First of all, there's the ULTRA PREMIUM CATEGORY - exceptional bottles that are often only
available as very limited releases or single cask bottlings. That means that only a few hundred
people can ever share the same experience. What's more, some of these bottles also have an
exceptional price tag. For example, The highest scoring entry into this year's competition was
the Laphroaig 27yo 1980/2007 (57.4%, OB) which is offered for the princely sum of 500 GBP.
When we first decided that we needed a special price category for expensive whiskies, we first thought of the name
'super premium' for this category, but at the rate prices are going up these days we felt we might as well jump ahead
one level... In fact, we also talked about a possible 'devaluation' of our medals. Some of the malt maniacs have done
a few superficial comparisons between the results of a few widely available bottles in various competitions.
Quite often, by our own subjective standards the other competitions were too generous. We're not impartial of course,
but we felt that a gold medal in one of the many competitions equalled a silver or even bronze medal in our Awards.
Some other competitions already have 'double gold' or even platinum medals as rewards for the participants, but we
feared those might become too heavy to wear proudly, so we should jump directly to Buckminsterfullerene... ;-)
Well, we didn't go quite that far this year, but we might in the future...
I have some more 'editorial comments', but I suspect you're eagerly awaiting the results of the competition.
So, here are the winners of the various awards in the competition, followed by all the medal winners, ranked from
'best' to 'worst' (extremely relative terms under these conditions). You can find more editorial comments after that.
DAILY DRAMS CATEGORY
Laphroaig 27yo 1980/2007 (57.4%, OB)
Glen Grant 36yo 1970/2006 (53,2%, Blackadder Raw Cask, Sherry Cask #7216, 173 Bottles)
Tobermory 34yo 1972/2007 (49,5%, Whisky-Doris, First Fill dark sherry cask, 96 Bts.)
Glenfarclas 1969/2007 (56,2%, OB 'Familly Casks', Cask #3184, 148 Bts.)
Springbank 35yo 1971/2007 (59%, The Whisky Fair, Sherry, 239 Bts.)
Longmorn 1964/2007 (50%, Gordon & MacPhail for La Maison du Whisky, Cask #1538)
Glen Grant 1972/2007 (54.9%, The Single Malts of Scotland)
Brora 30yo (56,3%, OB, Bottled 2005)
Speyside 41yo 1965/2007 (53,5%, The Whisky Fair, Sherry, 150 Bts.)
Karuizawa 'Vintage' 1981/2007 (58.1%, OB, Cask #103)
Glengoyne 'Billy's Choice' 18yo 1989/2007 (54,1%, OB, Amontillado Hogshead #1202, 249 Bts.)
Nikka Yoichi 18yo 1987/2006 (55,2%, SMWS, C#116.9, 'From Madeira to the Caribbean')
Ballindalloch 40yo 1966/2007 (51,3%, Whisky-Doris, First fill sherry, 165 Bts.)
Glen Grant 1958/2006 (40%, G&M licensed)
Springbank 37yo 1970/2007 (53.9%, Signatory, Butt #1621, 370 Bottles)
Yamazaki 25yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Tomatin 40yo 1967/2007 (51.8%, Signatory, Sherry butt #2632, 415 bottles)
Strathisla 1967/2007 (50%, Gordon & MacPhail for La Maison du Whisky, Cask #6112)
Longmorn 1973/2006 (54%, Gordon & MacPhail Cask, Cask #3650, First fill sherry butt)
Yamazaki Vintage Malt 1980/2004 (56%, OB)
Lochisde 40yo 1966/2007 (54.4%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #7536)
Port Ellen 24yo 1982/2006 (59,4%, Chieftain's, Hogshead C#1513, 300 Bts.)
Glengoyne 'Robbie's Choice' 18yo 1989/2007 (55,1%, OB, Ruby Port Hogs C#328, 277 Bts.)
Caol Ila 32yo 1975/2007 (58.4%, Signatory Vintage, Cask #458)
Nikka Yoichi 1991/2007 (62%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, Warehouse #15, Cask #129493)
Nikka Yoichi 1991/2006 (63%, Nikka for Bar Cask Tokyo and TWF Limburg, C#129445)
Lagavulin 1990 Distillers Edition (43%, OB, Bottled 2007)
Highland Park 29yo 1978/2007 (56,7%, Douglas Laing Platinum, Sherry, 328 Bts.)
