About WhiskyNotes

WhiskyNotes is a personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky. A work in progress, and a continuous exercise for the senses.

I started it in 2008 while living in Spain for a couple of years. I had discovered whisky a few years earlier but suddenly I was cut off from festivals, shops and whisky friends in my home country. A whisky blog seemed a good way of keeping in touch. It quickly gained a following, first in Belgium but now from all over the world.


Why a whisky blog?

Nowadays, hundreds of interesting new bottlings hit the market each year. With this website, I try to be a “filter” and publish impressions of the bottles I really liked. Sometimes bottles are sold out very soon after their release, so my goal is to inform you about interesting things as soon as possible. Of course legendary old whiskies will also feature regularly.


Ruben Luyten - WhiskyNotes whisky writer


When did you start drinking whisky?

In the 1980’s, my father bought a bottle of Chivas Royal Salute 21y. That’s a very decent blend. It stood there mostly for friends and visitors, so the ceramic bottle didn’t seem to become any lighter over time. I liked it as a youngster… in my Coca-Cola. When I moved out, the bottle came along and was rediscovered when I savoured some of it in the company of my brother in law. Around the year 2000 the Japanese blend Hibiki, Lagavulin 16 Year Old and anCnoc 12 Year Old sparked the fire for good. Since that time, I’ve been infected by the whisky virus. 


What’s your favourite?

I don’t have one in particular, but I have a sweet spot for Banff, Brora, ClynelishKaruizawa and Port Ellen. Instead of naming distilleries, I’d better list specific vintages, like BenRiach 1976, Ben Nevis 1966, Tomatin 1976, Longmorn 1969, Caperdonich 1972, Brora 1972, etc. Of course a lot of this 1970s stuff has become impossible to find, but when I started blogging it was still relatively easy and relatively affordable.

In general, I prefer older, gently sherried whisky, with loads of complexity and subtleties. I would describe them as unhurried “old-style” whiskies, made without computers or high-yielding yeasts.

In general I find the nose more important than the taste.


Who are you by the way?

I’m Ruben. I was born in 1978 and I’m living in Belgium, near Mechelen, about 400m away from a pot still whisky distillery. During the day I’m a webdesigner.


Contact me

Feel free to send an e-mail to info@wh…notes.be



Who reads this whisky blog?

When I started in 2008, whisky bloggers could still be counted on two hands. Many years have passed and only a few of these original blogs are still active, but we are now joined by hundreds of others trying to catch up.

WhiskyNotes steadily attracts up to 110,000 visitors each month. In 2020 we’ve welcomed over 1 million visitors, accounting for over 2,7 million pageviews according to Google Analytics. Alexa regularly put us in the top 5 of whisky blogs worldwide (when they still disclosed rankings).

Most of my visitors come from the UK, USA and Germany. The rest of the top-10 fluctuates, but among the loyal countries there are the Netherlands and Belgium, Canada, France and Sweden. Asian countries are on the rise since a few years.


WhiskyNotes website statistics




Some bottlers, distilleries or distributors send me samples or invite me to a presentation. Some of them have become good friends and may even ask for my opinion before they decide to bottle something.

I strive not to let this interfere with what I think. I feel strongly about being independent and sincere in my opinions. That’s also why I’m still paying for (or exchanging) the majority of the whiskies I write about. I have never done paid-for content or advertising. If a whisky is not good, I will say so, regardless of the provenance of a sample, or simply not bother writing an article.

Apart from knowing a lot of people, some of the articles may contain affiliate links to trusted webshops, which means we may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you). Think of it as a small token of support, like buying a thank-you dram for providing tasting notes and advice. It helps to cover the costs of keeping this blog alive. As always, we only recommend products that we would buy ourselves and firmly believe in. 

All opinions remain independent: the contents itself is never paid for or even guided by the industry. We feel strongly about keeping this independence.