Malt Maniacs Awards 2004

This year the malt maniacs awards jury handed out no less than 15 awards and 63 medals.
You can find a list of all 15 Award winners in 2004 a little further down this page; they are the
winners in specific 'categories'. For the medals we strictly look at the 'naked' average score out
of the 12 individual scores of the jury members. Keep in mind that all the tasters received BLIND
samples of the whiskies in the competition, so they didn't have any clue about what whisky they
were tasting. After the dust had settled, the medal winners of the 2004 MM Awards emerged.

Tasting Notes (2004)Medal Winners (2004)Award Winners (2004)Editorial Comments (2004)

In 2004 Glengoyne, Macallan and Lagavulin managed to pick up two silver medals each. For me personally, Edradour and Arran were
two pleasant surprises - little of their earlier work had impressed me so far, but they're now ready to play with the big boys, it seems.

This year we handed out 3 Gold Medals, 25 Silver Medals and 35 Bronze Medals.
That's even better than the grand total of 43 medals in the 2003 Malt Maniacs Awards edition!
The 63 whiskies in the list of medal winners below are ranked according to their 'mettle' and
'metal' (gold, silver or bronze) and their average scores, but a little bit further down you can
find an alphabetical overview of all winners in the Malt Maniacs Awards 2004 with some notes.

Looking at the number of medals they picked up, Macallan (7 medals), Caol Ila (5 medals) and Glenfarclas (5 medals) were
this year's big winners, with Glengoyne, Highland Park, Edradour and Balvenie (3 medals each) following in hot pursuit. So,
this is strating to look like a real competition... ;-)  If we focus on the 'highly recommendable' (silver) and 'exceptional' (gold)
whiskies for a moment, the distilleries that performed particularly well were Port Ellen (2 gold medals) Brora (1 gold medal),
Caol Ila (4 silver medals) and Glenfarclas (4 silver medals as well).

Douglas Laing
Wilson & Morgan
Signatory Vintage
La Maison du Whisky
Berry Brothers
Gordon & MacPhail
Celtic Whsiky Compagnie

Here, I'll focus mostly on the things that have changed since our previous awards competition.
Just like last year we contacted all the people we knew in the whisky industry and invited them to submit up to a dozen different award candidates. That means that every 'player' had a fair chance to participate in this year's event. So, no changes there. And the 'meaning of the metal' hasn't changed either;

Gold Medal = 90 points or more (Sensational stuff - the best whisky that money can buy)
Silver Medal = 85 to 89 points (Highly Recommendable - definitely worth tracking down)
Bronze Medal = 80 to 84 points (Recommendable - you should try this - if only just once)
No Medal = 79 points or less (Too many great alternatives to really recommend this one)

I'd like to stress once more that our medals are not 'chocolate medals' - simply scoring above average
(a theoretical 75 points) won't cut it to earn a medal in our book - just take a look at the matrix...
And as usual, we promised the contestants that we would keep quiet about the 'non-winners'.

Of course we sampled the 2004 contestants completely and utterly blind.
All members of the tasting panel (except Serge who arranged the flights) received numbered samples. Only after they rated all whiskies in the competition the identity of the samples was revealed to the members of the jury. Our calculation of the average scores changed a bit compared to last year's proceedings though. Because we now had a larger maniacal tasting team (thirteen jurors as opposed to last year's eleven members) and dropped the 'extra weight factor' for more experienced tasters, we decided to use a 'standard deviation' formula to try and diminish the effect of extreme scores.

That made sure that Brora's chances for a gold medal (nine maniacs voted for gold) were not destroyed by Klaus' 4 (!!!) points. Likewise, Peter's 40 points for the Distiller's Edition Lagavulin would have kept it from winning a medal, like twelve other maniacs thought it should. Because of this special formula, some 'awards' averages may vary a bit from the average score on the matrix.

