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
single malt whisky, so you might say that I suffer from ‘malt madness’.
The fact that some people use mobile
phones to visit websites these days is no
reason to ‘dumb down’ websites. I need
every single one of my 1170 pixels, so I
won’t use a ‘responsive’ design here.
There are actually a few expansions and upgrades in the works, but I want to keep those under
wraps for now. Some ‘technical’ issues need solving and I will have to check up on a lot of details.
Many ambitious plans have been bouncing around inside my head, but I will also have to make
sure that some outdated information on ‘Ye Olde Syte’ is updated sooner rather than later..
At the very top of my to-do list is an update of the Scotch Whisky Industry List - an overview
of the distilleries in Scotland and the companies that own them. It might also be time to increase
the scope by including whisky distilleries in other countries as well, but that takes research.
The Advanced Beginner’s Guide (working title) will probably be next.
The ten chapters of the old Beginner’s Guide should still be useful to a novice in the world
of whisky, but I’ve learned a lot of other interesting stuff as well over the past fifteen years.
Meanwhile, I’ll keep adding fresh entries to
my Liquid Blog - and maybe even finish the
other half of the Malt Maniacs Archives one
day. To cut a long story short: things will get
better with the website, but it will take time.
Watch the tweet feed for news...
At some point I may also have to integrate the Distillery Data and Deviant Drams sections.
That massive task is still daunting and taunting me from some point in the faraway future,
but I should get to it eventually. Meanwhile, I can entertain myself by catching up on some
long overdue sampling of some more ‘exotic’ whiskies from faraway places.
At any rate, I’d rather have you hear the facts of whisky (& life)
on this site from me, than from some whisky dealer on the street.
The fact that you are reading this, suggests that you are suffering
from this affliction too. This site might help - or make things worse.
A Beginner's Guide to Malt Whisky - 10 chapters to help you fully appreciate whisky.
Distillery Data - 150 pages about whisky distilleries in Scotland and an interactive map.
mAlmanac - a ‘virtual whisky pocket guide’ including my ‘hit list’ and my ‘shit list’.
Liquid Log - archive of 400 reports with tasting notes on more than 3,000 malts.
Deviant Drams - some ‘malternatives’ like blends, vatted malts and world whiskies.
Firstly, there’s ‘Ye Olde Site’. It was launched in 1995 and contains hundreds of pages
with opinions and information about whisky - not even counting the maniacal archives.
The malt whisky information on the old website is divided into these five sections:
If you are new to the MM site, I suggest that you choose one of those links, because...
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.
So, I felt it might be a nice idea to write my log entry #401
about those first years of confusion - a.k.a. the 1990s.
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.
After the dust of the noughties had settled, I discovered that a brand new whisky world had emerged.
For one thing, it was larger than before - and the strict lines between ‘industry’ and ‘consumers’ had become blurry. That’s why Liquid Log entry #403 deals with the paradigm shift in the whisky world I became aware of recently.
Both the whisky industry and the composition of the whisky market have changed - and hot air is a hot commodity.
The demand for old-fashioned malt whisky was at its lowest
iin many years and dozens of Scotch malt whisky distilleries
had to be closed down and demolished. READ MORE >>>
So, then the new millennium arrived and the demand for Scotch whisky started to grow again.
And so did the number of internet users - and members of our little on-line whisky community.
In hindsight, this was also stage 2 of my malt madness - and log entry #402 explains why...
Before I get to the new stuff that will be added to this new version of Malt Madness, I’d like to
stress once more that well over 99% of the malt whisky information on this website can
still be found on ‘Ye Olde Websyte’ and in the Malt Maniacs Archives (1997-2011).
I’m working on a refreshed introduction and an overview of all Liquid Log entries, but for now
the ‘tweet feed’ at the left will have to do. Follow me on Twitter if you want to know when I’ve
managed to add more new stuff. Meanwhile, these are some of the most popular old pages;
Beginner’s Guide; Vocabulary - Or; do you know your ‘hogshead’ from your ‘butt’?
Beginner’s Guide; Malt Whisky Distillation - The process, from barley to barrel.
Beginner’s Guide; Enjoyment - So, what is the best way to enjoy a malt whisky?
Whisky Distillery Overview - all malt whisky distilleries in Scotland at a glance...
Grain whisky - a closer look at ‘that other type of whisky’ (which is more like wodka).