Miyagikyo 1989/2007 (60%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, Warehouse #20, Cask #105419)
Port Ellen 24yo 1982/2007 (59,6%, The Whisky Fair, Sherry butt)
Hanyu 1988/2007 (55.6%, Number One Drinks Company, Cask #9501, 352 Bts., Japanese oak finish)
Benriach 30yo 1976/2006 (53%, OB for LMDW, Cask #3557, 222 Bottles)
Benriach 30yo 1976/2007 (52%, OB for The Nectar for Belgium, Hogshead #8080, 151 Bottles)
Caperdonich 34yo 1972/2007 (53.4%, Duncan Taylor for LMDW, From Huntly to Paris, Cask #6707)
Talisker 30yo (51,9%, OB, Limited Edition, Bottled 2006)
Highland Park 18yo 1988/2006 (46%, Cadenhead's, Sherry wood, 678 Bts.)
Dalwhinnie 20yo 1986/2006 (56,8%, OB, Refill European Casks)
Glenfiddich 1973 (46.6%, OB for LMDW, Cask #28563)
Talisker 25yo 1975/2001 (59,9%, OB)
Aberlour A'bunadh 'Batch #20' (60,5%, OB)
Caol Ila 16yo 1991/2007 (57,4%, Whisky-Doris, Bourbon, 115 Bts.)
Caol Ila 22yo 1984/2007 (55,5%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Bourbon Hogs, 246 Bts.)
Benriach 31yo 1975/2007 'Lightly Peated' (53,7%, OB, Port Pipe, C#4451, 707 Bts.)
Islay 1998/2007 (58,8%, Celtic Whisky Company, Spirit Safe & Cask, Hogshead #52, 305 Bts.)
Clynelish 1992/2007 (58.5%, The Whisky Society)
Caperdonich 38yo 1968/2007 (54.2%, Duncan Taylor for The Nectar, cask #2609, 130 bottles)
Highland Park 30yo (48.1%, OB, +/- 2006, Red box, Round bottle)
Glenlivet 1965/2007 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail for La Maison du Whisky, Cask #6733)
Glen Grant 37yo 1970/2007 (50.3%, Duncan Taylor, Cask 3474, 116 Bts.)
Glengoyne 1989/2007 (58%, OB, bottled for SSMC, Sherry butt #1240)
Carsebridge 27yo 1979/2006 (60%, Duncan Taylor, Cask #32902, 187 Bottles)
Yamazaki 15yo (56%, OB, Japan, Bottled +/- 2007, 600ml)
Breath of Islay 14yo 1992/2007 (56,5%, Adelphi, C#5347, 278 Bts.)
Glenglassaugh 23yo 1984/2007 (46%, Wilson & Morgan 'Barrel Selection', Butt, C#187)
Glenfarclas 1976/2007 (49,4%, OB 'Familly Casks', C#3111, 595 Bts.)
W&M Born on Islay 1997/2007 (43%, Wilson & Morgan 'House Malt', C#3973-3980)
Caol Ila 1991/2007 (57.5%, The Single Malts of Scotland)
Linkwood 16yo 1990/2007 (49,3%, Adelphi, C#9733, 269 Bts.)
Inchgower 24yo 1980/2005 (54,7%, SMWS 18.24 'Emphatically fig-like')
Glenlivet 30yo (55.2%, Anniversary Selection, 375 botles)
Mortlach 16yo 1991/2007 (57,5%, Adelphi, C#5947, 492 Bts.)
Adelphi Breath of the Isles 13yo 1992/2006 (52,6%, Adelphi, C#3201, 292 Bts.)
Lochside 22yo 1981 (50%, Lombard, Jewels of Scotland, Bottled +/- 2003)
Glenfarclas 1988/2007 (56,3%, OB 'Familly Casks', C#7033, 572 Bts.)
Bushmills 1989 (53.7%, OB for Celtic Whiskey Shop, Cask #16267)
Dailuaine 10yo 1996/2007 Medoc Finish (50%, Chieftain's, C#90421/90422, 618 Bts.)
Port Charlotte 2001/2007 PC6 (61.6%, OB)
Benriach 1984/2007 (53.2%, The Single Malts of Scotland)
Karuizawa 19yo 1988/2007 (58,3%, The Whisky Fair, Refill butt, 180 Bts.)