Also, this year, no malt could win more than one award. That prevents one malt from picking up several awards, like last year's Talisker that managed to bring home the Non-Plus-Ultra Award as the highest scoring whisky of the 2003 awards, as well as the Islands Award of Excellence.

And I guess that's, as they say, 'it'...
Now all that's left to do is heartily thank our participants for submitting so many different (and mostly excellent) malts - and the tasting team for their commitment to the task and hand and their willingness to put their brains and livers at risk in getting these results ready on time. Finally, I'd like to thank Serge for once again taking care of this year's logistics in such spectacular and impeccable fashion.
Great work - especially considering Serge's French ;-)

And that's really it as far as the 2004 Awards are concerned.
Click HERE for the results of 2003 or check out the matrix to compare the individual scores of 12 different malt maniacs. Join the mailinglist to learn about the 2005 Awards as soon as we start the preparations.

Sweet drams (indeed),

Johannes van den Heuvel
Editor Malt Madness / Malt Maniacs

2004 Awards Winners

Non-Plus-Ultra Award
(Overall top scoring whisky out of all 2004 MM Awards entries)

Brora 30yo '2003'
(55.7%, OB, 3000 Bottles, Bottled 2003)

Supreme Sherry Cask Award
(Best whisky matured exclusively in sherry cask(s)

Port Ellen 21yo 1982/2004
(50%, Douglas Laing OMC, 420 Bottles, Full Sherry)

Supreme Bourbon Cask Award
(Best whisky matured exclusively in bourbon cask(s)

Lagavulin 12yo Special Release 2002
(57.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2002)

Supreme Warped Cask Award
(Best whisky matured or finished in 'special' cask(s)

Lagavulin 1987/2003 'Distiller's Edition'
(43%, OB, Batch # lgv. 4/491)

Gentle Giant Award
(Best unpeated, unsherried and unfinished whisky)

Invergordon 38yo 1965/2004
(51.6%, Peerless, Cask #15537, Grain whisky, 254 Bottles)

Speyside Award of Excellence
(Best Speyside single malt whisky)
The Whisky that Cannot be Named 1953/2003
(54.3%, Adelphi, 1953/2003, Cask #1668)

Highlands Award of Excellence
(Best Highlands single malt whisky)
Glengoyne 19yo 1985/2004 'Summer'
(52.6%, OB, Cask #608)

Islands Award of Excellence
(Best Islands single malt whisky)
Scapa 23yo 1979/2003
(55.6%, Chieftain's, Sherry Butt #663, 564 Bottles)

Islay Award of Excellence
(Best Islay single malt whisky)
Port Ellen 23yo 1979/2003
(46%, Wilson & Morgan, Butt #6769)

Campbeltown Award of Excellence
(Best Campbeltown single malt whisky)
Springbank 34yo 1969/2003
(54.7%, Signatory Rare Reserve, Butt #262, 408 Bottles)

Bang-For-Your-Buck Award
(Best performance/price ratio in the 'affordable' area)
Glenfarclas NAS '105'
(60%, OB, New Label, Bottled +/- 2004)

Pressure Cooker Award
(Best performance/age ratio in the 'affordable' area)
Wilson & Morgan 'Born on Islay' '95/'04
(43%, Wilson & Morgan 'House Malt', Casks 655-672)

Internal Combustion Award
(Best performance/ABV ratio in the 'affordable' area)
Glenfarclas 1991/2004 'Oloroso'
(46%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, Oloroso Cask #5620)

Daily Dram Award
(Best affordable, widely available single malt whisky)
Caol Ila 'Cask Strength'
(55%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)

Single Starlet Award
(Most exciting new or 'upgraded' release in 2004)
Glengoyne 12yo Cask Strength
(57.2%, OB, Bottled 2004)


(Scroll down for tasting notes and comments on all medal winners)

Gold Medal Winners

Brora 30yo '2003' (55.7%, OB, 3000 bottles, Bottled 2003)
Port Ellen 21yo 1982/2004 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, DL 414, 420 bottles, Full sherry)
Port Ellen 23yo 1979/2003 (46%, Wilson & Morgan, Butt #6769)

