Context is also very important. I'm sure even a ho-hum whisky will leave a great impression when tasted for the first time with great company in a memorable environment - the distillery for example.
At the end of the day, smell/taste is very personal. What's great/awful to one person may be the complete opposite to another person - or the same person under different circumstances.
* by the same token "the worst whisky I've ever had" means nothing if the person has only tasted a few expressions.