of reading, I discovered that it was a limited edition that was sold only at fall. Well well well don’t we have all the reasons to make a very special event out of that drink! Well, it was so good that I had a hard time not chugging it down. Thus making my notes not the best I’ve ever taken, which in turn makes me promise myself to buy a bottle next fall, to sip it nice and slow, and take better notes in order to update this review.



Leave A Comment, Written on February 7th, 2014 , Scotch ratings Tags: , , , , ,

Bottle of Nikka 12 years whiskyRegion – This whisky is from Japan.

Eye – Amber

Nose – At first, the Nikka Taketsuru 12 Years smelled quite a bit of alcohol, then I could smell some peat, oak and greenery. The alcohol I got at first made me think of a young whisky, that smell usually isn’t present in a 12 years. After a sip or two, I could also smell caramel and burnt sugar in this one.

Taste – To the palate, I caught a taste of oak to begin with and then it turned into a highly chlorophyled, vegetal taste. The wood remained present and the alcohol felt at the nosing stage was still present. I definitely had the feeling that I was drinking a younger whisky than the 12 years marked on the bottle. The finish was short, had some greenery in it too and felt unelaborated.

Remarks – That was the first time I tasted a Japanese whisky and it was very interesting. I guess that it’s a good all around whisky but as I’m partial to Islay and Highland scotch, I was a bit disappointed. I must have been expecting something else but I cannot point it precisely. The low rating is a reflection of the little something that was missing but that I can’t put my finger on.

Rating: 75



Glen Grant 16 yearsRegion – Speyside

Eye – Light copper

Nose – Nosing the Glen Grant 16 years, I smelled a lot of yeast with a very nice touch of malt behind. Later on I discovered scents of burnt sugar, light vanilla, spices like ginger and clove. In the end, I think I distinguished some evergreen in there, cedar maybe.

Taste – It has a very nice body to the palate and, surprisingly, the feel is not oily at all. To me it felt a little thin and I prefer my drink bold and a little more aggressive. It tasted like herbs, dried cedar or spruce. The finish was of medium length, it had aromas of caramel, more wood and cedar.

Remarks – To me, it tasted a bit like a young scotch. It was surprising considering it’s 16 years of age. I think that it would be a great dram for beginners who wants to start tasting scotch and get accustomed to the aromas and taste. All in all a good all-around one.

Ratings: 79


Leave A Comment, Written on August 14th, 2013 , Scotch ratings Tags: , , , , ,

Bottle of Laphroaig CàirdeasRegion – Islay

Eye – Light Gold

Nose – First draft made me think of warm forest soil (dead leaves, hot evergreen needles and a bit of moisture), leather, peat and a little smoke. After that I got scents of green apple, caramel and burnt sugar.

Taste – Again, warmth is the first thing I think about when tasting the Laphroaig Càirdeas. Warm wood, oak and earth. Then I can feel some fish in it and maybe seaweed. Later on, it turns to peat. The finish is lightly peated, with a touch of salt and some caramel. It has a nice peppery feeling at the end. For a cask strength (51,3 ABV) I find it pretty mellow and it does not have as much kick as the other CS I’ve tasted, but it is a bit more aggressive than a regular strength one and a very nice dram anytime.

Remarks – Nic told me about that strange, special edition from Laphroiag (they are known to NOT make special edition) so I had to get a bottle of it. As no liquor store in my area had any, I had to call my dad (who lives about 500 km from my place) for him to go and buy me a bottle. It took a little while but eventually I got the thing and I discovered in the box that by buying that bottle I’d become a Friend of Laphroaig and that I was now the lucky owner of a plot of land (let’s be honest, that’s a one square foot plot, but still) in the Islay region.

Ratings: 93


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Leave A Comment, Written on August 8th, 2013 , Scotch ratings Tags: , , , , ,

Bottle of Dailuaine Connoisseur's ChoiceRegion – Speyside

Eye – Light straw

Nose – The Dailuaine 14 y/o gives a fresh and crisp first impression. Then there is a nice citrus fruit smell, some lemon and orange and a light spike of alcohol in it. Working it in its glass and smelling more allowed me to discover some floral scent (lilac), something smooth and herbal, distinct greenery or grassy touches and a very light wood, maybe oak, in the end.

Taste – At first, this dram takes all the room there is and shows a massive richness. After the initial wave I felt fruits, light spices, a little pepper and a comeback of vanilla before the finish. There was also a little more of the citrus from the nose in the palate and a hint of cocoa or dark chocolate. The finish is of medium length, velvety, with a touch of oak from the nose and has a spicy kickback.

Remarks – I must confess I slacked a bit lately and this review is written from my notes and I have a bit of a hard time remembering this one. The worst in all that is that it seems pretty hard to taste it again as it has been deleted from the scotch list of my favorite watering hole, The Highlander Pub, in Ottawa. I could always find another place, but the thing is that with their 200+ different whisky, The Highlander Pub was pretty much the only place nearby to keep that bottle. I’ll be looking around and if I’m lucky enough to get my hands on another dram of the good stuff, I’ll update this review.

Rating: 90


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