Laphroaig-1974-A
The Saint Magdalene 19yo - my favourite single malt
Avoidable whiskies

The best whisky

S500x005

S399x005

 
97 - Glendronach 25yo 1968/1993 (43%, OB, 100% Sherry)
97 - Saint Magdalene 19yo 1979/1998 (63.8%, UD Rare Malts)
97 - Springbank 12yo 100 Proof (57.1%, OB / Samaroli, 1980's, 2400 Bts.)
 

 
Truly unique; one of the few regular proofs in this class.
My #1 malt for almost a decade... Needs time & water.
A true legend from Samaroli, bottled in the early 1980's.
 

96 - Ardbeg 25yo 1975/2000 (50%, DL OMC, 702 Bts., Btl. October)
96 - Ardbeg 1976/2002 (53.1%, OB, C#2390, Feis Isle 2002)
96 - Bowmore 1965 Full Strength (50%, OB, Bottled 1980's)
96 - Glenfarclas 25yo (43%, OB, Frattina Import, Bottled +/-1979)
96 - Laphroaig 31yo 1974/2005 (49.7%, OB for LMdW, Sherry, 910 Bts.)
 

Apparently, this is one of Jim Murray's favourites.
Worth the trip to Islay to secure a bottle. Great price too!
An unopened bottle that Serge found in an Italian pizzeria.
They don't make 'em (quite) like that anymore...
The 'best' (= highest scoring) MM Awards entry until 2007.
 

95 - Aberlour-Glenlivet 8yo (50%, OB, Cube bottle, 75cl, 1970's?)
95 - Adelphi 1953/2003 'No Name' (54.3%, Adelphi, C#1668)
95 - Ardbeg 28yo 1967/1995 (53.2%, Signatory, Dark Oloroso, C#574)
95 - Ardbeg 29yo 1973/2002 (51.4%, DL Platinum, 137 Bts.)
95 - Brora 31yo 1972/2003 (49.3%, DL Platinum, 221 Bts.)
95 - Glenfarclas 1969/2007 (56,2%, OB, Familly Cask #3184, 148 Bts.)
95 - Glen Garioch 29yo 1968 (57.7%, OB, C#7, Bottled +/- 1997)
95 - Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1990, 75cl)
95 - Macallan 'Coilltean' 1992/2004 (55%, Samaroli, C#8518, 420 Bts.)
95 - Port Ellen 21yo 1982/2004 (50%, DL OMC, REF414, Sherry cask)
95 - Yamazaki 1979/2008 (55%, OB, C#RF1037, Japan, 294 Bts.)
 

Poured to me as a 'skalk' by Luc Timmermans in Belgium.
'The whisky that cannot be named' is now famous...
One of the hidden gems from Sigantory Vintage's past.
This 'Platinum' Edition truly is an exceptional whisky.
By 2003 Douglas Laing reserved the best for platinum.
My personal favorite entry for the MM Awards 2007.
The highest scoring Glen Garioch on my Hit List.
My very first 'amazing discovery' of single malt whisky.
One of the very best MM Awards candidates in my book.
Douglas Laing only made 420 bottles of this beauty.
My personal favourite at the MM Awards 2008.
 

94 - Ardbeg 24yo 1975/2000 (50%, DL OMC, 713 Bts.)
94 - Ardbeg 27yo 1973/2000 (50%, DL OMC, 240 Bts.)
94 - Brora 22yo 1972/1995 (58.7%, UD Rare Malts)
94 - Brora 29yo 1972/2001 (59.5%, DL Platinum II, 240 Bts.)
94 - Brora 30yo '2004' (56.6%, OB, Bottled 2004, 3000 Bts.)
94 - Glendronach 38yo 1972/2010 (49.5%, OB, Taiwan, Sherry C#700)
94 - Glen Garioch 1971 (59.6%, Samaroli, 2280 Bts., +/- 1988, 75cl)
94 - Glen Grant 1969/2004 (46%, Berry Brothers, C#1773)
94 - Hanyu 21yo 1988/2009 'Noh' (55.6%, #1 Drinks, Sherry C#9306)
94 - Highland Park 32yo 1974/2006 (51.9%, SMWS, 4.109, 141 Bts.)
94 - Highland Park 36yo 1967 (49.7%, OB for TWE, C#10252, 138 Bts.)
94 - Lagavulin 12yo (43%, OB, cream label, Cinoco, 1979 rotation, 75cl)
94 - Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1993, 100cl)
94 - Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength (57.3%, OB, Green stripe, +/- 2002)
94 - Laphroaig 27yo 1980/2007 (57.4%, OB, 5 Oloroso Casks)
94 - Port Ellen 23yo 1979/2003 (46%, Wilson & Morgan, C#6769)
 

Pfffft. Another Ardbeg; a regular guest on this list...
In 2000 Douglas Laing released some real beauties.
This is my favorite 'Rare Malts' bottling of Brora.
Douglas Laing reserved the very best for 'platinum'.
My personal favorite of the 30yo Brora annual releases.
A fabulous Oloroso casked whisky; only 241 bottles.
A legendary bottling than can still be found at auctions.
Berry Brothers bottled the highest scoring Glen Grant.
The best Japanese whisky at the 2010 MM Awards for me.
My favorite SMWS bottlings so far. Exceptional whisky.
Details about the exact bottling year are vague.
Proof that Lagavulin was already great in the 70's.
The first time I became aware of 'batch variation'.
The 'daily dram' that took the crown of Lagavulin 16.
MM Award winner in 2007's 'super premium' segment.
The best Wilson & Morgan bottling so far in my book.
 