Silver Medal Winners

Glengoyne 19yo 1985/2004 'Summer' (52.6%, OB, cask #608)
Lagavulin 1987/2003 Distiller's Edition (43%, OB, lgv. 4/491)
Caol Ila 'Cask Strength' (55%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Scapa 23yo 1979/2003 (55.6%, Chieftain's, sherry butt #663, 564 bottles)
Glenfarclas 1991/2004 (46%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, Oloroso cask #5620)
Highland Park 25yo (50.7%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Glenfarclas NAS '105' (60%, OB, New Label, Bottled +/- 2004)
Lagavulin 12yo Special Release 2002 (57.8%, OB, Second batch)
The Whisky that Cannot be Named 1953/2003 (54.3%, Adelphi, Cask #1668)
Glengoyne 12yo Cask Strength (57.2%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Invergordon 38yo 1965/2004 (51.6%, Peerless, Cask #15537, 254 bottles)
W&M Born on Islay 1995/2004 (43%, Wilson & Morgan, Casks 655-672)
Glenfarclas 30yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Ardbeg 10yo 1993/2004 (50%, DL OMC, DL 1248, 341 bottles
Springbank 34yo 1969/2003 (54.7%, Signatory Rare Reserve, Butt #262, 408 bottles)
Talisker 18yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Macallan 1991/2004 Extra Strength (50%, Wilson & Morgan)
Caol Ila 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Bunnahabhain 36yo 1967/2003 (40.1%, Peerless, cask #3327, 203 bottles)
Bowmore 1993/2004 Extra Strength (50%, Wilson & Morgan)
Clynelish 13yo 1989/2002 (56.7%, Adelphi, Cask #3281)
Macallan 25yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)
Glen Grant 1969/2004 (46%, Berry Bros, cask #1773)
Glenlivet 26yo 1977/2003 (57%, Adelphi, Cask #13120)
Caol Ila 12yo 1991/2004 Sherry Finish (50%, DL OMC, DL 876, 360 bottles, 6 month sherry finish)

Glen Scotia 1992/2003 Cask Strength (62.1%, G&M C/S, Rask #89.92, Refill sherry hogshead)
Imperial 1993/2004 (45%, G&M for La Maison du Whisky)
Balvenie 21yo PortWood (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Blue Hanger 25yo (45.6%, Berry Bros, Glen Grant/Glenlivet vatting)
Talisker 20yo 1982/2003 'refill casks' (58.8%, OB, 12000 bottles)
Caol Ila 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Arran 1996/2004 Single Cask '311 Bottles' (58.7%, OB, 311 bottles)
Highland Park 18yo 1985/2003 (53.9%, Signatory for La Maison du Whisky, Cask #2915)
Edradour 10yo 1993/2004 Sauternes Finish (56.8%, OB, Cask #04/11/2, 445 bottles)
Edradour 10yo 1993/2004 Burgundy Finish (57.4%, OB, Cask #04/13/3, 458 bottles)
Highland Park 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Lochside 1981/2004 (46%, Berry Bros, Casks #610/613)
Glenkinchie 12yo Limited Edition (58.7%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Laphroaig 17yo 1987/2004 Rum Finish (50%, DL OMC, 256 bottles, 6 months Rum Finish)
Macallan 30yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)
Macallan 25yo 1978/2004 (50%, DL OMC, DL 1214, 258 bottles)
Cragganmore 29yo 1973/2003 (52.5%, OB, Special Edition, 6000 Bottles)
Macallan 21yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)
Glengoyne 17yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Glenfiddich 21yo Gran Reserva (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Macallan 12yo 'Sherry' (40%, OB, Bottled 2004)
Ledaig 29yo 1974/2004 (50%, Dun Bheaghan, Cask #5477-5478, 396 bottles)
Tomatin 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Bunnahabhain 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Arran 1996/2004 Single Cask '250 Bottles' (59.3%, OB, 250 bottles)
Edradour 21yo 1983/2004 Port Finish (53.6%, OB, cask #03/1041, 776 bottles)
Clynelish 14yo 1989/2003 Rum Finish (50%, DL OMC, cask #3850, 312 bottles, 6 month rum finish)
Balvenie 15yo Single Barrel 1989/2004 (47.8%, OB, Cask #7581)
Glengarioch 15yo 1988/2003 (46%, Whisky Galore)
Glenrothes 1987/2002 (43%, OB)
Glenfarclas 15yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Balvenie 1989 PortWood (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Glenfiddich 15yo Solera Reserve (40%, OB, 2004)
Macallan 15yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)

