JM says what I already suspect....too many bloggers, writers, etc. etc. getting freebies leads to dishonest reviews. I'm not saying every whisky writer is dishonest but I think it happens A LOT these days. The allure of the free samples, the "celebrity"
of being a known blogger, malt maniac, etc. - they are victims of their own success. And really, do you think distilleries are sending crap samples to these people?? They want good press so it's in their best interests to make sure it's decent. Of course, if they have no decent whisky, that's another problem. But then, the whiskey writers just don't publish the horrible tasting notes or they puff them up...you can usually find something nice to say about most whisky; it's all in the wording.
Don't know anything about JM's personality - could really care less if he's a jerk or a nice guy - it's about the credibility/quality of reviews that matter. And these are getting harder to find. The more whisky/whiskey I taste, the more skeptical (maybe cynical?) I have become. We have so many websites about whisky today - that's good but it's also bad - it's like the CIA/MI6 collecting gobs of data on everything - they have so much data, they can't process it all so it becomes "noise".
Don't become a fanboy.....always question, stay skeptical & follow the money.