Drinking whisky all by yourself could be perceived as sad - unless you have a valid excuse.
I started keeping tasting notes in my Liquid Log in the late 1990s, which gave me an excuse
to have a few drams almost every evening until 2012. By the time I had written 400 log entries
my doctor told me that I should probably take it a little easier on the almost daily dramming.
This put my log on hold for a little while - but it wasn’t long before my opinions started to itch again.
My new blog will be lighter on tasting notes (after sampling over 5,000 whiskies, the drive to sample has diminished),
but that doesn’t mean I’ve lost the inclination to burden the web with my purely personal opinions about whisky.
- After the dust had settled, spirits and links were broken.
- Gradually, the complete and utter madness subdued.
- About the very first stage of my ‘malt madness’ affliction.
- By the time ‘stage 2’ set in, the symptoms worsened.
I’m afraid that the navigation of the older parts of the log / blog will be a bit shaky over the coming months.
Some of the links in that website section will lead to parts of the ‘crashed’ site, so please proceed with caution.
When the malt madness struck me in the early 1990s, the only decent whisky that I could find
in Holland was malt whisky from Scotland. And I was in luck, because thanks to overproduction
in the 1970s and 1980s the stuff was quite affordable. So, I started on a quest to try and taste
six different expression from every active distillery in Scotland. Thus, the DD section was born.
The old Distillery Data section contains 150 pages about the Scotch distilleries which are (more or less) surfable.
Apart from some historical and technical details on every active (and recently closed) distillery, the DD section
contains thousands of tasting notes for various expressions of each malt whisky distillery in Scotland. >>>>>
Banff | Ben Wyvis | Bladnoch | Braeval | Brora | Caledonian
Cambus | Caperdonich | Cardhu | Carsebridge | Clynelish | Coleburn
Convalmore | Cragganmore | Craigellachie | Dailuaine | Dallas Dhu | Dalmore | Dalwhinnie | Deanston |
Dufftown | Edradour | Fettercairn | Glen Albyn | Glenallachie | Glenburgie | Glencadam | Glencraig |
Glen Deveron | Glendronach | Glendullan | Glen Elgin | Glenfarclas | Glenfiddich | Glen Flagler |
Glen Garioch | Glenglassaugh | Glengoyne | Glen Grant | Glengyle | Glen Keith | Glenkinchie | Glenlivet |
Glenlochy | Glenlossie | Glen Mhor | Glenmorangie | Glen Moray | Glen Ord | Glenrothes | Glen Scotia |
Glen Spey | Glentauchers | Glenturret | Glenugie | Glenury Royal | Highland Park | Hillside | Imperial | ...
The whisky world can be quite confusing for novices. If you happen to be one of those, you
shouldn’t wasting too much time feeling ashamed about that. And you should make the most
of that time by drinking away your shame with a few bottles of whisky. That way, you can start
reading the Beginner’s Guide to Malt Whisky with at least some actual drinking experience.
The ‘basic’ information you’ll need during your whisky explorations fits neatly into 10 chapters:
I’m in the process of adding some more pages, like the ‘Debunker Bunker’ and the ‘Whisky Label Inspector’.
Meanwhile, the Advanced Beginner’s Guide has been put on hold while MM is being reconstructed. >>>>>
Chapter 1 - Whisky Basics
Chapter 2 - Vocabulary
Chapter 3 - Geography
Chapter 4 - Distillation
Chapter 5 - Maturation
Chapter 6 - Bottling
Chapter 7 - Shopping
Chapter 8 - Tasting
Chapter 9 - Practice
Chapter 10 - Conclusion
The first chapter deals with whiskey basics you’ll need later on.
Explaining some of the whiskey vocabulary used during tasting sessions.
The geography of Scotch whisky still offers some interesting insights.
Malt whisky distillation requires specific ingredients and equipment.
The (proper) maturation of whisky sets it apart from many younger spirits.
The topics of whisk(e)y bottles and bottling are not as simple as it seems.
When shopping for whisky you can save money with your new knowledge.
Finally, you can start tasting whisky - but that requires some skills too.
With some experience, you’re ready to organise whisky tastings yourself.
The conclusion of the guide includes a reading list for further research.
The locations of (almost) all malt whisky distilleries can be found on the interactive whisky map.
Moving your mouse over the location of a distillery will trigger a tiny window with some additional
information to pop up. Clicking on the name of the distillery will take you to the profile of that
distillery in the Distillery Data section with even more information, opinions and tasting notes.
However, there’s one problem with the map: it only covers Scotland. Interesting whiskies are produced in many
other countries as well now. So, I’ll look into ways to feature more countries in the next version of the map. >>>>>
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. I’m nothing if not
persistent, so I’ve managed to collect 650 phrases and expressions so far. As soon as I’ve
finished a few more distillery profiles I will expand the number of entries to 750. >>>>>
AD Rattray - ABV - Adelphi - age statement - Ailsa Bay - alcohol - aldehydes - analyser - angel’s share
Bacardi - Ballantruan - Ballechin - Ballindalloch - barley - barrel - barrique - body - bonded warehouse - ...
