Price: $5.99 NZD Not free, but I think offers good value.
What’s Good: Easy to download with fairly good usability. It is extremely good for storing your own notes etc. and has a reasonably extensive database and one of the better glossaries I have seen. In a whisky search I was able to find Singleton, Thomson & The English Whisky Co.
What could be improved: Some distilleries have limited information, or list a limited number of bottlings. (Most have a reasonable amount of information.) The flavour map doesn’t really contribute much to the experience as it stands.
Overall: This is an ideal app for those wanting a general reference source on hand & a place to record and refer to their own notes. Excellent for whisky newbies or those wanting to expand their knowledge.
Original download: Quick & Easy
Usability: Generally very good.
It checks for updates frequently, which is good, but can be a little annoying.
Back navigation can be tricky
Dashboard: Easy to read & select from.
Main Dashboard allows you to select from the following main tabs:
Countries, Regions, Distilleries, Whiskies, Search Whisky, My Whiskies, My network, My events * classifications, Flavour Map, Tasting Tips, Whisky Glossary, Base Data
Country – select a country & the regions will automatically pop up for you to choose, you can then drill down into the distilleries. Useful if you want to find out what regions there are in Scotland or The US for instance, you can then drill down into distilleries & on into whiskies produced by that distillery
Region: Starts a level lower – Lists all whisky producing regions globally in alphabetical order
Distilleries: Lists all distilleries globally in alphabetical order
Whiskies: Starts at the lowest level. Lists all whiskies in the database in alphabetical order. Once selected you can add your own information, tasting notes etc. Once saved this is automatically stored in your my whiskies section
Search Whisky: allows you to type in a name & select from a drop down box of suggestions
My Whiskies: Here you can store your own notes on the whiskies you have tasted or distilleries you have visited. If a whisky is not in the database you can add it yourself. You can also back up your information
My Network: Here you can create an account & share details of new whiskies you have tried with other Whisky Companion users. You can also download their notes
My Events: If you get together with friends or attend whisky tasting events, you can create an event & add the whiskies to be sampled to it.
Classifications: This is really the style of whisky. This could be useful if you are looking for a new whisky to try with specific flavour profile. It doesn’t cover all the whiskies in the database and is therefore probably more useful for the whisky novice than the connoisseur.
Flavour Map: A SWOT analysis for whisky? Roughly charts the general flavour profile of some distilleries using four zones referencing four characteristics: smoky, delicate, light & rich. This might be a useful guide for the whisky newbie, but I’m not sure I entirely agree with all the placements and it doesn’t take different bottlings into account. Probably not of much use to the connoisseur. It would be great if users were able to generate their own flavour map based on the whiskies they have sampled
Tasting Tips: Good guide to get the beginner started. This could be expanded to offer a format for a basic whisky tasting. i.e Suggest an order & quantities.
Whisky Glossary: A good comprehensive glossary, although some definitions or explanations could be expanded.
Base Data: The only thing of real use here is the somewhat limited list of independent bottlers. Apparently it controls how the app works on your phone & they recommend that you don’t change anything unless you understand databases. Why include it then?