93 - Ardbeg 1974 'Provenance' (55.6%, OB, Btl. 18/11/1997, Europe)
93 - Ardbeg 28yo 1967/1995 (53.7%, Signatory, Pale Oloroso, C#575)
93 - Ardbeg 28yo 1972/2000 (50.1%, DL / Alambic Germany, 234 Bts.)
93 - Ardbeg 28yo 1972/2001 (49.5%, DL OMC, 222 Bts.)
93 - Ardbeg 30yo 1967/1997 (50.3%, Signatory, C#1141, 510 Bts.)
93 - Benriach 37yo 1968/2006 (52%, OB, C#2712, 157 Bts.)
93 - Bowmore 'Black' 1964/1993 (50%, OB, 2000 Bts., First Edition)
93 - Brora 32yo 1970/2002 (58.4%, DL Platinum III, 297 Bts.)
93 - Glenfarclas 15yo (46%, OB, Mahler & Besser, Early 1980's)
93 - Glen Grant 36yo 1970/2006 (53,2%, Bl'adder, C#7216, 173 Bts.)
93 - Glenlivet 1971/2003 (55%, Berry Bros, C#6447)
93 - Glen Scotia 33yo 1977/2010 (57%, A. Rattray, C#985, 195 Bts.)
93 - Highland Park 17yo 'No vintage' (43%, OB, James Grant, 1970's)
93 - Highland Park 24yo 1980/2004 (58%, OB / Park Avenue, C#7366)
93 - Karuizawa 1972/2008 (65%, #1 Drinks Company, Cask #7290)
93 - Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1995, 70cl)
93 - Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength (55.7%, OB, Red Stripe, +/- 2005)
93 - Ledaig 30yo 1974/2005 (48.7%, SigV, Sherry C#3223, 208 Bts.)
93 - Miltonduff 1966/1990 (61.4%, Antica Casa Marchesi Spinola, 75cl)
93 - Port Charlotte 2001/2005 (61.4%, Gordon Homer, C#R23, 39 Bts.)
93 - Port Ellen 22yo 1978/2000 (60.5%, UD Rare Malts)
93 - Port Ellen 22yo 1982/2004 (61.1%, DL / PLOWED, 264 Bts.)
93 - Port Ellen 23yo 1983/2007 (56.7%, DL Platinum for Whisky Fair)
93 - Springbank 12yo 100 Proof (50%, OB, +/-1995, 'Double Dark', USA)
93 - Suntory Yamazaki 1984/2005 (56%, OB, Japan, 70cl)
93 - Talisker 20yo 1981/2002 (62%, OB, Sherry, 9000 Bts.)
93 - Tomintoul 37yo 1966/2003 (52.8%, DL Plat., Rum Finish, 201 Bts.)
 

A legendary OB from the 1990's. Collectible...
Not as collectible as comparable OB's, but a great malt.
When DL still offered excellent malts at excellent prices.
Sampled at 'Whiskyshiff' in Zurich in 2004.
My 1100th single malt, sampled in 2005 on Islay.
This hogshead produced the top scoring Benriach so far.
The bottling that founded an overblown reputation.
This one was almost too perfect for its own good...
Here's an 'antique that blew me away...
This was my 3d favourite MM Awards candidate in 2007.
Poured for the maniacs at Berry Brother's HQ in London.
The best Scotch whisky from Campbeltown recently.
A young oldie - and one of the best HP's I ever tried.
Proof that the Americans sometimes get the best stuff.
It seems the Japanese bought all the best sherry casks.
A bottle that made me discover 'batch variation'.
The difference with the 'Green Stripe' is marginal...
One of the best whiskeys from a fairly mundane distillery.
Another Italian antique that knocked me off my feet.
Proof that malts don't NEED 20 or 30 years in a cask.
One of the last - perhaps the last - great Port Ellen OB.
A special bottling for the American PLOWED Society.
This Bourbon hogshead produced 150 fine bottles.
One of the few Springbanks worthy of its reputation.
The surprise winner of the MM Awards 2006.
The first 'non plus ultra' winner at the MM Awards.
Not many other Tomintouls at the top of my Hit List.
 

92 - Aberfeldy 25yo 1975/2001 (57.0%, Cadenhead's, 228 Bts.)
92 - Adelphi 15yo 1991/2006 'Breath of Speyside' (60.2%, C#5642)
92 - Ardbeg 6yo 1998/2005 (56.2%, SMWS, 33.57, Sherry gorda)
92 - Ardbeg 17yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998)
92 - Ardbeg 1966/1987 (46%, Moon 'The Birds', C#2443, 264 Bts.)
92 - Ardbeg 21yo 'Committee' (56.3%, OB, 2500 Bts., 2001)
92 - Ardbeg 29yo 1972/2001 'Ardbeggedon' (48.4%, DL for PLOWED)
92 - Ardbeg 30yo 1967/1997 (52.2%, Signatory, C#1138, 586 Bts.)
92 - Ardbeg 1972/2004 (45.3%, OB for Germany, C#861, 216 Bts.)
92 - Benriach 36yo 1968/2005 (46%, OB for LMdW, C#2711, 152 Bts.)
92 - Benrinnes 26yo 1982/2009 (57.4%, The Bottlers, Sherry C#3229)
92 - Bowmore 22yo 1965 (43%, The Prestonfield, C#47)
92 - Bowmore 36yo 1972/'08 (48.8%, Prestonfield, C#3881, 565 Bts.)
92 - Braes of Glenlivet 15yo 1979/1995 (60.0%, Signatory, C#16040)
92 - Brora 30yo 1972/2003 'Broraggeddon' (50.8.%, DL, 201 Bts.)
92 - Bunnahabhain 8yo 2001/2010 (54%, Whisky Agency LL, 180 Bts.)
92 - Dalmore 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1977, 75cl)
92 - Glenfarclas 38yo 1966/2004 'Nectar' (42,3%, WMag, C#6461)
92 - Glen Garioch 21yo 1965 (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1986)
92 - Glengoyne 18yo 1989/2007 'Billy's Choice' (54,1%, OB, C#1202)
92 - Glengoyne 19yo 1986/2005 'Ewan's Choice' (51.5%, OB, C#441)
92 - Glengoyne 21yo 1985/2006 (53%, OB SC)
92 - Glengoyne 37yo 1967/2005 (47.6%, OB, Sherry, C#975, 246 Bts.)
92 - Glen Grant 40yo 1969/2009 (44.3%, Signatory, Sherry C#2016)
92 - Glen Grant 1958/2006 (40%, G&M licensed bottling)
92 - Highland Park 1982/1992 (57.9%, SMWS, 4.12)
92 - Highland Park 40yo 1958/1998 (44%, OB, 665 Bts.)
92 - Inchgower 24yo 1980/2005 (60.4%, Adelphi, C#14152)
92 - Isle of Jura 5yo 1999/2004 (60.6%, OB for TWE, C#19)
92 - Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse' (43%, OB, +/- 1998, 70cl)
92 - Lochside 35yo 1966/2002 (51.3%, Premier Malt, C#7541)
92 - Longmorn-Glenlivet 1971/1999 (57.8%, Scott's Selection)
92 - Longmorn 1973/2006 (54%, G&M Cask, Cask #3650)
92 - Longmorn 1964/2010 (45%, G&M for LMDW, Sherry C#1034)
92 - Longrow 1987/2000 (45%, Samaroli, C#123)
92 - Longmorn 18yo 1971/1990 (58.1%, G&M for Spinola, Italy)
92 - Macallan 25yo 1976/2001 (50%, Silver Seal, Single Barrel)
92 - Macallan 30yo 1976/2006 (45.3%, Adelphi, C#2749, 206 Bts.)
92 - Macallan 1970/2009 (46%, G&M for LMdW, Sherry cask #8326)
92 - Port Ellen 21yo 1982/2004 (61%, DL Platinum / WCOA, 302 Bts.)
92 - Royal Brackla 27yo 1975/2002 (59.7%, TWE, C#5471, 204 Bts.)
92 - Saint Magdalene 23yo 1970/XXXX (58.1%, UD Rare Malts)
92 - Single Speyside Malt 41yo 1965/2007 (53.5%, TWF, Sherry)
92 - Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 1998)
92 - Talisker 1955/2005 'Secret Stills #1' (45%, Gordon & MacPhail)
 