Glenrothes-Glenlivet 16yo 1990/2007 (57,3%, Cadenhead Authentic Collection, Rum Butt, 588 Bts.)
Bunnahabhain 23yo 1979 (50%, Lombard, Jewels of Scotland, Bottled +/- 2002)
Benriach 21yo Authenticus (46%, OB, Peated Malt, Bottled +/- 2007)
Tyrconnel 10yo Sherry Finish (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Balvenie 17yo 'SheryOak' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Badger 'Islay' 6yo 2001/2007 (46%, Milroy's, C#27, Bourbon Hogs, 398 Bts.)
Rosebank 16yo 1990/2007 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Cask ref 3404, Claret finish, 263 Bts.)
Bowmore 16yo 1990/2007 (58,4%, Whisky-Doris, Bourbon, 88 Bts.)
The Glenlivet 16yo 'Nądurra' (59,7%, OB, Batch#0407C, Bottled 2007)
Tullibardine 1975/2007 (52,7%, OB, Hogshead #1009, 194 Bts.)
Connemara 1991/2007 (50,2%, OB for 'The Nectar Belgium', Peated malt, C#V96/1 129)
Brora 24yo 1981/2006 (48,5%, Dun Bheagan, Fino Sherry Butt C#1524, 726 Bts.)
Compass Box NAS Canto Cask "46" (53,2%, CB, C#46, 248 Bts.)
Bushmills 16yo (40%, OB, Ireland, Bottled +/- 2007)
Caol Ila 25yo 1980/2006 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Refill Hogs, Ref 2405, 327 Bts.)
Blue Hanger 30yo (45,6%, BBR, 3rd Limited Release, Bottled +/- 2007)
Longmorn 31yo 1976/2007 (54,1%, The Whisky Fair, Bourbon Hogshead, 131 Bts.)
The Famous Grouse 30yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2005)
Hakushu 15yo (56%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007, 600ml)
Connemara 1992/2007 (46%, OB, C#K92/33 4086, Peated)
Macallan 30yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Ardmore 1990/2007 (59.1%, LMDW-1, Cask #30103)
Connemara NAS (57,9%, OB, CS, Peated, Bottled +/- 2007)
Glengoyne 21yo (43%, OB, Sherry matured, Bottled +/- 2007)
Hakushu NAS (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Tomintoul 1976/2007 (49,6%, Mackillop's Choice, Sherry wood)
Benromach 2000/2007 (60.4%, OB for LMDW, cask #724, 241 Bottles)
Caol Ila 23yo 1984/2007 (46%, Wilson & Morgan 'Barrel Selection', C#3128)
Cooley 8yo 1998/2006 (56,2%, SMWS 3.117)
Glencadam 1975/2007 (46%, Montgomerie's Single cask collection, C#1)
Speyside 1990/2006 (46%, Celtic Whisky Co, Celtique Connexion, Bourbon/Sauternes finish, 346 Bts.)
Springbank 'Drink Me' 15yo (54,9%, SMWS, C#27.60, Bottled +/- 2006) ?
Talisker 'Tactical' 18yo 1988/2006 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Refill Hogs, Ref 3220, 325 Bts)
Highland Park 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2005/2006)
Talisker 10yo (45,8%, OB, Bottled 2007)
Caol Ila 8yo (59,8%, OB, 'Unpeated Style', Bottled 2006)
Bruichladdich 1984/2007 'Redder Still' (50.4%, OB)
Flaming Heart '2nd Ltd Release' (48,9%, Compass Box, Bottling # FH16MMVII)
Glen Ord 18yo 1989/2007 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Refill butt, Ref 3336, Sherry finish, 808 Bts.)
Aberlour 16yo (43%, OB, Sherry, Double Cask Matured, Bottled +/- 2007)
Glen Garioch 17yo 1990/2007 (55,8%, Adelphi, C#2689, 285 Bts.)
