Single malt whisky - tasting notes

30 Nov 2009

Malt Maniacs Awards

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in * News

30 Nov: Malt Maniacs Awards As you probably know, we can expect the results of this year’s Malt Maniacs Awards any moment now.

There are 7 gold, 64 silver and almost a hundred bronze medals. The gold medals are 3 Japanese whiskies (well well), 3 old Speysiders and one old Islay malt. We’ll discuss it further as soon as we get the votes from the jury!

Some personal guesses: one of the BenRiach 1976‘s, the Karuizawa 1972 and a couple of the Malts of Scotland and Whisky Agency releases.


1 Dec update: indeed, the Karuizawa 1972 did receive the Non-Plus-Ultra Award with the BenRiach 1976 cask 3558 getting the Best Natural Cask Award. Too bad I forgot to place my bets with the bookmakers… The overall winner is the Glen Grant 36yo 1972 (Duncan Taylor for TWF) which received 91/100 and overtook many malts that are a lot more expensive. 

Other medals that we really support: Gold for the Macallan 1970 Speymalt, Silver for Ardbeg CorryvreckanAmrut Fusion, Glengoyne 1973 by Malts of Scotland, Port Ellen PE1 (review coming soon), Bowmore Tempest and Lochside 1981 for LMdW among (many many) others. The complete score card is here, the list of award winners is here.

What should we conclude from this year’s results?

  • Six out of seven Gold medals are won by (heavy) sherry bottlings
  • Few remarkable scores for peated whisky (except for the awards in strictly peated categories of course – is this separate treatment still relevant by the way? Why is sherry not placed in specific categories?). Also, it should be noted that the best Islay releases are from independent bottlers
  • Japanese distilleries (Karuizawa, Yoichi, Hakushu) and other countries (India’s Amrut and even France’s Glan Ar Mor) are responsable for a lot of high scores
  • La Maison du Whisky is doing a great job selecting casks (3 Gold medals, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze)
Malt Maniacs Awards 4.5 Ruben Luyten 2009-11-30
  • Charlie

    Not Glendronach 1972 and Karuizawa 1967 for TWS?

  • Ruben

    I don’t think the GlenDronach single casks were participating (except for the 1972 for LMdW). Karuizawa 1967 was certainly too recent to participate. I guess the 1967 will be next year’s benchmark whisky that the other distilleries will need to match!

  • Alexandre Vingtier

    Hi Ruben,

    Thank you for your kind words on LMDW (and we got 3 Gold medals, not 2 😉

    The cask of Karuizawa 1967 we shared (La Maison du Whisky and The Whisky Exchange) could go for this competition in time… actually we do not always send all jewels that we have selected (a few years ago we did not send our Ardbeg 1974 that was later scored 95/100 by the Malt Maniacs.

    To my taste and experience, Karuizawa 1967 and Glenfiddich 50yo were the best whisky of 2009 (was Hankey Banister 40yo released in 2008 or 2009 ?).

    This year’s competition was fierce and the list of competitors is really impressive ! I think it really shows the great work done by many companies to bottled the best casks (and not vatting them) which corresponds to the evolution of the whisky aficionados, but it also reflects the influence of the Malt Maniacs and celebrate the fantastic job they have done spreading the good word !


    Alexandre Vingtier
    LMDW Selection Manager

  • Charlie

    Yeah 3 gold medals for LMDW this year:

    1. Glendronach 37yo 1972/2009 (53.3%, OB for LMW, Oloroso Sherry Butt, Cask#705, 275)
    2. Yoichi 1991/2009 ‘Single Cask’ (58%, OB, Imported by LMdW, Cask#129374, 453 Bts.)
    3. Macallan 1970/2009 (46%, G&M Speymalt for LMdW, First Fill sherry cask #8326)

    Good job on selecting so fine whiskies!

  • Ruben

    True, I did a search on “LMdW” so the LMW bottling was left out. I’ve updated my post.
    Still I find it strange that some of the crown jewels are withheld from the awards.

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November 2015
« Oct    

Coming up

  • Lindores 2015 festival bottling
  • Amrut 2009 (cask #2701)
  • Glenlivet 1981 (#9468 for TWE)
  • Lagavulin Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Talisker Distillers Edition (2015)
  • Laphroaig 32 Year Old
  • Glen Grant 65yo 1950 cask #2747 for Wealth Solutions
  • Mortlach 1959/1960 (G&M Royal Wedding)

1931 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.