One of the things that really got me into trying more whiskies was YouTube. It’s a really fountain of knowledge and opinion so I thought I’d share with you all a few of my favourite vloggers and what draws me to them, and what might draw you to them.
Ralfy has been reviewing on whisky on Youtube since 2009. At last count he’s done over 770 reviews of mainly whisky, but with a few bourbons and rums too. Ralfy was my first experience with a real whisky reviewer, thanks to a recommendation from my friend Gavin, he knew I was a fan of whisky and pointed me in the direction of Ralfy’s channel.
I honestly didn’t know what to make of him at first. He’s an auld eccentric. He’s forgotten more about whisky than I’ll ever know. He lives in the Isle of Man although he’s originally from Glasgow and films his vlogs in his Manx Bothy. He doesn’t mince his words and is a fiercely independent reviewer and pays for all his own bottles. The reviews he posts have a few set rules. He will only vlog if the whisky has scored over 80/100 on his scoring scale; and only if they have an age statement. Ralfy is all about the transparency of the whisky industry. It’s also favourable if the whisky is non-chill filtered and is 46% or above and has no caramel colourant added, in his opinion this is how the best whiskies are presented.
A Ralfy review is not something you can watch off the cuff. I feel I need to immerse myself in it, so I always pour myself a dram, relax and really listen to his opinions. He can often go off topic and then come right back round and end up at the whisky again. He reminds me of the wise old man in your local pub with a tale to tell, you know he’s completely honest and you really embrace his anecdotes and wisdom. Ralfy posts once to twice a week and splits his blogs into reviews and extras, so those that want a bit more Ralfy have to wait for the next days video.
The Whisk(e)y Vault
Daniel and Rex are two Texas based whisky lovers who help run the ‘Wizard Academy’ for budding whisky sommeliers to cut their teeth and really earn their stripes in the world of Scotch.
Shenanigans abound with these two, they are very relaxed and easy-going about their reviews and you can probably binge a good few months of episodes in a day if you really wanted too. Things do get a bit surreal too, Rex is a Mooch, and tries his best to get as much whisky out of Daniel as he can whilst their spirit animals often come out and fight for superiority over the vault. These guys post videos 5 days a week including a donation day where they review bottles sent in by fans; although not as in depth as Ralfy, Daniel really does know his stuff.
The guys also have another channel too called The Whiskey Tribe
They host this separately from the Vault episodes and they are running a totally crow-sourced Patreon funded distillery, where all the donators get a say in what casks to use what barley, peated or non-peated; it’s an amazing project. They post once a week here and answer common questions about whisky, with some fun aht the end, often involving leaf blower or whisky or both. . .
Roy at Aqvavitae is different again. He does one of my favourite Youtube review formats I’ve ever seen. Their called recycled reviews and it’s him and his recycling bin with a basket full of empty bottles hes enjoyed. He’s right when he says you don’t really know a whisky until you’ve spent a whole bottles worth of time with it. It’s simple but effective, quick review, would I buy it again, and a score out of ten.
But that’s not all! He also does the Vpub Live vlogs which is a live stream usually on a thursday evening where he discusses a topic and we all join him live for a dram over on his channel, sometimes do a quiz but all get together in the chat and have a good chin wag about all things whisky.
These are the vloggers that really draw me in because I can really feel and see their passion in whisky every time I watch one of their videos. Eventually I want to be able to do that for you guys too, watch this space. . .