This Aberfeldy was aged in an excellent sherry cask.
One of the few affordable bottles on this part of the list.
Exceptional, especially considering its tender age.
The first new official release of Ardbeg in a decade.
The sherry from the cask overpowered the peat here. 
Amazing complexity and great fun. A fine briny dram...
The PLOWED folks clearly know how to pick a cask...
This Ardbeg reached its prime in an Oloroso cask.
This bourbon cask produced 216 bottles after 32 years.
La Maison du Whisky in France has a nose for good stuff.
I found the best Benrinnes ever at the MM Awards 2010.
One of the first bottlings from Andrew Symington.
An excellent refill sherry butt - once again from Andrew.
I still don't get why they mothballed this distillery.
A special bottling for the PLOWED people from the US.
The best Scotch whisky from Bunnahabhain: 8 years old!
I like the current 12yo, but this is something else...
Thirsty angels... Only 84 bottles survived their thirst.
Bottled around the time GG lost its peaty character.
Billy chose an Amontillado Hogshead producing 249 Bts.
The one that put Glengoyne on the map for us maniacs.
A hidden gem in Glengoyne's 'regular' range.
Just as good as Ewan's Choice - but twice as old.
This fantastic cask produced only 188 bottles.
A confident gold medal winner at the MM Awards.
Incredibly complex for a ten years old whisky.
Many malts are 'over the hill' after forty - but not this one.
Inchgower isn't a big name, but this was a stunner.
Astonishing performance for a five years old whisky.
Great, despite dropping standards in the late 1990's.
Now I understand why Lochside is a 'cult' whisky...
This bottling opened my eyes towards Longmorn.
This malt whisky matured in a first fill sherry butt.
A top whisky from the vast stocks of Gordon & MacPhail.
I'm not a big Longrow fan, but this pleased me greatly.
Italians knew Longmorn did good work in the early 70's.
It seems that the best Macallans are IB's nowadays.
A shame Macallan doesn't release single casks like this.
This 'Speymalt' bottling was aged in a first fill cask.
Somehow, Potstill 2004 seemed to be involved as well.
A very special 'Green' Brackla for The Whisky Exchange.
Not quite as complex as the 19yo, but a very fine dram.
The Whisky Fair couldn't divulge its identity. Glen Fraggle?
One from the good old days - good whisky for little money.
Secret Stills #1 - 50 years old and already legendary.
 

91 - Ardbeg NAS 'Committee' (55.3%, OB, vatting, 2002)
91 - Ardbeg 10yo 1993/2004 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, 338 Bts.)
91 - Ardbeg 1990/2003 (46%, G&M for Symposion Sweden, C#3133)
91 - Ardbeg 17yo 1974/1992 (43.0%, Signatory, C#2026, 1200 Bts.)
91 - Ardbeg 1976/2004 (51.4%, OB, C#2398, 504 Bts., Feis Isle 2004)
91 - Balvenie 32yo 1968/2000 'Vintage Cask' (50.8%, OB, C#7294)
91 - Benriach 11yo 1994/2005 (59.7%, Signatory, C#05/355/1)
91 - Benriach 1976/2005 (57.6%, OB for Craig. Hotel, C#8079, 144 Bts.)
91 - Bowmore 1991/2005 (59.6%, SSMC, C#575)
91 - Bowmore 38yo 1964 (42.9%, OB, Oloroso, 300 Bts.)
91 - Brora 30yo 1972/2002 (46.6%, DL OMC, 204 Bts., Germany)
91 - Brora 30yo '2003' (55.7%, OB, 3000 Bts., Bottled 2003)
91 - Brora 30yo '2005' (56.3%, OB, 3000 Bts., Bottled 2005)
91 - Bunnahabhain 35yo 1974/2009 (56.6%, Adelphi, 200 Bts.)
91 - Caol Ila 12yo 1978/1990 (65.5%, Cadenhead's)
91 - Carsebridge 42yo 1960/2002 (41.6%, Chieftain's, C#15010)
91 - CC Highlands 1993/2006 'Monbazillac' (46%, CC., 365 Bts.)
91 - CC Speyside 1991/2006 'Sauternes' (50%, CC., 297 Bts.)
91 - Glendronach 20yo 1970/1990 (56%, Signatory, C#513-518)
91 - Glen Elgin 32yo 1976/2008 'Green Elgin' (40.8%, TWE, C#3544)
91 - Glenfarclas 40yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
91 - Glenfarclas 1959/2002 (46%, OB, Historic Reserve, 240 Bts.)
91 - Glen Garioch 29yo 1968 (53.7%, OB, C#627, Hogshead)
91 - Glen Garioch 36yo 1967/2003 (55.5%, DL Platinum, 132 Bts.)
91 - Glengoyne 15yo 1989/2005 'Duncan's Choice' (55.7%, OB)
91 - Glengoyne 19yo 1985/2004 (52.6%, OB, C#608, 'Summer')
91 - Glengoyne 37yo 1972/2010 (57%, The Perfect Dram, 220 Bts.)
91 - Glen Grant 1970/2001 (55%, Berry Brothers, C#1035)
91 - Glen Grant 1956/2005 (46%, G&M  for LMdW, 459 Bts.)
91 - Glen Keith 1967/2006 (53%, G&M for LMdW Paris, 215 Bts.)
91 - Glenury Royal 36yo 1973/2009 (46.2%, Blackadder, Cask #6863)
91 - Hanyu 1988/2006 (56.3%, Full Proof Holland, C#9204, Puncheon)
91 - Highland Park NAS (70 Proof, G&M OB, Saint Patrick, +/- 1960)
91 - Highland Park 21yo 1959/1980 (43%, OB, J. Grant, Green dumpy)
91 - Inchgower 24yo 1980/2005 (54,7%, SMWS 18.24)
91 - Inchgower 36yo 1974/2010 (50.4%, TWF/TWA, Sherry, 180 Bts)
91 - Invergordon 36yo 1965/2002 (51.8%, Peerless, C#15539)
91 - Jura Whisky 3yo 1999/2002 (60.7%, OB, C#92, 447 Bts., Japan)
91 - Karuizawa 1971/2008 (64.1%, OB for #1 Drinks Cie., C#6878)
91 - Lagavulin 12yo (43%, OB, Montenegro in Zola, early 1980's)
91 - Lagavulin 1979 Distillers Edition (43%, OB, +/- 1997, PX finish)
91 - Lagavulin 21yo 1985/2007 (56.5%, OB, 6642 Bts.)
91 - Laphroaig 15yo 1985/2000 (50%, DL OMC, 'Laudable', 318 Bts.)
91 - Macallan 18yo 1970/1988 (43%, OB)
91 - Macallan 18yo 1976/1995 (43%, OB)
91 - Macallan 30yo 1971/2002 'Vintage' (56.4%, OB, C#4280)
91 - Mortlach 50yo 1936/1986 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail)
91 - Nikka 18yo 1987/2006 (55,2%, SMWS C#116.9, Japan)
91 - Port Ellen 19yo 1982/2001 (59.5%, The Bottlers, C#573)
91 - Port Ellen 25yo 1982 (58.2%, Douglas of Drumlarig for Kingfisher)
91 - Saint Magdalene 24yo 1978/2002 (50%, DL OMC, 504 Bts.)
91 - Springbank 35yo 1968/2003 (46%, Berry Bros, 3 casks)
91 - Springbank 35yo 1970/2005 (59.5%, The Whisky Fair, 120 Bts.)
91 - Strathisla 35yo 1967/2003 (54.3%, G&M for Barmetro, C#2063)
91 - Talimburg 32yo 1972/2005 (45.2%, TWF, Rum finish, C#1568)
91 - Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, +/- 1992)
91 - Talisker 14yo 1979/1993 (64.3%, Cadenhead's)
91 - Yamazaki 1984 (48%, OB, Japanese Mizunara oak, Btl. +/- 2009)
 