And these were 2004's winners.
Scroll down for an A-Z overview of all winners.
As usual, we don't mention any of the 'non-winners'.

Bronze Medal Winners
Medal Winners
Editorial comments

Ardbeg 10yo 1993/2004 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC, 341 Btl.)
(DL 1248, 341 bottles)
  Well, it doesn't come as a big surprise that this young Ardbeg won silver.
Old Malt Cask bottlings are uasually top quality and most maniacs hold Ardbeg in very high regard.
That being said, opinions varied between bronze (Serge, Davin, Craig, Peter and Alexander, silver
(Olivier, Luc & myself) and gold (Krishna, Roman & Mark). Krishna correctly identified it as an Ardbeg.
Craig found 'tennis shoes' in the nose. For me, Ardbeg's trademark 'delay' in development stood out.

Arran 1996/2004 Single Cask (58.7%, OB, 311 Bottles)
I think it's safe to say that Arran was responsible for one of the biggest surprises of the 2004 Awards.
Up until now we only had three Arrans on the matrix, and none of them reached 'recommendable' status.
This year Arran submitted two cask strength bottlings that actually managed to please most maniacs.
Craig found 'good tannins' and caramel in the tail. Krishna even thought this could be an Islay malt.
Most maniacs put this one in the eighties; only Peter, Klaus and myself had it in the upper 70's.

Arran 1996/2004 Single Cask (59.3%, OB, 250 Bottles)
The second Arran in the competition didn't receive quite as high an average score as the '311 Bottles'
bottling because Craig, Klaus, Luc and myself were not convinced it was medal material. Fortunately for
Arran, five maniacs (Olvier, Davin, Peter Mark and Alexander) thought it was worthy of a score in the upper
eighties. Krishna loved it even more and gave it 90 points - just like the '311' version. Serge's found the nose
very similar to the other cask, but 'a little more discrete'. Aha, that would explain the slightly lower average.

Balvenie 15yo Single Barrel 1989/2004 (47.8%, OB, Cask #7581)
The charm of single cask bottlings is that they are different every time - and that can be a problem as well.
While other expressions in the Balvenie range have a specific style that's maintained between consecutive
batches, you'll never know what you are going to get with the Balvenie 15yo 'Single Barrel'. According to
Davin, the nose of this particular cask was 'Floral, waxy, mushroom, slightly woody with hints of dry grass
and teak oil'
. That's funny - I found some oil as well. This one doesn't really have a typical Speyside profile.

Balvenie 1989 PortWood (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
Balvenie submitted an earlier batch of the 1989 Port Wood last year as well, and just like last year this
relatively affordable expression managed to win a bronze medal this year. Davin describes the nose as
'Dry, estery, grain, hints of chocolate, mild grassiness' and the taste as 'Sweet with a bit of a kick.
Spicy & hot. Coffee, ice cream wafers, a hint of bitterness late in the finish.'
  Craig found it 'classy'.
This one received favourable scores from Craig, Roman, Mark and Alexander in particular.