North British 45yo 1962/2007 (59.9%, The Prestonfield for LMdW, C#46556, 235 bottles)
Speyside 1995/2007 (46%, Celtic Whisky Co, Celtique Connexion, Bourbon/Champagne finish)
Highland Park 23yo 1982/2006 (55,6%, SMWS 4.110 'Dried bananas in a pharmacy')
Bruichladdich 18yo (46%, OB, Bottled 2007)
Tyrconnel 10yo Madeira Finish (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Tyrconnel 15yo (46%, OB, Cask #354/92, Bottled +/- 2007)
Cragganmore 17yo 1988/2006 (55,5%, OB, 5970 Bts.)
Tyrconnel 10yo Port Finish (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Glen Garioch 1988/2006 (56,1%, Celtic Whisky Co, Spirit Safe & Cask ed, Hogshead #1538, 234 Bts.)
Rosebank 1990/2007 (57.7%, Malt Pedigree for La Maison du Whisky, C#1511, 326 bottles)
Springbank 1992/2007 (52.6%, The Whisky Society)
Hakushu 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Glenugie 24yo 1981/2006 (61,8%, Blackadder RC, C#5515, 562 Bts.)
Auchroisk 30yo 1976/2006 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, Cask ref 3075, First fill Bourbon finish, 330 Bts.)
Rosebank 1991/2007 (56.1%, The Whisky Society)
Clynelish 14yo (46%, OB, Bottled 2007)
Rare Ayrshire 32yo 1975/2007 (45.3%, Signatory, Cask #557, 267 bottles)
Sherry Cask Malt 2000/2007 (43%, Wilson & Morgan 'Room sample', C#2419-2425)
Laphroaig 8yo 1998/2007 (46%, DL Provenance, Autumn/Spring)
Rosebank 15yo 1990/2006 (59,5%, Blackadder RC, Hogshead #1522, 294 Bts.)
Arran 10yo 1995/2006 (57,6%, SMWS 121.1 'Golden Syrup')
Ballechin #2 Madeira Matured (46%, OB, Bottled 2007)
Connemara 12yo (40%, OB, Peated, Bottled +/- 2007)
Bowmore 2001/2007 (43%, Jean Boyer 'Best Casks', Sherry casks)
Glenlossie 1989/2007 (46%, Jean Boyer 'Best Casks', Re-coopered Hogs, Single cask)
Old Pulteney 17yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Connemara NAS (40%, OB, Peated, Bottled +/- 2007)
Speyside 'Pebble Beach' 12yo (43%, Lombard, Bottled +/- 2007)
Caol Ila 1996/2007 (48%, Wilson & Morgan)
Edradour 11yo 1996/2007 (56.7%, Signatory SFTC, Super Tuscan finish, 467 bottles)
The Glenlivet 21yo 'Archive' (43%, OB, Batch #40174, Bottled +/- 2007)
Glenturret 12yo 1993/2006 Port Finish (43%, Chieftain's, C#90771/90772, 1740 Bts.)
Teaninich 12yo (40%, Lombard, Bottled +/- 2007)
Bushmills NAS (46%, OB, Ireland)
Miltonduff 8yo (43%, Duncan Taylor 'Battlehill')
Scapa 14yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Ben Nevis 1996/2007 (43%, Jean Boyer 'Best Casks', single cask)
Clan Denny 'Islay' (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007, Vatting of Caol Ila, Laphroaig, Bunnahabhain, Bowmore)
Tamdhu 13yo 1994/2007 Madeira finish (46%, Dun Bheagan, Cask #90341, 756 Bts.)
Aberfeldy 1989/2007 (43%, G&M Connoisseurs Choice)
Aberlour 10yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Benriach 15yo (46%, OB, Madeira finish, Bottled +/- 2007)
Bunnahabhain 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Benromach NAS 'Peat Smoke' (46%, OB, Bottled 2007)
Longmorn 16yo (48%, OB, Bottled 2007)
The Glenlivet 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2007)
Bruichladdich 1991/2007 (46%, Berry Brothers, C#2277)
Speyside 8yo (43%, Lombard, Bottled +/- 2007)
And these were 2007's winners. As usual, we don't mention any of the 'non-winners'.
Check out the 'medals' page for an overview of winners in previous years.
And MM has recently grown even more 'multimedia' recently.
Through the Malt Maniacs & Friends group on Facebook you can join us in our discussions about the MM Awards 2007 - and other chatter.
If you want to obtain any of these bottles, you can either inquire at your favorite liquorist or one of the many online stores. We've also included links to the websites of
the distilleries and bottlers to the logo's at the right, so you can learn a little bit more about the participants and their portfolio.