One of the many, many samples received from Serge.
They could have released this youngster as a 'Platinum'.
These Swedes picked an excellent young cask of Ardbeg.
A fairly early Signatory bottling of a top Ardbeg vintage.
A worthy candidate for an 'Islay Festival' bottling.
Balvenie made only 180 bottles of this 'Vintage' edition.
Andrew Symington got 863 bottles from a single cask.
An official bottling for the Craigellachie Hotel in Scotland.
Excellent selection from the Scotch Single Malt Circle.
This must have been bottled in 2002 or 2003.
The Germans have a good nose for great casks.
This was Diageo's first 30yo 'official' release.
After the superior '2004' release they returned to 'great'.
Another triumphant single malt bottling from Adelphi.
An 'young' antique that proves that old age isn't required.
This Oloroso cask only produced 135 bottles.
An excellent finishing job from Celtique Connection.
Another fine finish from Celtique Connection in France.
3800 bottles were made, so you might still find a few.
Opinions on this one were divided at the 2008 Awards.
The best widely available whisky at the MM Awards 2010.
One of the oldest vintages on this Hit List.
A rare liquid treat from the late 1990's.
One of the oldest Glen Gariochs I've ever tried.
Duncan selected Cask #1204 - and saw that it was good.
They know how to pick their single casks at Glengoyne.
Great whiskey from a refill sherry wood cask.
Made me realise old Glen Grants equal old Macallans.
This beauty was matured in a refill sherry butt.
A 'Reserve' bottling for La Maison du Whisky in Paris.
This 'Raw Cask' bottling was double rare: only 148 Bts.
The very first bottling from 'Full Proof' in Holland.
This was an official Gordon & MacPhail 'Licensed bottling'.
Bottled especially for Italy - the first big 'malt market'.
This is 'Emphatically fig-like', according to the SMWS.
This was bottled by The Whisky Fair or Whisky Agency.
Duncan Taylor made 252 bottles in their 'Peerless' range.
If it had been any younger it wouldn't be whisky...
One of my favourites at the MM Awards 2008.
Unlike similar bottlings, this had a cork cap.
The very first official 'doubled matured' Lagavulin.
A decade after the first DE, a 21yo earns the same score.
Douglas Laing couldn't use the name 'Laphroaig' yet.
A bottling from the early glory days of the Macallan 18yo.
A bottling from the later glory days of the Macallan 18yo.
A classic Macallan - with a price tag to match...
A brilliant malt, one of the oldest I've tried so far.
'From Madeira to the Caribbean', MM Awards 2007.
One of the few releases that lives up to the reputation.
Ho-cheng selected a brilliant sherry cask.
Bottled by Douglas Laing in December of 2002.
A 'masterpiece' showcasing the possibilities of vatting.
This TWF beauty came from a bourbon cask.
Gordon & MacPhail made 153 bottles for Barmetro, Italy.
A Talisker for The Whisky Fair in Limburg; 146 bottles.
I found this shortly after my beloved Lagavulin 16yo.
A very different perspective on the distillery.
One of the Japanese winners of the MM Awards 2009.
 

