The Mash Tun consists of 3 whisky enthusiasts (Dave, Steve, and Garry) who have a genuine passion and love of Scotland’s national drink. Having been to countless (we won’t go into the numbers!) tastings, and read numerous opinions of other people, we decided to create our own website for reviewing drams and introducing people to, as Rabbie Burns would say, “John Barleycorn”…
We created this website to be completely unbiased and independent (hopefully you’ll notice the lack of advertising on our site!), to allow us to make our reviews public, and help introduce people to whisky. It’s also a good way to remember what we drunk the night before, and how much we enjoyed it! On a serious note though, we really do want to encourage people to have their own tastings and enjoy what we feel is the best drink in the world. We tried to create an environment that hasn’t just got one review but multiple reviews; an official, the collective Mashtun synopsis as well as three individual reviews from our panel. On the odd occasion we may add a guest taster in as well for good measure!
From novice to expert we are more than happy to hear you opinions on the drams we review, our reviews, and whiskies you think we should try. To us whisky is an experience and should be savoured. We just hope this website will help you to feel same, challenge your whisky palate, and help you choose new whiskies to try.
For more info on testing’s, tasting notes or to download your own free tasting kit, please visit our ‘DIY-Tasting’ page.
Dave McNeill - My whisky profile...
To say that I have loved whisky my whole life would be a complete lie! The fact is I didn't have my first malt until my mid 20's. This was however due to a VERY bad experience I had in my younger days with some awful whisky, but I won't go into that!
Since my first dram my whisky palate has expanded exponentially and I now enjoy drams that I wouldn't have touched a few years ago. I am a long term member of the SMWS and have been on too many whisky tastings and distillery tours to mention. With that in mind, and the fact I wanted to record some of the amazing drams I was trying, the Mash Tun website sprung into life. I really believe that there is a dram for everyone and I love challenging people’s perception of whisky, including my own! I am a real whisky lover and am extremely passionate about the drink we all (well all the Mash Tun panel anyway!) consider the best drink in the world.
As for my whisky palate, it does range from peated, to sherried, to port casks, to standard bourbon casks, and to much more! I really do enjoy trying the full range. As long as the whisky is interesting then I am usually happy. As for the 'favourite whisky' question, well I find that impossible to answer, it's like 'what's your favourite band'... It changes on a weekly basis but I do have ones I always go back to.
Garry Torrance - My whisky profile...
I drank my first dram of ‘decent’ whisky at the age of seventeen, celebrating my first pay packet from my first job. I remember sitting at the bar on that Friday afternoon with that glass in my hand (which was a Dimple 15-year old), feeling like a real man and thinking “I could get used to this”.
Well, another seventeen years later and I’m not sure if I’m a real man yet but I’ve definitely gotten used to drinking whisky! The more examples I try, the more fascinated I am by the wide spectrum of flavours and smells among different malts and casks, the various subtle ways that producers and regions find their own identity, and the legends and folklore that go with them. For me, the most satisfying thing about tasting whisky is the way the palate and nose develops over time, so that even tasting a whisky you’re already familiar with can be surprising.
That also means I resist choosing ‘all-time favourites’, but I do at various times seem to favourite different regions (lately, I’m drawn to Campbelltown whiskies). The Mash Tun came about as a way to record and share our impressions of all these amazing drams and to connect with the whisky community, which is full of good people and great personalities.
Steven Oliver - My whisky profile...
As a mature student, studying Network Computing, I had to pay my way with a night job as a barman at the Consort bar in Edinburgh. Although not having the greatest selection of whisky at the time, it helped increase my knowledge. It was at this point I stopping purchasing lagers, stouts and special beers and starting buying the odd bottle of whisky.
After University, I started a full time job and it is here that I found a number of kindred spirits (pun totally intended!). One afternoon Dave (one of the other members of the Mashtun tasting panel) asked around if anyone would like to go to a whisky tasting. I jumped at the chance even though it was on a school night. After that the tastings happened at an ever increasing frequency. Dave asked, can’t remember when, if I fancied purchasing a cask with a number of others and I totally jumped at it. Once again Dave approached me some months later with an idea of starting a whisky review site. I said, YES whole heartedly (starting to think Dave is a bad influence on me!).
I have tried collecting special releases, but to be fair I firmly believe that whisky should be drank. For example I purchased a bottle of 1973 Bunnahabhain 34yr old (Celtic Heartlands), which I fully intended to keep and possibly fund more purchases later on. It lasted two weeks!!! (Mostly because I insisted on sharing it with anyone who came through the door).
I would say that I’m very open-minded when it comes to whisky, meaning I’ll give anything a go. I do like the heavy medicinal note in most Islay’s (I would say I’m a big Islay fan) to the clean woody notes for virgin oak casks.
Hope you enjoy reading our musings about Whisky because we have enjoyed drinking them for you.