There are a slew a wine-rating apps on the iOS App Store, but not so many whisky-rating apps. WhiskyMe provides a whisky tasting notebook in your pocket with several very nice features, and room to grow.
The interface is pretty, and easy to use. Tap a region to see a list (the app comes with 200+) of whiskies. These can be edited, deleted, and of course added to. As usual with apps like this, you can take a picture of the bottle when adding a new whisky. Tasting notes can be entered along with a date and a 0 – 5 star rating (no half stars). There are separate fields for Nose, Taste, and Finish. I wish it had an extra ‘Notes’ section, though, for comments about adding water, purchase price/location, overall impression, and so on. The ‘Notes’ section at the top of each whisky page, although editable, is better suited for a description of the whisky (and is pre-filled on each product in the included whisky list). Luckily the app’s author is very active on Twitter, and responds quickly to questions and suggestions.
If your iOS device supports voice transcription (the microphone icon on the on-screen keyboard), you can quickly dictate simple notes without having to finger type on the little keyboard. Don’t expect it to correctly transcribe words like “sherried” or “abunad’h” though. You can lock and unlock a whisky’s page to prevent/allow edits. Finally, you can tweet directly from the app to brag about your experience to your followers.
A star icon in the lower-right corner will list all whiskies to which you’ve assigned 5 stars.
A ‘Whisky Verticals’ category allows you to store separate notes (which are not listed in the regional lists), presumably for ‘vertical’ tastings of the same whisky from different vintages. Of course, you could instead keep all of these notes in the regional listings instead.
A few changes would be nice:
– A generic ‘notes’ section, other than the ‘description’ field, for entering tasting information other than nose, taste, and finish.
– Facebook integration, for users who don’t use Twitter.
– More pre-loaded whiskies. The only ‘Glen…’ entries are Glenmorangie, for example. Where are the Glenfiddichs, Glenlivets, and so on?
– Separate categories for blended and single-malt scotch.
– A ‘filter’ or search mechanism for viewing tasting notes from a specific date range, for example, or with the word ‘peat’ in them.
– Cloud storage of tasting notes, for accessing on other iOS devices, or (ideally) from the web.
– Numeric (1 – 100 points) or partial star ratings systems, in case 5 stars isn’t accurate enough.
– An Android version.
Although the App Store lists the app as being compatible with the iPad, I could not seem to load it on to my iPad – it wasn’t even listed in my “Purchased” screen. The author is hard at work on a new update, which should include web-storage of notes, and a map of distillery locations. Oh, and it’s only $0.99 right now (normal price $1.99), which is hard to argue with.