Malt Maniacs Awards 2012

Beginning of December is always the time for Malt Maniacs Awards. Always a nice opportunity to look back at the past whisky year and check out a few highlights.

First of all: the results are quite predictable. Most of the Gold Medal winners are heavy sherry bottlings, most of them are old (some extremely old). I have the impression the Malt Maniacs are premiumizing just like (part of) the market – it will cost a lot of money to buy a Gold Medal this year. Even € 1100 if you fancy the Glen Grant.


At the very top there’s an ex aequo for GlenDronach and Glengoyne:

  • Glendronach 40yo 1972/2012 (50.2%, OB for LMDW, D2/3/’72 B3/’12, C#713, oloroso sherry butt, 476 Bts.)
  • Glengoyne 1972/2012 (55.5%, Malts of Scotland, D9/’72 B9/’12, C#12044, sherry hogshead, 254 Bts.)
  • Glendronach 40yo 1971/2011 (47.5%, OB for Taiwan, D25/2/’71 B8/’11, C#1248, PX sherry puncheon, 545 Bts.)
  • Karuizawa ‘Noh’ 28yo 1983/2012 (57.2%, OB, C#7576, sherry butt, 571 Bts.)
  • Glenfarclas 1990/2011 (57%, OB The Family Casks for TSMC Taiwan, B12/12/’11, C#5098, 596 Bts.)
  • Glendronach 41yo 1971/2012 (48.9%, OB, D25/2/’71 B6/’12, C#1247, PX sherry puncheon, 529 Bts.)
  • Longmorn 44yo 1967/2011 (48.3%, G&M Book of Kells for LMDW, D4/2/’67 B5/9/’11, C#592)
  • Karuizawa 1984/2012 (61.6%, Number One Drinks, “Single Cask”, C#3692, sherry butt, 359 Bts.)
  • Glen Grant 58yo 1953 (47.9%, Gordon & McPhail Book of Kells for LMDW, C#2604, sherry butt, 294 Bts.)
  • Elements of Islay ‘Pl1′ (60%, The Whisky Exchange, ‘Port Charlotte’)
  • Benriach 27yo 1984/2012 (52.2%, OB, B7/’12, Hogshead, C#4050, tawny port finish, 283 Bts.)
  • Yamazaki ‘Sherry Cask’ (48%, OB, NAS, 2011*)

Have a look at the score card for more details.


Now that’s a lot of GlenDronach (again). I’m quite surprised to see two of them are 1971 vintages as they have always been a tad less convincing in the past, especially the PX sherry versions I’d add.

The Glengoyne 1972 by Malts of Scotland is no surprise. A deserved winner and possibly also my favourite bottling of this year. It’s also more accessible than the € 700 GlenDronach.

The two surprises are probably the BenRach 1984 (a tawny Port finish… I tried sister cask #4052 and I didn’t like it too much) and the Elements of Islay Port Charlotte. That one is by far the least expensive bottle in the Gold Medal list.