Whiskyfacile.com starts in 2011, when Jacopo and Giacomo, moving towards their thirties, decided to sink in whisky the consciousness of death approaching, day after day (we’re joking, huh). Oh, good old times, golden youth…
For many years we’ve been revolving around the cultural industry, between academic research and unlikely editorial jobs: whisky wasn’t our job, it’s been from the very first day a passion to share. Whisky world is incredibly fascinating, but to fully enjoy it you don’t need to be rich, with a silk gown, thick moustaches (ok, these help), a leather armchair and comfortable slippers. Whisky Facile (“Easy Whisky” in Italian) means that we’re talking about whisky while having fun, trying to demistify many stereotypes that still surround this spirit.
Since June 2020, our team gets bigger: Marco Zucchetti, who used to contribute to this blog since 2018, is officially on board, and he’s joined by Davide Ansalone, a good friend based in Germany that makes his photographic skills available for our Instagram page. Most of the reviews are written by Jacopo, Giacomo and Marco together; since Zucchetti is a compulsive and unstoppable drinker, he’s maintaining his column “Cask force”.
Why opening the umpteenth whisky blog? And since it’s always been in Italian, why opening it to English language? Well, first of all, back in 2011 there weren’t many online resources about whisky, especially in Italian – there were wonderful news websites, sharing passion, but we felt a whisky tasting notes blog was missing (yes, we were the first: let us get cocky for a bit). So we wanted to do something different, that was well received by the Italian whisky world that was starting to bloom in those years, and – let us say this – needed a bit of fresh air. In 2020 we decided it was time to gradually translate the whole website in English, because we know that a website like this, ten year old and with more tha 1300 reviews, can be useful if treated like a database: and with such a success of Single Malt nowadays, we felt it was a shame not to widen the audience to share thoughts and samples and confront with. As you may have noticed, not all the reviews have been translated: it’s a huge job, and we have a real life job too. So be patient, we’re starting with about 400 English reviews, but we’re confident that in a few months we’ll cover the whole website.
Even if we’ve been working with some whisky companies (Pernod Ricard, Beija-Flor), we’re whisky lovers before everything else: we have fun in drinking and analyzing what we have in the glass. Every time we can, we write tasting notes for our whiskies, and we can guarantee that to actually nose and drink a whisky with the aim of dissecting it can be quite funny. In out intentions, these tasting notes are only made to be shared, hoping to find opportunities of discussion. Of course, when we’re working with a company, we think it’s best if we avoid reviewing bottles from its portfolio (more about this in the disclaimer, down here).
How (epistemology of whiskyfacile and rating scale)
We can’t presume to give lessons on tasting whisky. The only suggestion we have is to be curious, to try and taste as many whiskies as you can: it’s only with exercise and training that you can get the ability of “putting things in the right place”, distinguishing a good malt from a bad one, or simply recognizing your own taste and preferences.
But ok, this is how we do it. When we rate a whisky we take four aspects in consideration: nose, palate, finish, overall impression. The only criterion we use is our own taste, that we try to develop the more we can: drinking as sponges, basically. Our vote is never affected by the price/quality ratio or by the rarity of what we have in the glass. Almost every blog spend words to explain its own rating system. We won’t do it, because we’re convinced that the total subjectivity of taste cannot be cloaked with a claimed (and often misconceived) objectivity. What we can do is to be coherent with ourselves, so if we’re not in good conditions, if some day we’re out of phase, we simply won’t drink; we don’t earn anything from this. As many of you know, the perception of a whisky can change, a lot, because that’s what whisky does, and we change as well: for example, a whisky form a freshly opened bottle will be (slightly, it depends) different from a dram poured when the bottle’s half-empty… What are we trying to say? Please take our ratings with a pinch of salt, we do this just to remember if a whisky we’ve had was good or not; basically, we do it so that we can remeber what we drank the night before.
To be short: we use a 100 points scale, as is normal for the main websites that rate whiskies. We don’t like to take ourselves too serious, but: a whisky with a 65 to 75 rate isn’t totally undrinkable but it’s more than forgettable; from 75 to 82 we’re talking about a fine whisky that doesn’t make us crazy; from 83 to 87 we’re in territory full of joy; between 88 and 90 we must give deep respect to that dram; from 91 points, be sure that we’re ready to risk prison to catch a bottle of it; under 65, well, we threw our money away. That said, a basic rule: numbers matter, but words and descriptions matter more.
Talking about descriptions: remeber that there’s the principle of cultural heritage: as Proust taught us, smells and tastes reactivate our personal memory, so usually we’re more keen to recognize analogies to things that we know. We may be talking about pipe tobaccos of sicilian citrus; we’ll try not to exaggerate with suggestions and to keep our style ‘sober’ (ahem). But hey, we need to have fun too: so from time to time we’ll probably fill our reviews with unlikely stuff: as we said, we need to have fun, we ain’t no bureaucrats of whisky tasting, mind you!
Disclaimer (as wants the alleged blog etiquette)
We’re four whisky lovers: what you’ll find here is nothing but the expression of our opinions, that obviously are more than questionable. As we wrote, two of us now work in the whisky industry: we hope you’re smart and attentive enough to note that the fact that we’re working for a company or another doesn’t move our passion. We’re not the bullhorn of any company, and we never want to be that; when we write on WhiskyFacile, we’re honest and independent, always, and we want to be the bullhorn of whisky in its whole, because that’s the product we love. If we weren’t honest and independent, we wouldn’t be credible and reliable: and we’d be only damaging ourselves. You don’t think that in Italy it’s possible to work without conflict of interest? It’s not our problem, we’ll try and go on with our own lives anyway. Frankly, we think we’re incredibly lucky to be working with our passion, and we’re proud of it: this happiness will never be scratched.
If you’re under 18 years old, run away from this blog, it’s not stuff for you (our lawyer told us to write so, and we did). In general, we don’t promote tha abuse of alcohol, but no one should be surprised that on a whisky blog alcohol is a protagonist. If this hurts your feelings, we’re sorry for you but it’s your business.
After every review we’ll be posting also some videos from youtube, just to add a musical background to the whisky we’ve tasted, as usual on the basis of our own taste and mood: dear Music Companies, we’re not doing anything wrong, and there are nothing commercial related to those videos, so please, stay away from us.