Balvenie 21yo PortWood (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
In my notes for last year's awards results I prognosticated that they might have won a silver medal if
they would have submitted the 21yo PortWood. Well, this year they did - but the average score was not
quite enough for a silver medal - although it outscored the 1989 by three points. In fact, if you would have
asked just Serge, Craig, Klaus, Alexander and myself it would have indeed earned a silver medal. Unfortunately,
palates from the USA (Peter and Mark) and India (Krishna) were not quite as impressed as most other maniacs.

Blue Hanger 25yo (45.6%, Berry Bros)
(Vatting of Glen Grant & Glenlivet) 
OK, this may not be a single malt whisky, but it performed very well
nonetheless. Except for Peter and Roman, everybody agreed this was medal material - Mark was even ready
to give this vatted malt whisky a gold medal. Krishna proved his worth as a blind taster again when he found
similarities with the Glen Grant 1969 in this one. Few maniacs had trouble identifying this as a Speysider.
Davin's notes say: 'A really great whisky. Lots of complexity, yet delivered with some understatement.' 

Bowmore 1993/2004 Extra Strength (50%, Wilson & Morgan)
This is the very first Bowmore to win a MM Award - quite an acomplishment when you know there are quite
a few sceptics among the maniacs who don't hold this distillery is such hight regard as some others do. This
Bowmore won silver, but if it had been up to Serge, Olivier or Krishna it would have won gold. According to
Serge, this one was 'Quite bold and powerful, very smoky. Lots of peat. ... Develops on seaweed, iodine.
Hints of cooked banana. Lots of tropical fruits emerge after a few minutes, mostly passion fruit and guava.'

Brora 30yo '2003' (55.7%, OB, 3000 Bottles)
(2003 Bottling, Different from the 2002 Bottling at 52.4%)
Proud winner of the NON PLUS ULTRA AWARD.
Its predecessor that was entered into the competition last year also was one of only 3 gold medal winners,
but this is a very different whisky. Some of us, including Craig and Luc, were convinced this was an Ardbeg.
Klaus hated it with a passion, but I have to admit that I just loved the 'farmy' nose - even the chicken sh*t.
Most maniacs heartily agreed; this Brora scored into the 90's nine out of thirteen times; not bad at all, eh?

Bunnahabhain 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
This Bunny has always been sort of a 'low profile' dram, especially for the Islay lovers among the maniacs.
In this blind line-up it held up remarkably well, receiveing eight votes for a bronze medal. Almost every single
maniac scored this one a few points higher than earlier expressions, so they are either improving the recipe
or some of us were influenced by 'the label effect' in the past. Krishna couldn't decide if this was an Islay or
a Speyside malt, which makes sense, since Bunnahabhain is about the only unpeated malt distilled on islay.

Bunnahabhain 36yo 1967/2003 (40.1%, Peerless, C#3327)
(Cask #3327, 203 Bottles)
An overwhelming majority of maniacs agreed this Bunny was medal material,
and Serge, Olivier, Craig, Roman, Ho-cheng and myself agreed it should be silver. Klaus, who usually rates
his malts fairly low, even thought it should be gold. He wrote: 'Nose: fresh, flowery, cherries (not the dark
ones), pears, extremely delicious. Taste: sweet, cherries, chocolate, pears. The taste is not as sensationel
as the nose. Nevertheless gold.'
  Well, not quite - but it did manage to beat quite a few peated Islay malts.

Caol Ila NAS 'Cask Strength' (55%, OB, 2004)
There wasn't a single maniac that didn't agree the winner of this year's DAILY DRAM AWARD was medal
material; Olivier, Ho-cheng, Mark and Luc were even willing to go for gold. Luc's notes say: 'What a nose
of lychee on peat, oily taste, mouthfilling, sensational taste of peat, kicking back on the fruitiness, great
stuff, extremely long finish.'
Craig found 'Peat and peanuts, fresh nuts, lots of malty notes, warming biscuit
palate - cleansing tail'
. Davin wrote: 'Nice balance of smoke and sweet.'  I couldn't have said it better myself.

