Kids in a classroom raising hands to ask whiskey questions.


 The Society


What’s with the (e)? 

See Whiskey Basics


How can I determine the value of old bottles of bourbon, scotch, rye, other liquors?
Are you guys buyers of collectible whiskey?
See our dedicated FAQ on Whiskey Value and Sale. We can help you out with any "brown spirit" like rum, Cognac, or Armagnac, as well as tequila and gin. And yes, we buy spirits, that's how we get to drink them! 


How can I join?  

See our membership page.  


Can I hire you for a private tasting?

We are a private club, and we only hold tastings for our members. Sorry about that. 


Where are whiskey tastings in Los Angeles?

  • Give Andy a visit over at LA Scotch Club.
  • Check out the Southern California Whiskey Club.
  • K&L Wines has occasional tastings in the Hollywood area, keep an eye on their website for details. 
  • Whisky Live has been held in LA each fall since 2009.
  • The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America holds their "Extravaganza" in November.
  • Check with bars Seven Grand and The Thirsty Crow.
  • Please email us if you have other information on whisky tastings in Los Angeles.

What are your meetings like?

Sometimes they are quite formal, with educational material, visual presentations, and guest speakers. Other times they are very informal. Typically, we begin by "officially" sampling 5 to 8 new (for us) whiskies in varying formats -- these can be blind tastings, "competitions" where members try to guess details about each whisky, general discussions, or sometimes a complete lack of discussion so that nobody else's opinion is influenced by what they hear. Basically, we try to keep things mixed up so each meeting is different from the last.


How can I start a club like yours? 

Easy. Get together some friends that all enjoy whiskey, or want to learn about it. Have everyone chip in some money, and that's your budget for the meeting. Use that to buy the whiskies you'll taste. Or, what we did when we started was this: each person brought a single malt of their choosing to the first meeting. We then had someone not involved in the meeting blind all the whiskies by decanting them into identical bottles. That way, nobody even knew which whisky was the one they brought. We tried them all blind, drank and discussed, and went from there. 


You'll find that once you begin, your own enthusiasm will dictate where you go. It's really pretty simple. You don't need a fancy venue, or "proper" glassware -- luckily, whiskey tends to taste pretty good everywhere and can be drank out of almost anything.


Okay, I read your stupid Membership Page. I still want in! 

The main thing that keeps us from accepting new members is that our club is kept very small. To be considered when a rare space opens up, you should live in/near LA, have a passion for whiskey, be enthusiastic about tracking down great bottles, and/or have a collection with rarities of your own.


And honestly, if you really want in, then please compose a decent email. You don't need to be eloquent or lengthy -- just show that you understand what we're about, that you're very familiar with the Society, and explain why you want to join us. Mention the word "olfactory" so we know you've dug deep into the website and read this paragraph.


I want to give my husband/boyfriend a gift membership to your club. He's awesome and you'll love him! You should let him in!  Please??

Surprisingly, this is a frequent request. We don't know anything about your guy, but you are obviously an incredibly smart and sophisticated woman with extremely good taste in gifts.


Who are you guys individually? Why don’t you all post your names?
Our members are professionals working in and around the L.A. area, many in the entertainment industry. A couple work in the spirits business, and they are strictly not permitted to post ratings/notes on this website. Some members remain anonymous for personal reasons -- temperance-minded employers, dislike of being in the public eye, and a couple of the guys are just kinda weird.


I like your website, what sort of CMS/Platform/Software/Etc. do you use? 

Our website is hand-coded and custom-designed by us, with the help of a professional coder. It was honestly quite difficult to build and is an ongoing chore to maintain. Please send any comments or suggestions you have, positive or negative.


How do you make money off this website? 

We don't.


How come some of you have a lot more notes/ratings than the other guys?  
Entering notes can be a hassle, so many members don't do it at all, or do so very infrequently. There is no rhyme or reason to when any member enters notes.





What is the best scotch?  Best bourbon?
There really is no “best.” It depends on what you like, how much you want to spend, and where and how you’re drinking it. Only you have your mouth! Browse our tasting notes – particularly the B ratings and above – and see if you can find something that fits your price range and preferences.


Okay I get it, but can you please just tell me a good single malt scotch to buy to get started?
Pushy, aren't you? Fine, try Glenfiddich 12Balvenie Doublewood 12; and for the very adventurous palate try the much-revered Lagavulin 16. If money doesn’t matter as much, try Macallan 18. (And again, browse our tasting notes – find something that’s inexpensive but well-rated and sounds like it fits your taste preferences).


Why do so many people consider single malt scotch to be the top/premiere/most elite type of whiskey?
In a general sense, single malt scotch is the type of whisky that has a) the widest range and depth of flavors; b) the widest range of individual distillers and thus choices, c) arguably the richest traditions, although it is predated by Irish whiskey and earlier forms.  And of course, d) single malt scotch is the most expensive type of whisky.


Also very importantly, blended scotch is much more widespread and generally perceived to be an inferior product, though this reputation is not always deserved.  Blends are a combination of whisky from various single malt distillers, plus a varying amount of grain whisky.  Grain whisky is cheaper and easier to make, so it is thus perceived as a "filler."  So when drinking a single malt, you're tasting one distillery's product -- when drinking a blend, you are tasting a combination of single malts and grain whiskies from many distilleries.


I found/have some old whiskey bottles.  What's the value of this whisky?  Where can I sell whisky? 
We can help you, see value of whiskey and follow the applicable links from there.

Whiskey Master List
Whiskey Value and Selling Online FAQ
Contact Rare Liquor Collectors
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