Campbeltown - Canadian whisky - caramel - cask - charring - chill filtration - column still - cork - ...
Daftmill - Dalmunach - DCL - decanter - demi muy - Deveron - Dewar’s - Diageo - dram - Drumguish - ...
Echlinville - Eden Mill - Edrington Group - esters - ethanol - European Oak - evaporation - Excise Act - ...
fake - feints - Ferintosh - fermentation - Fettercairn - feuilette - finish - finishing - Finlaggan - firkin - ...
Gaelic - germination - glassware - glen - golden promise - gorda - grain - grain whisky - green malt - ...
H2H - hangover - Hazelburn - head-to-head tasting - Highlands - hogshead - hoop - house style - ...
Ian MacLeod - Ileach - Imperial System - independent bottling - Invergordon - iodine - Islay - Islebrae - ...
J. & A. Mitchell & Co. - James McArthur - JBB (Greater Europe) - Jean Boyer - Jock’s Well - John Dewar - ...
Keepers of the Quaich - kelpie - Kildalton - Kilkerran - kiln - Kinclaith - Kingsbarns - Kingsbury - ...
label - Ladybank - Ladyburn - Lagavulin - Lakes Distillery - lauter tun - litre - low wines - lyne arm - ...
MacKillop's Choice - malt - Malt Maniacs - malt mileage - Maltbarn - malting floor - mash tun - ...
NAS - neck - nephelometer - new make spirit - No Age Statement - North British - North of Scotland - ...
oak - OB - OBE - octave - Old Bottle Effect - Old Malt Cask - Old Pulteney - Optic - ounce - overproof - ...
palate - patent still - paxarette - peat - Pernod Ricard - phenols - pipe - poiteen - pot still - puncheon - ...
quadruple distillation - quaich - quarteau - quarter cask - quercus - Quercus alba - Quercus robur - ...
racked warehouse - rating - re-racking - rectifier - rectifying head - refill cask - rundlet - rye - ...
Saladin box - Samaroli - seasoning - Sestante - sherry butt - snifter - spirit caramel - stillman - sulphur - ...
tails - teaspooning - terroir - The Whisky Fair - toasting - Tochineal - triple distillation - turbidimeter - ...
uisge beatha - The Ultimate - unchillfiltered - underproof - UD - unmalted barley - Usquaebach - uvula - ...
Van Wees - vatted malt - vatting - Venture Whisky - vintage - virgin oak - Votadini - ...
warehouse - warhead - wash act - washback - wheat - whisky fungus - Whyte & Mackay - WIP - wort - ...
Yamazaki - year - yeast - yo - yoichi - ...
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 screwed up navigation of the 3d
incarnation of this old site. The overview of pages below is not
exhaustive, so even if you don’t see evidence for progress with
the reconstruction, some is probably being made somewhere...
Those were the five site sections - in various stages of disrepair...
Fortunately, the old Malt Maniacs Archives escaped the digital carnage fairly unscathed.
It’s a treasure trove of whisky information - but only covers the period 1997-2011.
The third tab at the top is for Whiskyfun by Serge Valentin - refreshed (almost) daily.
Below, you can find an overview of all the pages that have been (partly) reconstructed.
Below the line of the three MM/MMA/WF tabs at the top of each page, there’s a line with five ‘section’ tabs.
You can find details about the five site sections of MM further down this page, but here’s the gist of it:
... is freshly refurbished, with 10 chapters about all the basics,
... contains some dated data, but 100+ distillery profiles are surfable,
... offers an interactive view of Scotland and its distilleries,
... was started back in 1997 before blogging became a thing, and
... should make it easier to quickly find information about whisky.
Apart from the pages in the 5 main sections (described further down), there are some ‘general’ pages as well;
- A brief introduction to this website, its contents and its history.
- This FAQ page is not actually finished yet.
- An explanation of the purpose and guiding principles of MM.
- A page with some ‘highlights’ in the news - and my own comments.
- The Scotch whisky industry, divided by ownership of distilleries.
- Independent bottlers enrich the landscape of whisky expressions.
- Malt whisky ‘brands’ are usually names of distilleries or bottlers.
- Contact information.
As far as the actual content of Malt Madness 3.0 is concerned: it’s divided in five sections that each have
their own focus. Scroll down for an overview of the contents of each site section of Malt Madness.
The Malt Madness site offers an intoxicating blend of hundreds of old and new webpages.
This old whisky site crashed at Christmas 2014 and I’ve been busy reconstructing it ever since.