Drinking a peated Islay scotch in Texas sometimes just doesn't work.... especially between May and October. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to choose a "favorite" whisky. When I hear people talk about great whiskies, many times it accompanied by a story around the first time they tried it or how they discovered the distillery. This emotion all goes into the tasting experience and it is why two people can have entirely different opinions about the same whisky.This is well said, and it brings to mind an idea I've had about how whiskey tastings are recorded.
I've seen a number of different forms to record whiskey tasting notes. Some are very simple, with space to write down your thoughts on color, nose, palate, and finish. Others are more elaborate, letting you mark on a scale of 1 to 10 how much smoke, citrus, honey, pepper, and so forth you detect. (Here's a pretty good blank one. McClelland's uses a "tasting wheel" to show how its blends differ.)
Let me offer the following tasting notes forms, which you may feel free to print and use as you like. These forms are not so much about the sense data collected while carefully and thoughtfully tasting a whiskey, as about deriving from that sense data a thought of where and when you'd like to be when you find that whiskey in your glass (or mug, or flask) again.
The first is a simple and obvious one, which already shows up one way or another in a lot of whiskey reviews. There's also a plot for recording what role the whiskey might play in your day. Then there's the question of how you might feel when you might feel like drinking the whiskey. And heck, even what you see yourself sitting on can say a lot about a whiskey.
That a whiskey is well suited for a porch swing in the fall can be as important to know as that it has a medium finish heavy on stone fruits.