We were five friends coming together after a fairly long time and as we sat on the terrace taking up one past memory after another, we realised that each of us was peering into their smartphone after every few minutes. So I said, ‘Come on guys, let’s keep our official business away for this evening at least.’

Anoop, Harry, Ravi, and Praveen looked at me sheepishly as I went on, ‘Well, well, well, I am surprised to find that each of has an iPhone.’

Harry laughed and added, ‘And each of us has a glass of Black Dog TGR in his hands.’

Praveen wasn’t one to be left behind, so he asked, ‘But does each of us have a favourite whisky app in his iPhone?’ Everyone said they had their own favourite app. Praveen, the intellectual, told us that there were 289 apps displayed in the iOS universe when you searched for whisky. I said, ‘Which means our favourite whisky app on the iOS platform may or may not be similar.’

And thus began our tryst with app tasting that evening. Yes, we all had multiple apps and some were similar… but then we all had one or the other app that was not with the rest of us. Let me just list for you the five apps that we exchanged notes on that evening.

Whisky Bible Pro 2012

Whisky Bible Pro 2012

‘This app,’ said Anoop, ‘is designed for both iPhone and iPad and is a paid app. I paid Rs 1,100 for it.’ Anoop was obviously proud of his app and read to us the comprehensive details from the app blurb:

Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible Pro 2012 is the most comprehensive whisky app of it kind. Comprised of over 4,500 whiskies, all of which have been tasted and rated by the world’s leading whisky writer, Jim Murray, this is the ‘must have’ app for whisky lovers.’

He then added, ‘What I love in this app are the multi-search techniques, such as region, brand, type or score. Every query of mine results in the app delivering a full set of tasting notes.’ There was a brief wow for this one as we moved on to what Praveen had to show us.

The Scotch Whisky Encyclopedia

The Scotch Whisky Encyclopedia

Praveen said, ‘Well, even I paid for this app. It isn’t one of those free ones.’ He was reluctant to tell us the amount but Anoop just executed a few taps on the screen of his phone and said, ‘Rs 120 only. Not expensive. But is it really worth it?’

We were told that the app had a database of around 4000 bottles of Scotch Whiskies. The Whiskies in the app are grouped by distillery location and type, for instance, Campbletown, Highland, Island, Lowland, Islay, Speyside, Blended Malt, Blended, Grain Whisky etc. But what Praveen was most impressed by was the ability of the app to give him a random entry on just a shake!

Praveen looked around and finally said very slowly, ‘And this app allows me offline browsing as well.’ Our joint verdict was that the app was definitely an impressive one and that offline browsing did mean a lot.

The Whiskey Encyclopedia

The Whisky Encyclopedia

It was Harry’s turn now and he began, ‘The Whisky Encyclopedia costs Rs 120 and has detailed information of over 730 different types of popular Whiskies from around the world, including single malt, blended malt, single casks, and others.’ He told us that for each type of Whiskey, the information included a photograph, its name, country where it comes from, the retail price in dollars, and all the vital information for the whisky lover, that is, all about its nose, palate, finish, age, year, and even alcohol content.

And then he did a modest bow and said, ‘Even this app has an offline search.’

Ravi, who had been listening to all this talk about paid apps and offline abilities, asked, ‘Guys, your apps are all non-interactive. Let me tell you about the interactive whisky app that I love. My Whisky Log.’

Whisky Log

Whisky Log

Ravi said, ‘Whisky Log helps me keep track of any whisky I taste. And even as I sit here and enjoy having Black Dog TGR on the terrace with my old buddies, I am going to store vital information here.’ Saying this he clicked a few pictures and jotted details about our group.

‘Just pictures and names of friends in that log?’ I asked.

‘Not at all,’ said Ravi, ‘I can write my own tasting notes too. I can keep a track of my personal whisky inventory. I can create a buying list here. I can view updates from friends too. In fact, I recommend that all of us have this one and stay connected.’

‘Sounds interesting,’ muttered Praveen.

‘We also get our own whisky web page on whiskylog dot com,’ said Ravi, ‘though for unlimited use we need to upgrade to a full paid version. I’m using the free one and am quite happy.’

This was obviously one app that had taken our appreciation of scotch whisky to a higher level. ‘This paperless journal is interesting, ‘ said Anoop. Now everyone looked at me to reveal my favourite app.

400 Amazing Whisky Cocktail Recipes

400 Amazing Whisky Cocktail Recipes

I told them about my app with 400 amazing whisky cocktail recipes and informed them that this app was released on the 8th of January 2014 and contained a photo, ingredients, portions, and detailed mixing directions as well. ‘These cocktails can be prepared at home too,’ I added.

Now, cocktails are also an interesting aspect of whisky consumption… and so everyone did like this one too.

‘I think we’ve had a serious discussion,’ said Anoop, ‘all this talk about apps has been too full of information. Don’t you guys have any apps that connect whisky to pure fun?’

‘We have,’ chorused everyone in glee… and we decided to talk about them when we meet next.

app tasting on the iphone

Black Dog Easy Evenings | Black Dog Scotch | Ginger Claps

Disclaimer: The content of this post is meant only for people above the age of 25.


Arvind Passey
15 May 2014