90 - Aberlour NAS 'A'bunadh' No Batch # (59.6%, OB, +/- 1998)
90 - Aberlour A'bunadh' Batch #20 (60.5%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
90 - Ardbeg 13yo 1990/2004 'Cask Strength' (55%, OB for Japan)
90 - Ardbeg 25yo 'Lord of the Isles' (46%, OB, Bottled 2001)
90 - Ardbeg 26yo 1974/2001 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, 252 Bts.)
90 - Ardbeg 28yo 1974/2003 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, 264 Bts.)
90 - Ardmore 18yo '500 Years' (51.4%, James MacArthur)
90 - Ardmore 21yo 1979/2001 (50%, DL OMC, 0345, DL266, 648 Bts.)
90 - Balblair 1975/2007 (46%, OB)
90 - Balblair 1973/2006 (45%, G&M Private, C#3184-3185, 385 Bts.)
90 - Balblair 40yo 1965/2007 (47.7%, The Single Malts of Scotland)
90 - Balvenie NAS (40%, OB, Bottled 1970's?)
90 - Benriach 30yo 1976/2006 (53%, OB for LMDW, Cask #3557)
90 - Benriach 31yo 1975/2007 'Lightly Peated' (53,7%, OB, , C#4451)
90 - Benrinnes 1975/2006 'Flying Big Ben' (46%, G&M / Juuls, C#3343)
90 - Brora 19yo 1982/2001 (50%, Silver Seal, Sherry, 240 Bts.)
90 - Brora 23yo 1981/2005 (61%, Duncan Taylor, C#1425, 542 Bts.)
90 - Brora 29yo 1971/2001 (50%, DL OMC, 258 Bts., Btl. 04/'01)
90 - Brora 30yo 1972/2003 (47.4%, DL The Whisky Shop, 220 Bts.)
90 - Port Charlotte 2001/2004 (67.3%, Private Bottling, C#286)
90 - Bunnahabhain 34yo 1968/2002 'Auld Acquaintance' (43.8%, OB)
90 - Caol Ila 1994/2005 (58,2%, G&M Cask, C#12423-12424)
90 - Caol Ila 12yo 1992/2005 (46%, Whisky Galore)
90 - Caol Ila 15yo (57%, Bulloch Lade & Co. Ltd., 75cl, Orange label)
90 - Caol Ila 21yo 1975/1997 (61.3%, UD Rare Malts)
90 - Caol Ila 22yo 1984/2007 (55.9%, Whisky Fair, Sherry, 287 Bts.)
90 - Caol Ila 25yo 1979/2004 (61.2%, Blackadder / SFT, C#5334)
90 - Caperdonich 37yo 1972/2010 (53.4%, Duncan Taylor, C#7420)
90 - Clynelish 13yo 1990/2003 (59.3%, Blackadder, C#3593)
90 - Clynelish 28yo 1976/2004 (46%, Murray McDavid Mission IV)
90 - Dailuaine 31yo 1973/2005 (47.8%, The Whisky Fair, C#14739)
90 - Dalmore 1951 'Sirius' (45%, OB, Bottled 2009)
90 - Dufftown 25yo 1984/2009 (57.5%, Signatory, C#80, 455 Bts.)
90 - Glenallachie 35yo (46.9%, TSMoS, First fill sherry, Bottled 2010)
90 - Glencadam 32yo 1977/2009 (54.9%, DL Platinum, 296 Bts.)
90 - Glendronach 31yo 'Grandeur Batch 001' (45.8%, OB, 1013 Bts.)
90 - Glenfarclas 30yo (43%, OB, +/- 2004)
90 - Glenfarclas 1972/2006 (51.1%, OB Family Cask #3546, 645 Bts.)
90 - Glen Garioch 29yo 1968 (55.9%, OB, C#629)
90 - Glengoyne 1989/2006 'Charlie's Choice' (56%, OB, C#1231)
90 - Glengoyne 1989/2007 'Robbie's Choice' (55,1%, OB, C#328)
90 - Glengoyne 1986/2006 'Peter's Choice' (51%, OB, C#433)
90 - Glengoyne 23yo 1986/2009 (53.6%, OB, Sherry C#399, 548 Bts.)
90 - Glengoyne 32yo 1972/2005 (48.7%, OB, White Rioja, C#985)
90 - Glen Grant 1972/2007 (54.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland)
90 - Glen Grant 50yo 1956/2006 (40%, G&M, Unknown series / cask#)
90 - Glen Keith 1967/1988 (46%, Moon 'The Sea', C#1417, 360 Bts.)
90 - Glenlivet 28yo 1975/2003 (54.1%, Signatory, C#5719, 551 Bts.)
90 - Glenlivet 29yo 1963/1992 (52.8%, Signatory, C#269-270)
90 - Glenlossie 1975/2001 (55%, G&M Reserve, C#2909)
90 - Glenlossie 1984/2010 (60%, SSMC Maggie Miller, Sherry C#2534)
90 - Glenrothes-Glenlivet 16yo 1990/2007 (57,3%, Cadenhead's)
90 - Hakushu 1989/2009 (62%, OB, Sherry Butt #9O 50021)
90 - Highland Park 19yo 1959/1978 (43%, OB, James Grant, 75cl)
90 - Highland Park 20yo 1984 (57.9%, OB, C#45, 528 Bts., Germany)
90 - Highland Park 'Online Tasting' 1974/1998 (52.6%, OB, 228 Bts.)
90 - Highland Park 38yo 1966/2005 (42.4%, Duncan Taylor for TWF)
90 - Highland Park 1902 (39.8%, Berry's All Malt, 1952-1953)
90 - Inchgower 26yo 1980/2007 (59.8%, Adelphi, C#14155, 223 Bts.)
90 - Karuizawa 1975/2010 (61.8%, OB for LMDW, C#6736)
90 - Kawasaki 1982/2009 'Ichiro's Choice' (65.4%, OB, 668 Bts.)
90 - Lagavulin NAS (52.5%, OB, Distillery Only Bottling, bottled 2010)
90 - Lagavulin 12yo Special Release #1 (58%, OB, 2002)
90 - Lagavulin 12yo Special Release #2 (57.8%, OB, 2002)
90 - Lagavulin 1991/2007 Distillers Edition (43%, OB, lgv 4/495)
90 - Tamifroyg NAS (49%, Regensburger Whisky Club, 2006)
90 - Laphroaig NAS 'Quarter Cask' (48%, OB, 2005, Second edition)
90 - Laphroaig 10yo 'Unblended' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 1980)
90 - Laphroaig 10yo 1998/2008 (62.2%, Blackadder Raw Cask, 272 Bts.)
90 - Laphroaig 11yo 1992/2004 (60%, Signatory, Portwood Finish)
90 - Laphroaig 13yo 1991/2005 (59.1%, SMWS, 29.40)
90 - Laphroaig 16yo 1987/2004 (50%, DL OMC, DL REF 745, 312 Bts.)
90 - Laphroaig 17yo 1989/2007 (50.3%, OB, 4000 Bts., Feis Isle 2007)
90 - Laphroaig 1976 'Vintage' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2000)
90 - Laphroaig 30yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2006, Ref LQ0167)
90 - Ledaig 31yo 1973/2004 (54.8%, Chieftains, Sherry, C#1710)
90 - Linkwood 12yo (43%, OB, John McEwan & Co, Black Label, UK)
90 - Longmorn 1974/1985 (60.8%, Samaroli, Sherry, 600 Bts.)
90 - Longmorn 31yo 1974/2006 (49.8%, TWF, C#3494, 135 Bts.)
90 - Longmorn 1972/2006 (45%, Gordon & MacPhail, C#1088)
90 - Longmorn 1973/2006 (54%, G&M Cask, C#6350)
90 - Longrow 16yo 1974 (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 1991)
90 - Longrow NAS 1973 (46%, OB, Small Caps Label, +/- 1990)
90 - Macallan 10yo '100 Proof' (57%, OB, +/- 1996)
90 - Macallan 12yo 1990/2003 (57.5%, Wilson & Morgan, C#8748)
90 - Macallan 18yo 1981/1999 (43%, OB)
90 - Macallan 1970/2010 (46%, G&M for LMdW, C#10031)
90 - Miyagikyo 1989/2007 (60%, OB, Warehouse #20, Japan)
90 - Miltonduff 23yo 1966/1990 (62.4%, G&M for Spinola, Italy)
90 - Mortlach 20yo 1990/2010 (56,5%, Wilson & Morgan, C# 4412)
90 - Yoichi 1991/2007 (62%, OB, Warehouse #15, Cask #129493)
90 - Oban 32yo 1969/2002 (55.1%, OB)
90 - Old Farm 1938/1943 Straight Rye Whiskey (50%, OB, USA)
90 - Port Charlotte 5yo 2001/2007 (60%, 0B for Martin Brunet, C#24)
90 - Port Ellen 27yo 1978/2005 (52.3%, DL for TWF, 198 Bts.)
90 - Probably Speyside's Finest 40yo 1965/2006 (50%, DL OMC)
90 - Royal Brackla 30yo 1976/2006 (53.6%, Cadenhead's, 126 Bts.)
90 - Scapa 25yo 1975/2001 (50%, DL OMC, 438 Bts.)
90 - Speyside The Whisky Fair 35yo 1971/2006 (51.4%, TWF)
90 - Springbank NAS (46%, OB, House & Tree Label, France, 70cl)
90 - Springbank 21yo (46%, OB, Bottled late 1990's or 2000)
90 - Springbank 1966/1998 'Local Barley' (54.4%, OB)
90 - Springbank 35yo 1971/2007 (59%, TWF, Sherry, 239 Bts.)
90 - Suntory Yamazaki 1991/2005 (56%, OB, 70cl, Japan)
90 - Suntory Yamazaki 25yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2006, 75cl)
90 - Invergordon 1964/2005 (47.1%, Adelphi, C#57637)
90 - Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, +/- 1995)
90 - Talisker 19yo 1980/2000 (50%, DL OMC, 'Tactical', 348 Bts.)
90 - Talisker 1955/1993 (53.6%, G&M Cask series, C#1310+1311+1257)
90 - Tamnavulin 37yo 1967/2005 (46.7%, Duncan Taylor, C#1018)
90 - Tobermory 32yo 1972/2005 (49.5%, OB, Brown / Purple Label)
90 - Tomatin 32yo (49.4%, Whiskykanzler 'The Collection', Btl. 2008)
90 - Tomatin 1968/2001 (40%, Connoisseurs Ch., New Map Label)
 