Caol Ila 12yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
This 12yo OB was a serious candidate for both the 'Daily Dram Award' and the 'Bang-For-Your-Buck; Award.
Most maniacs like their malts with a slightly higher ABV, so both awards ended up going to overproof malts.
Nevertheless, this one performed very well indeed, collecting 'gold medal' votes from Craig, Krishna and Mark.
Krishna wrote: 'Interplay of fruit and smoke, toffee, peat, Sweet and bitters, honey, spicy. Excellent mouth
feel and finish'
.  Craig found 'Peat and ointment, lemon, with lemon cream and oak, peanuts and rubber'.

Caol Ila 12yo 1991/2004 Sherry Finish (50%, DL OMC, 360 Btl.)
(Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, DL 876, 360 Bottles, 6 Month Sherry Finish)
Olivier absolutely adored this one
and gave it 93 points - which would have been a gold medal. A majority of the other maniacs (Serge, Davin,
Craig, Krishna Ho-cheng and me) felt that silver would be more appropriate. Klaus wrote: 'Peaty smoky nose,
a little bit sour, flour, a bourbon cask again? Taste: extremely dry with a bitter aftertaste, smoke of course.
Water releases citrus notes, less peat, the astringent feeling vanishes but still bitter.'
I second that emotion.

Caol Ila 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
With four medals (three of them silver) and an award for the Cask Strength OB, Caol Ila did exceptionally
well this year. During last year's awards two independent bottlings won silver and when Diageo decided to
submit their new core range (C/S, 12yo and 18yo) this year, each one managed to earn itself a medal.
Actually, Caol Ila won five medals and two awards this year when you realise that the Wilson & Morgan
House Malt (silver medal and Pressure Cooker Award) is a Caol Ila as well - the youngest and cheapest!

Clynelish 13yo 1989/2002 (56.7%, Adelphi, Cask #3281)
Two medals in this year's competition isn't bad at all if you know that there aren't that many outspoken
Clynelish fans on the awards jury. In this case, 9 maniacs agreed it was medal material; 4 voted for gold.
Serge wrote: 'Nose: Lots of sour wood, toffee, cooked fruits (apricot pie). Smells like a working stillhouse.
Seaweed, peat smoke. ... Horse sweat, stable. Hints of caramel, cooked soy sauce. Most complex! Mouth:
Sweet. Candy sugar, caramel, vanilla crème. Coffee drops, Bailey's, Tia Maria. Roasted meat (Beijing duck)'

Clynelish 14yo 1989/2003 Rum Finish (50%, DL OMC, 312 Btl.)
(Cask #3850, 312 bottles, 6 month rum finish)
Now, this is a little weird... Douglas Laing also submitted this
bottling to last year's awards and it just fell short of a bronze medal. This year, the malts were sampled 100%
blind, and most maniacs liked this one a little better. Most scored it a few points above their previous score,
but Mark really bucked the trend and dropped from nominating it for a gold medal (91 points) last year to
a significantly less impressive 76 points this year. I guess rum finishes can still throw us off our tracks...

Cragganmore 29yo 1973/2003 (52.5%, OB)
(Special Edition, 6000 Bottles)
A bronze medal is certainly nothing to be scoffed at, but looking at the age
and pedigree of this whisky I personally would have expected at least a silver medal. Well, as it turns out we
got only one 'silver' vote (Olivier) for this one, along with two votes for gold (Serge & Mark) and six votes for
bronze (Davin, Craig, Krishna, Luc, Ho-cheng and Alexander). Krishna wasn't sure about the region (Lowlands
or Islay), but his notes seem accurate: 'Nose: Smokey, peaty, sweet and bitter, Good mouth feel and finish.'