Interactive Whisky Map of Scotland - the active Scottisch malt whisky distilleries.
World Whiskies - Scotland is just one of dozens of whisky producing countries.
My Bang-For-Your-Buck List - a selection of whiskies offering value for money.
The Scotch Whisky Industry List - Thousands of brands; just a few dozen owners.
Whisky Brands Overview - I’m working on an updated and expended version.
The Reading List - a list with reviews of some of best malt whisky books I’ve read so far.
Log entry #001; My Amazing Discovery - I started my ‘liquid blog’ back in 1996.
Log entry #140; Malt Maniacs Pildrammage 2003 - my first whisky-trip to Scotland.
Log entry #240: Islay Festival 2005 - A bunch of malt maniacs descended on Islay.
Log entry #400; Break Time - After a decade of blogging, it was time for a little break.
For a while, this website will be a strange
blend of ‘old’ and ‘new’ pages. It’s easy to
distinguish between the two; new pages
are centered on larger screens, while
the older pages are aligned to the left...
Those were just a handful of the ‘highlights’.
There are hundreds of old pages fo you to (hopefully) enjoy, but so
far, the biggest struggle has been getting a navigable site live again.
In the coming months I will replace more of the old pages and add
more new ones - but I will keep doing so at my own leisurely pace.
This is not a ‘professional’ site and I want to keep having fun.
And as you can see at the left, there is now (a little) room for advertising on
the Malt Madness site as well. This wasn’t the case for a long time, because
I wanted MM to remain as neutral as possible. However, I also want websites
that I maintain ‘for fun’ to be as self-sustainable as possible.
Good for you! If you’ve never visited this website, there’s a lot to explore...
The old site offer hundreds of pages with facts and opinions about whisky,
but it’s also easy to get lost. That’s why I added an introduction to this site.
I could have kept on dramming happily from my ‘reserve stock’ of old whisky
bottles that I bought in the 1990s - but I’ve already sampled and scored most
of those whiskies. What’s more, those ‘antique’ whiskies are quite hard to
find by now - and the prices are not very attractive to the average consumer.
So, I will use the future proceeds of the advertising on MM to invest in the
occasional fresh bottle of malt whisky - or another alcoholic beverage that
happens to tickle my fancy. That also means that the ‘Deviant Drams’ section
about other spirits will be updated and expanded shortly.
December 13, 2014 - Some visitors informed me
that they experienced technical diffuculties with
most old pages. My sincere apologies; I’m working
hard on a solution - hopefully before christmas.
October 1, 2014 - Yes! The malt whisky season
has now started in earnest with the publication of
the 10th edition of the Malt Whisky Yearbook.
Short review: best value whisky book this year.
October 7, 2014 - I just heard that my ex-fellow
maniac Lawrence Graham from Canada was made
‘Keeper of the Quaich’. Wow, remember when we
were just a wide-eyed, ‘amateur’ whisky collective.
November 11, 2014 - Hurray! After a break that
lasted for more than two years, I’ve just published
entry #401 of my Liquid Log. It looks at phase 1
of my ‘malt madness’ from a historical perspective.
November 30, 2014 - How & when did stage 3
of my ‘malt madness’ begin? As log entry #403
explains, it was probably when I realised that
Scotch malt whisky had fundamentally changed.
December 12, 2014 - Over the past three log
entries I’ve been mostly gazing at my own navel,
but log entry #404 deals with a more practical
topic: MM webpages that can not be found...
September 18, 2014 - The Scots get to vote on
their possible independance of the UK today. It
may become a very close race - and a ‘yes’ vote
could influence whisky prices around the world.
August 1, 2014 - Yes, I’m still mad about malts!
I just drink fewer of them - and my perspective
on the whisky business has evolved. While I’ve
grown smaller, malt whisky has grown bigger...
February 1, 2014 - With the 20th birthday of
this website coming up, I decided to get to work
on version 3.0. But the first item on my ‘to do list’
was the Malt Maniacs Archives reconstruction.
September 24, 2014 - The latest press release
from “one of the most respected names in Scotch
whisky” announces “a range of new expressions
and never-before-released single malts – the hidden
gems of its portfolio”. They also call it a “bold move,
unprecedented in recent years”. Wow, it seems like
the copywriter was in very high spirits indeed...