Whisky Tasting Clubs Bring Us Together

Rarely do two whisky lovers concur on their favorite dram, but one thing we do all agree on: Whisky is more enjoyable in the company of friends. It’s natural to want to share life’s greatest pleasures and adventures, and that may explain the popularity of whisky tasting clubs.

We’re publishing a special issue dedicated solely to whisky clubs, hitting newsstands on March 3, 2020. It’s an independent editorial product of Whisky Advocate created with the support of Beam Suntory. In this issue, we dive deep into the phenomenon of whisky tasting clubs. The members of these clubs are among Whisky Advocate’s most ardent fans and, as a result of tasting and learning together, some of the smartest, savviest, and most experienced whisky lovers we know.

We’ve tapped into many whisky clubs, some relatively new and some dating back decades, to bring you their insights into what makes a successful club. All were eager to share their experiences and offer advice for those just starting out. You’ll discover how different clubs find their focus, pool resources, and recruit members. Several clubs also share tips on how they source and purchase whiskies for their tastings.

Beyond that, our editors offer practical information on constructing a tasting flight of whiskies, improving the tasting abilities of your members, and even incorporating blind tasting into your practices, if you desire. You’ll find fresh tasting themes to keep things fun and engaging. And, while tasting whisky is at the core of any group, whisky clubs also enjoy activities like hitting distillery trails, purchasing custom barrels, and embarking on overnight adventures.

Whether you’re already part of a whisky club, or considering starting one, this is an issue you’ll want to file away and keep. Our Quick Reference section is a handy resource to answer some of the most common questions about whisky production and styles that often arise around the tasting table.

Whether we’re evaluating whiskies for our Top 20, or enjoying a dram with friends, Whisky Advocate editors know that conversation, camaraderie, and learning together are among the great joys of being a whisky lover. Members of whisky tasting clubs reap those rewards time and time again. I hope you enjoy this issue, and share it with your friends!

More From Whisky Clubs

Denny Potter on Craftsmanship

“I am a huge proponent of blind tastings, because I want people to appreciate whisky that you think is good, not what someone else is telling you.”