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Whiskey Flavor Profiles

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Kevin Schaul recently posted an example of a reusable d3.js radar chart, using data on 86 scotch distilleries. I forked it and made a few cosmetic changes, and got a request to make an infographic version. An image file of the results is here; pdf version is here.

The dataset is something of a mystery. Among other things it contains flavor scores (0-4) across 12 categories for each of the whiskies. But there’s no definition of what, exactly, the categories mean, or how the scores were tabulated. A link in the footer of the data page goes to a rather generic site offering whiskies for sale. I shot an email to the math deparment at the University of Strathclyde, which hosts the page containing the data - I’ll update if I hear anything.

Those caveats aside, assuming the data is legit it paints a fascinating picture of scotch flavor varieties. I can testify that the flavor scores for Laphroaig appear to be spot-on, and based on how the Laphroaig chart looks I should probably try Lagavulin and Ardbeg.

For a more stats-based dig into the whiskey data, check out this recent post from Revolution Analytics.