The simple answer is to trust them all. Each - and many others besides - bring a unique perspective to whisk(e)y and have a wide experience in what is a complex world.
Over time I suppose, you may tend to agree more with one experts view rather than another, but that doesn't, of course, mean that contrary views are any less valid. It ultimately comes down to personal taste and interpretation of what makes a whisky good, great, excellent etc.
I wouldn't get hung up too much on points systems either. They are only an indication and even though one person marks a whisky at 95 and the other 80, it is still the same whisky - and if you like it you like it, end of story.
If I were pushed though, I think just now I'd go for Dave Broom. I get the feeling that his views are based more with the consumer in mind rather than personal opinions.
Of the professional writers, my tastes most often agree with Michael Jackson although my Whisky Companion is outdated (1998), it does give some ideas on the distillery character. I also use Dave Broom's Whisky Handbook with a fair degree of sceptisism since he doesn't seem to be able to critisise too many drams, and will start using J. Murray's Whisky Bible. The thing to remember is that all of these writers have subjective opinions about what good whisky is. It is up to the reader to get a good read on this, and find out if there is a match between the writer's tastes and thiers.
Just my $0.02.
When I started, I would refer to Michael Jackson a lot before purchasing. As my knowledge base expanded and I discovered Whisky magazine I tended to lean towards Dave Broom as being similar to how I would judge whisky. So that is where my vote leans, towards lil' Dave Broom.
At present, I tend to base my choices on what I either read in the forums, especially those who are trapped in the same distribution system as I am (LCBO) or from personal recommendations. For very special aquisitions though, (ie: Glen Albyn; my first Royal Lochnagar; Port Ellen; and the CS St. Maggy),I still run it past my buddy at the local LC. He's never steered me wrong and I've acquired 90% of my collection through him.
So I often look at the maltmaniacs matrix, where you get at least the opinion of half a dozen enthusiasts. If 6 persons like a whisky, then there's a good chance the 7th will like it too. It is also interesting to see if there is a consensus about a score or if it is more like a "hate or or love it" kind of malt.
Over the years I have become quite familiar with their personal tastes and I often find my personal taste goes more in harmony with Michael Jackson and Dave Broom.
When it comes to writing I find Jim Murray's Whisky Bible a pure pleasure to read. His tasting notes can reach tremendous heights and are totally unparalleled.
Let's see now...if you're questioning Jackson's, Murray's, Broom's, and the MM's judgment about whisky, ought you not also question our judgment about their judgment? Any one of them (or us) can turn you on to something good; any one of us can give highest recommendation to something you will hate. Ultimately, the only person whose judgment you can trust is yourself. Likewise, only you can decide if Murray (or whoever) is a genius or an idiot, relative to your taste. Hey, we've all bought bottles we were sorry for; it's part of the game. If you don't chance it now and then, you'll miss out on a lot. So relax and get on with it.
I suppose Murray has a slight advantage over his counterparts because of his highly successful Whisky Bible and the vast amount of tasting contained therein.
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