The first batch from the 1990's is still a favourite.
It took them almost a decade to rival the first batch.
1140 bottles were designated especially for Japan.
Maybe the first 'premiumed' release after they reopened.
At the time the price was nicer than that of the 'LOTI' OB.
In those days almost all OMC Ardbegs were just excellent.
The '500 years of Scotch Whisky' was bottled in 1994.
Douglas Laing produced no less than 648 bottles.
Balblair made an impression at the 2008 Awards.
One of my personal favourites at the MM Awards that year.
This bottling is actually 42 years old instead of 40...
We were not sure when exactly this antique was bottled.
They sent one of the 222 Bottles to the MM Awards.
This Port Pipe (a type of port cask) produced 707 bottles.
I enjoyed one of the 250 bottles at a 'Wigman' tasting.
Proof that not all top class Brora's are from the 1970's.
Given the high proof, this offers pretty good value.
In hindsight, DL burned through their stocks too fast.
A sherry cask from Douglas Laing for The Whisky Shop.
Perhaps the very first bottling, 336 (excellent) bottles.
One of the most legendary Bunnie OB's ever bottled.
Both Gordon & MacPhail casks were sherry butts.
Duncan Taylor put their hands on some great casks.
This was an 'antique' bottling, bottled circa 1985.
The first 'UD Rare Malt' I ever tried made a big impact.
A beautiful Sherry casked Caol Ila, found by Carsten.
Blackadder bottled this one for for Sun Favorite Taiwan.
136 bottles were released in the "Rare Auld" series.
Blackadder wisely chose for a sherry finish for this one.
Murray McDavid produced 600 bottles of this Clynelish.
After 3 decades there were 204 bottles left in the cask.
A pretty great whisky - but hardly worth 10,000 GBP.
This Dufftown made the list thanks to a sherry butt.
My favourite Glenallachie bottling EVER...
Another great whisky from a sherry cask.
Whisky from Oloroso Sherry Casks, Bottled +/- 2010.
More recent batches scored a few points lower, mind you.
It seems 1972 was an excellent year for Scotch whisky.
Not quite 'antique', but released in the late 1990's.
Charlie selected an excellent 'teenage' sherry cask.
This ruby port hogshead produced 277 bottles.
Peter's Pedro Ximenez sherry cask did very well.
Another fantastic whisky from Glengoyne's warehouses.
After three decades the cask still produced 328 bottles.
Submitted to the Malt Maniacs Awards 2007.
I received this sample from Hans Offringa in 2007.
A bottling in Moon Import's legendary 'The Sea' series.
Like Glen Grant, Glenlivet can be spectacular when aged.
One of the beauties from Andrew Symington's early days.
Who would have thought Glenlossie would end up here...
Scotch Single Malt Circle bottled 563 bottles of this whisky.
A 'stunner'; Authentic Collection, Rum Butt, 588 bottles.
More than a match for the Scottish single malts.
A 'dumpy bottle' from Ferratero - extremely antique...
The Germans selected a beautiful cask here...
One of the very first 'interactive' whiskies - brilliant.
Duncan Taylor made 168 bottles for TWF in Germany.
The oldest whisky I ever tried; a 'sentimental' score...
Inchgower is sort of a hidden gem; still fairly obscure.
This whisky was imported by La Maison du Whisky.
Refill Sherry Butts, Imported into France by LMdW.
Hard to classify, but a great whisky.
Diageo's response to a 'shortage' worked very well.
Two special releases in one year. How 'special' is that?
It took them a decade to reach 'gold' levels again.
A funny name to 'disguise' this Laphroaig's heritage.
Laphroaigs experiments with small casks paid off.
An antique, sampled at Laphroaig's water source.
This cask had reference number 700214.
A very affordable knock-out in Signatory's 'SFTC' series.
Further proof that selecting the right cask is an art form.
Most of the DL OMC treasures came from Ardbeg & Brora.
Only available at the annual 'Feis Ile' festival on Islay.
Competition for the Ardbeg 25yo 'Lord of the Isles'.
Wonderful - but the price tag is quite 'wonderful' too...
They managed to draw only 114 bottles from the cask.
My favourite Linkwood was a young one, bottled +/- 1970.
An 'antique' by now, but at the time it was an 11yo malt.
A war between wood and fruit on the palate.
G&M produced 607 bottles for La Maison du Whisky.
Sampled at the Pot Still Festival, Leusden in 2007.
Proof that Longrow was once worthy of its reputation.
It seems my favorite Longrows were bottled +/- 1990.
In 2009 I still got a few bottles stashed away...
This massive sherry cask produced 637 bottles.
Quite possibly the last truly great 18yo Macallan.
This 1st Fill Sherry Hogshead produced very good whisky.
One bottle from cask #105419 went to the MM Awards.
An antique symphony in polished wood & celery.
Italian Fabio Rossi chose a fine cask of Scotch whisky.
Submitted for the Malt Maniacs Awards 2007.
Surprising, especially considering I'm not a real fan.
A sample from Hans Offringa; one of the best whiskeys.
This was another one of the legendary early 'bloodtubs'.
Picked from the Douglas Laing stocks by The Whisky Fair.
A sherry cask from Douglas Laing, producing 539 bottles.
A true beauty in Cadenhead's 'Chairman's Stock' range.
Nice to see 'the other Orkney distillery' here as well.
An excellent sherry butt that produced 534 bottles.
This was bottled in the early 1990's, probably 1993.
The last truly great affordable OB from Springbank.
Interesting, but far outside of my personal price range.
Submitted for the Malt Maniacs Awards 2007.
One of the bottles that put Japan on the map for me.
I usually prefer the single casks over the mainstreamers.
One of the very few single grains to perform on this level.
Affordable excellence from 'the golden days'.
Great stuff - but twice as old as the excellent 10yo OB.
At the time these ultra-old releases were quite unusual.
This is the only Tamnavulin this high on my Hit List.
A total of 1710 bottles of this vatting were produced.
This might be part of a 'fondled' cask, bottled in 2008.
One of my favourite 'CC' expressions at just 40%.