If you're an 'anorak' like us, you should have some great fun browsing through the 'best-to-worst' list.
The first thing that struck me was the fact that the entries from Japan did very well again this year (although the first prize went back to Scotland), and so did those from Ireland. Both Cooley and Bushmills submitted a few bottles that seem more than able to compete with the whiskies from Scotland.
We received some material from America as well, but that didn't make the grade quite yet.
The Famous Grouse 30 years old blend was also some kind of surprise - it came incredibly close to a silver medal and actually earned a slightly higher average score than the Macallan 30yo 'Fine Oak' single malt. The Blue Hanger 30yo blend from Berry Brothers beat both by a hare's breath. The Port Charlotte six years old single malt from Bruichladdich did very well too. Its silver medal is especially impressive if you realise that it aged only a fifth of the time that the oldies I just mentioned have; six as opposed to thirty years. Another bottling that might have been a candidate for the now defunct 'pressure cooker award' was the Badger 'Islay' 6yo 2001/2007 (46%, Milroy's, C#27, Bourbon Hogs, 398 Bottles). It earned a silver medal after just six years of maturation - impressive indeed.
Before I wrap up the editorial comments on this page (the discussion continues on our new facebook community) I'd like to point out one more thing. The selection of whiskies that are submitted for the Malt Maniacs Awards isn't a 'random' selection. These days producers, bottlers and traders really want to win the competition and usually submit the bottles they feel have a good chance of winning. It seems they are getting better at it all the time - every year there are more bronze, silver and gold winners.
Therefor, the selection of whiskies in the competition is a little different from that in your average liquor store - unless you found the best whisky store in the world. Check out the MaltMenu or the 'Specials' segment of the main page for a few other recent releases that you might find at your favorite liquorist or in your local whisky bar. These overviews will come in handy if you've recently discovered the wonderful world of single malt whisky. But we also have material that digs a little deeper. The Malt Maniacs Matrix lists more than 2,000 single malt whiskies that were sampled by at least four certified malt maniacs. And if that's not enough for you, the Malt Maniacs Monitor features over 9,000 whiskies - malts, grains & blends. Even if you've only tried a handful of whiskies in your life, they probably are on there.
I have to admit that I haven't had time to check out all the nifty
features on facebook yet, but I plan to spend some more time there
after I've handled all the communications around the awards.
So, it might be wise to join us on facebook if you haven't already.
What are you waiting for? It's completely free and almost ad-free.
You can find some more thoughts on the topic in the editorial comments - or you can jump directly to the results...
Alternatively, you could first take a look at the results for the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 editions of our whisky competition.
This would add some perspective to this year's results. (And for the people that like to skip ahead, this Malt Maniacs Archive
also contains the complete results for the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions of our annual whisky competition.)
That Laphroaig is a fabulous whisky for those that can find it and afford it, but what if you live
in the boondocks and don't have that sort of cash lying around? Well, in that case we have the
DAILY DRAM CATEGORY - whiskies that offer a fine blend of AFFORDABILITY and availability.
In this case 'affordable' means bottles that mere mortals like you and me could actually afford,
with a 'street price' of no more than circa 100 Euro's) while the AVAILABILITY means they're
bottles that you have a decent chance of actually finding at a store near you - or on the web.
December 3, 2007
- Phew.... I've just arrived from the 'conclave' France, where we
decided on the winners in the 2007 edition of the MM Awards. Perhaps the most
significant result of the conclave was that we decided that many entries have
just become TOO DARNED GOOD for the initial scope of our little competition.
When we started with the Malt Maniacs Awards in 2003, we wanted to help
point fellow (malt) whisky lovers towards the best whiskies on the market.
So, amongst the medal winners were many good and affordable bottles like
the Balvenie 12yo and Talisker 10yo. However, over the years the competition
has grown quite fierce, and each year the participants submitted 'better' bottles.
Unfortunately, many of these 'better' bottles also came with a higher price tag.
That's why we decided that we needed to divide the Malt Maniacs Awards entries
into two main price categories this year; DAILY DRAMS (malts below 100 Euro's)
and the fancy ULTRA PREMIUM WHISKIES with a price tag of 100 Euro's or more.
We may even have to use 3 categories next year - but, that's of later concern.