One of the things that I like to think is that my perspective on the malt whisky world has changed.
When I drank my first glass of Lagavulin 16yo single malt whisky in 1991, I was blown away by
its character, complexity and power. Those were the elements that got me hooked, and qualities
like authenticity and variety kept me interested in malt Scotch whisky during the first decade.
One of the reasons I decided to retire from the Malt Maniacs collective in 2012 was the amount of
free time it took to maintain two different whisky websites (at least if you do it like you mean it).
And for a while, I didn’t even feel a lot of pressure to actively maintain even ONE whisky website, so
I’ve been doing a lot of walking and cycling instead. This, in turn, gave me plenty of time to think.
Some people call me a big fat baby - but I’d much rather
look at myself as a child of my time. And my timing could
not have been better, because I discovered single malts
just after the whisky crisis of the 1980s. The malt whisky
category hadn’t been discovered by marketers yet and
properly aged bottles could be obtained for 50 Euro’s.
But after the dust of the noughties had settled, a brand new whisky world had emerged.
I happen to feel that the average ‘modern’ maIt whisky is not as good (or as authentic) as
the ones available now, so IF you want to invest in whisky, I think that older bottles are better.
But, then the new millennium arrived. Demand for Scotch
malt whisky grew again. This meant that prices started to
rise as well, but not too much. And quality was still good...
So, you might want to check out auction websites or specialised whisky retailers for whisky that was bottled during
‘the good old days’. Looking at the current ‘street prices’ for sometimes mediocre whiskies, at this point in time it
would be far better to invest in bottles that were bottled at least a decade ago. Especially if you don’t go after the
most ‘legendary’ bottles like Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength (Green Stripe) or Macallan 10yo 100 Proof there are
still bargains to be had. The price/quality ratio for fresh bottles will probably improve again in a few years time.
After all, the whisky industry can’t very well keep postponing investments in Scotland due to ‘a drop in demand’
while they still keep quoting ‘high demand’ as the reason for the continually rising prices.
And that’s it for now - follow me on Twitter for updates.
So, you're interested in single malt whisky, eh? That’s odd; me too!
Actually, for over two decades I've been more than just ‘interested’ in
malt whisky. One might even say that I suffer from ‘malt madness’.
So, in 1995 I published a few purely personal webpages on whisky.
It wasn’t long before things got out of hand. In December 2014 the
site had over a thousand pages - and then it crashed spectacularly.
After some more issues in August 2015 it looked like it was
time to shut that thing down - but the public outcry and a fresh
sponsor in the form of whiskyfun brought it back from the brink.
Over the next few months, I’ll try to repair the site and add some
fresh stuff - perhaps even ‘high tech’. Furthermore, I hope to wrap
up two brand new books about whisky (in English) before too long.
I will also be looking into ways to turn the old interactive whisky map of Scotland
into an app, but this will be take some more time. Follow me on Twitter for updates on the progress
and occasional tweets with general information and personal opinions about whisky and whiskey.
Meanwhile, there are now thousands of other websites,
blogs and communities about (malt) whisky where you can
find information. Just keep in mind that on-line information
and press releases are not always completely reliable.
The same goes for some information on social media
as well, but if you don’t have the time or inclination to join
a proper whisky club, they can keep you up-to-date.
If you just began your journey into the confusing world of
whisky, keep in mind that it can be an expensive hobby.
Many of the (Scotch) malt whiskies that are pushed down
the supply chain these days are simply not as good as
earlier bottlings, but prices for a mediocre bottle can
easily exceed 100 Euro’s / GBP these days.
I think that some Scotch malt whiskies are among the greatest spirits ever produced.
But those whiskies were distilled a few decades ago - they just don’t make ‘em like they used to.
Fortunately, they make excellent whisky in countries like Japan, Taiwan and India now as well.
And there are plenty of interesting ‘malternatives’ like port, sherry, cognac and rum. >>>>>
For (relative) beginners, the whisky world can be quite confusing. To help novices make some
sense of all the nonsense, the Beginner’s Guide to Malt Whisky provides ten chapters with
some of the ‘basic’ information that you will need during your exploration of the whisky world.
Also in the works: the Debunker Bunker and the Advanced Beginner’s Guide. >>>>>
The old Distillery Data section contains 150 pages about the whisky distilleries in Scotland.
Those pages look a little funky after the crash, but are still more or less browsable. Apart from
information about the history, equipment and practices of each distillery, the DD section has
thousands of tasting notes for various expressions of each distillery. >>>>>
Do you know what earlier versions Malt Madness were missing? A list with detailed information
about the words and phrases that are commonly used in the whisky world. But just after I had
started work on this new website section, it turned out that I had to build a whole new website.
And confusingly enough I decided to name that website ‘Whisky Lexicon’ as well. >>>>>
I don’t think that the word ‘blogging’ had been invented yet in the 1990s, but I didn’t feel like
waiting for the rest of the web to catch up. So, I started writing about whisky in my Liquid Log.
By 2015 there were over 400 log entries with tasting notes on more than 4,000 malt whiskies.
That’s a lot of my purely personal opinions to burden the web with, so I’ve slowed down now.
You can find the locations of (almost) all whisky distilleries on the interactive whisky map.
And if you move your mouse over the location of the distillery, a tiny window pops up with some
additional information. Actually clicking on the name of the distillery will take you to the profile
of that distillery in the Distillery Data section with additional info and tasting notes. >>>>>
If you’re already familiar with Malt Madness and are looking up
an older article or page, the Wayback Machine might provide
the specific whisky information that you are looking for.
My sincere apologies for the currently screwed up navigation.
The 10 chapters of the Beginner’s Guide have been rof the latest incarnation of this old website.