Highly recommendable whisky

89 - Aberlour A'bunadh (59.8%, OB, Batch #30, Bottled +/- 2010)
89 - Glendronach 15yo 'Revival' (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
89 - Lagavulin 16yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
89 - Suntory Yamazaki 18yo (56%, OB, Japan, Bottled +/- 2009)
89 - Tomatin 36yo 1973/2010 (44%, OB, refill American oak)
 
88 - Connemara NAS Cask Strength (57.9%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
88 - Glenfarclas '105' (60%, OB, ten years old, Bottled +/- 2010)
88 - Glenglassaugh 26yo (46%, OB, Sherry, Pear Decanter, +/- 2010)
88 - Glengoyne 21yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
88 - Longmorn 30yo (43%, Gordon & MacPhail, +/- 2009)
 
87 - Benriach 17yo Rioja Wood Finish (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
87 - Bruichladdich 1992/2009 'Sherry Edition 2' (46%, OB, 6000 Bts.)
87 - Glendronach 18yo 'Allardice' (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
87 - Highland Park 15yo Saint Magnus (55%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
87 - Talisker NAS '57° North' (57%, OB, Bottled 2009)
 
86 - Aberlour 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
86 - Ardbeg NAS 'Uigeadail' (54.2%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
86 - Glen Garioch 1991/2010 (54.7%, OB, Batch #38)
86 - Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
86 - Yamazaki NAS (48%, OB, Sherry Cask, Bottled +/- 2009)
 
85 - Adelphi's 12yo Laudale 'Batch #1' (46%, Adelphi, Btl. 2009)
85 - Amrut NAS 'Kadhambam' (50%, OB, Batch #1, Bottled June 2010)
85 - Ardbeg 10yo (46%, OB, Peated, Bottled +/- 2010)
85 - Ardbeg NAS 'Corryvreckan' (57.1%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
85 - Highland Park 30yo (48.1%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008)
 

I published the very first version of this Hit List over a decade ago in 1995. At the time it was still called the 'Best-To-Worst List', and it contained all the single malt whiskies I had sampled and scored. Eventually, that list simply became too long - so I started trimming the Hit List. EVERY single single malt that earns a score of 90 points or more ends up on this list, but I've had to limit myself to a selection of fairly recent official bottlings for the rest of the list. The Hot List focuses even more on recent releases and covers a wider 'spectrum'. Check out my latest Liquid Log entries on the front page for an overview of some more recent discoveries. Last but not least, you can look for tasting notes on particular bottlings in the Distillery Data section and on the Track Record.
 
Needless to say, the whiskies that earned a score in the 80's are (highly) recommendable in my book. The vast majority of the whiskies that earned a score in the 70's are single malts, but in the average territory of my Hitlist the first blends, vatted malts and 'exotic' whiskies start to pop up. If you happen to share my tastes, the questionable section offers not much of interest - there are simply too many excellent alternatives available in the wonderful world of single malts. The sadomasochists amongst the readership of MM may take some sick pleasure in perusing the Shit List.
 
Just keep in mind that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', or at least in the nose of the beholder. After all, can a whisky be called 'good' if you don't actually enjoy it? These scores just reflect my opinion - feel free to make up your own mind.
 

Recommendable whisky

84 - Ardbeg NAS 'Corryvreckan' (57.1%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
84 - Benriach 20yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008)
84 - Bruichladdich 'Infinity Edition 3' (50%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
84 - Highland Park 12yo 'Hjärta' (58.1%, OB, Bottled 2009, 3924 Bts.)
84 - Port Askaig 17yo (45.8%, Specialty Drinks Ltd., Bottled +/- 2009)
 
83 - Aberlour 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
83 - Bowmore 10yo 'Tempest Batch #1' (55.3%, OB, Bottled 2009)
83 - Connemara NAS 'Peated' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
83 - Glendronach 12yo 'Original' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
83 - Glenmorangie 'Lasanta' (46%, OB, Sherry finish, Bottled +/- 2010)
 
82 - Ardbeg NAS 'Supernova' (60.1%, OB, Bottled 2010)
82 - Ballechin NAS '4th Release' (46%, OB, 6000 Bts., Bottled 2009)
82 - Bowmore 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
82 - Bunnahabhain 12yo (46.3%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
82 - Glen Elgin 16yo (58.5%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
 
81 - Arran 14yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
81 - Caol Ila 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
81 - Glenlivet 15yo 'French Oak Reserve' (40%, OB, +/- 2009)
81 - Jura NAS 'Superstition' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
81 - Old Pulteney 17yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
 
80 - Arran 10yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
80 - Caol Ila 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
80 - Dalmore '1263 King Alexander III' (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
80 - Ledaig 10yo (46.3%, OB, Peated, Bottled +/- 2010)
80 - Tomatin 18yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
.

The basis of my personal scoring system is 50 points; the tipping point between me liking or not liking a particular spirit or beverage. The more I (dis)like a particular drink, the further its score will be from that tipping point. Many blends end up below the likeability point, but most single malts score significantly higher. The fictive 'average' single malt whisky scores 75 points. I'm already enjoying myself at that point, but things get really interesting in the 80's and 90's.
 
Over time the focus of the Hit List has shifted from 'enjoyable' whiskies (scoring 60 points or more) to the top of the scale. For reference purposes I've also included a number of slightly more mundane official bottlings at the bottom of the the list that earned scores in the 60's, 70's and 80's.
 
Another important issue is 'batch variation'.
Every cask of malt whisky is unique, and most official bottlings like Glenfiddich 12yo or Macallan 12yo are actually 'vattings' of dozens or even hundreds of individual casks. Each time the 'master blender' tries to re-create the previous batch by selecting casks from the distillery portfolio of thousands of casks. That's why the profile of the fairly 'standard' official bottlings like Bowmore 12yo or Lagavulin 16yo inevitably changes over time. You can find more information about the phenomenon in the Beginner's Guide.
 
If you are looking for tasting notes on the whiskies at the left I'll have to direct you to my Liquid Log - the Hot List is the only part of the mAlmanac that contains tasting notes.
 

Average whisky

79 - Glenlivet 18yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
78 - An Cnoc 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
77 - Oban 14yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
76 - Glenfarclas 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
75 - Scapa 16yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
74 - Speyburn 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
73 - Tomatin 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008)
72 - Clynelish 12yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
71 - Tamnavulin 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
70 - Glen Moray 12yo (40%, OB, +/- 2010)
 

Until recently, the majority of the single malts I've sampled scored between 70 and 80 points. That could be translated as 'a very decent whisky, but nothing to get overly excited about'. Listing more than 1000 malts in this category did seem a little pointless, so I made a selection of one fairly 'typical' OB per score. Check out my old Track Record for a full overview of the circa 2000 single malt Scotch whiskies I've tried between 1995 and 2006. Scores on malts I've tried after 2006 can be found in the 'Dram Diaries' at the bottom of my Liquid Log Entries and in the Distillery Data section.
 

Questionable whisky

69 - Dalwhinnie 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
68 - Glen Garioch 10yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008)
67 - Auchentoshan NAS 'Three Wood' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2006)
66 - Littlemill 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
65 - Springbank NAS 'CV' (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
64 - Bladnoch 15yo (55% , OB, Sheep Label, Bottled +/- 2010)
63 - Tullibardine 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
62 - Glen Grant NAS (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2008)
61 - Fettercairn 10yo (45%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
60 - Glenkinchie 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2010)
.

Although I don't care a great deal about the 'average' single malts in the 70's, they tend to give me far more pleasure than malts scoring in the 60's. That's where I often start to have some serious doubts about the malt. I'm still a long way from refusing a free dram when it's offered to me, mind you...
 
My benchmark for the bottom end of this part of the scale used to be the Glenfiddich 'no age statement' in the 1990's. That bottling has since been replaced by the much improved expression that's released as a twelve years old whisky.

Avoidable whisky

Although I do find some redeeming qualities in the single malts with a score between 50 and 60 points, I still think they are avoidable.
With over 90 percent of all single malts earning higher scores, a rating in the fifties is a disgrace for any whisky calling itself a single malt.
I'm willing to give malts scoring in the 60's the benefit of the doubt, but below that I'll get itchy. While a score in the 50's might be fine for a bourbon or blend, it simply won't do in the sophisticated world of single malt whiskies. Just not enough Bang-For-Your-Buck, I'm afraid.
 
When a score drops below 50 points I actually start to actively dislike the whisky - quite unusual for a 'malt maniac'.
All sub-standard malts I encounter end up on The Shit List to be mocked and ridiculed for all eternity. Serves them right!
CLICK HERE if you're ready to wake up and smell the 'coffee'...
 

Just scroll down for my complete 'Hit List' which contains all whiskies scoring over
90 points. Those are the whiskies that transcended the realm of 'recommendable'
(80-84 points) and 'highly recommendable' (85-89 points) whiskies on my personal
enjoyment scale. Within this system, any (malt or grain) whisky that scores 90
points or more can be classified as EXCEPTIONAL - at least in my book...

Over the years this list kept on growing, so there are quite a few 'antiques' on it by now.
Those are not (widely) available anymore, so I've boldly highlighted the fairlyly recent
releases, bottled in or after 2000. The most recent malts are highlighted in Royal Blue.
That means they were bottled after 2005, so you still have a decent chance of finding a
bottle if you look really hard for it - and if you can afford it, of course... ;-)

The Hot List is also the only part of the mAlmanac where you can find some tasting notes.
More tasting notes can be found in the distillery profiles in the Distillery Data section and in
the Liquid Log (est. 1995). This Hit List focuses on the very top of my ratings scale. Unfortunately,
this often also means that the whiskies in question are quite expensive. If you have to work with
a limited budget, check out the Bang-For-Your-Buck List for an overview of affordable whiskies.
 
Phew.... After this lengthy introduction, we're almost getting to the full hit list.
As one final distraction along the way, I've added a text box with an explanation of the various
scores in my whisky rating system - just to prove that the Hit List really shows the best whiskies.

Some people within the the whisky industry would like us to believe that 'professionals'
or 'experts' are perfectly suited to determine the 'quality' of a whisky. But even if that
would be true, the harsh realities of today's business world would make it difficult for the
producer to share their honest opinion about all their whisky expressions all of the time.
 
Besides, I quite strongly feel that 'quality' is in the eye of the beholder.
So, in 1995 I decided to rank all the recommendable malt whiskies I had sampled up to
that point and publish it on Malt Madness. That way, others could find out if they agreed.

The 1-100 scores that I've assigned to the more than 3,000 whiskies I've tasted so far are
indispensable in my ongoing quest to find the perfect single malt whisky. Because I give
my score or rating for almost every single malt whisky that I nose and taste, I'm able to rank
them from 'best' to 'worst'. Well, only from my own, purely personal perspective, of course. Obviously, the phrases 'good ' & 'bad' are not scientific; I use them to express my personal
preferences when it comes to malt whisky; I just like one whisky better than the other...

That being said, many are 'single cask' bottlings - so: they are limited releases by definition.
In the malt whisky world this means that only a few hundred bottles of that whisky were ever produced.

In other words: I think procuring a bottle is worth considerable time, effort and funds.
However, the acquisition of a bottle of that whisky will become increasingly difficult and expensive as time goes by.
Why? Well, with every bottle that gets opened and drunk, the remaining bottles will become rarer. That's why I also
made a selection of some of the most recent releases on the Hot List - most whiskies should be fairly easy to find...

The Malt Madness Whisky Rating System
Glendronach 1996

 

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