Edradour 10yo 1993/2004 Burgundy Finish (57.4%, OB)
(Cask #04/13/3, 458 Bottles)
Well, Edradour was one of the major surprises of the MM Awards this year.
After the enormous batch variation shown in the latest 'Pernod Ricard' bottlings of Edradour, new owner
Andrew Symington brilliantly succeeded in turning a weakness from this smallest distillery of Scotland into
a strength. He offers a wide variety of 'finishes', each one quite unique. Well it worked - with Davin, Krishna,
Mark and Alexander all voting for gold this ends up as one of the top scoring bronze medalists. Great job!

Edradour 10yo 1993/2004 Sauternes Finish (56.8%, OB)
(Cask #04/11/2, 445 Bottles)
Opinions on this Sauternes finished Edradour varied strongly, and I suppose
that was to be expected. Only Krishna (92), Peter (74), Mark (91) and myself (82) gave it the same score
as the Burgundy finished version. Serge writes about the nose: 'Very winey but much sweeter than the 'red
wine' ones. Caramel, flowers from the field (dandelion), cooked apricot, fresh banana. Some obvious sulphur.
Develops on pear, apple juice, quince. Sweeter over time. I feel it's not really whisky anymore, but it's nice.'

Edradour 21yo 1983/2004 Port Finish (53.6%, OB)
(Cask #03/1041, 776 bottles)
Just like the two 10yo expressions, this 21yo clearly advertises the influence
of the 'finish'. Maybe that is the reason this one didn't score significantly higher than the younger versions;
the finish masks the age. Klaus wrote: 'Nose: sherry with organic sulfurus reminscences, goes into the sweet
direction. Taste. oops - overproof, stings in my stomach. Sherry, bitter & sweet and putrid (from the sulfur),
not quite the direction I favour - but an interesting malt.'
  Most maniacs agreed, hence the bronze medal.

Glenfarclas NAS '105' (60%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
One of my personal favourits - and winner of this year's BANG-FOR-YOUR-BUCK AWARD. I don't know
the details of the availability in other countries, but here in Holland you can find litre bottles of this anabolic
nectar for prices far below 50 Euro's. The bottlings from the 1990's already offered great value, but if you ask
me they improved the recipe even further. Serge wrote: 'A great whisky, not too far from the stupendous ...
old Macallan 100 Proof. It seems to have become to Speyside what the Laphroaig 10yo C/S is to Islay.'

Glenfarclas 1991/2004 (46%, OB/LMW, Oloroso Cask #5620)
(46%, Official bottling for La Maison du Whisky)
The winner of the INTERNAL COMBUSTION AWARD for the
whisky with the best performance/ABV ratio was a malt that Luc (a.k.a. 'Mr. Glenfarclas Belgium') had already
tried, and amazingly enough he recognised it in this endless line-up of dozens and dozens of blinds. He wrote:
'This is a Farclie for sure, and a nice one. A younger version, I guess from 1991. And definitely an Oloroso Cask.
Mmm, I had this one before. Must be Cask 5620! I like it a lot!'
  Every maniac fully agreed this is medal material.

Glenfarclas 15yo (46%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
If it had been up to me (and Ho-cheng and Mark as well), this Glenfarclas would have won a silver medal too,
but in this case that was a minority standpoint. I liked this one better than some batches bottled in the 1990's.
In fact, based on this year's results I would personally say that Glenfarclas is one of the few distilleries today
that manage to increase the quality of their output - and unlike some 'dark horses' like Arran and Edradour the
Glenfarclas distillery already has a very fine reputation to begin with. Rightly so, it seems - they won 4 medals.

Glenfarclas 30yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
This one finishes the list of the 'quadruple whammy' of Glenfarclas in 2004. With four medals Glenfarclas may
not quite match Macallan's massive sweep of seven medals, but out of those seven 'only' two Macallans did
manage to win silver, while Glenfarclas secured three silver medals. Looking at the other big Speysiders,
Balvenie (3 x bronze), Glenfiddich (2 x bronze), Glenlivet (1 x silver) and Glenrothes (1 x bronze) don't even
come close this year. Krishna's notes say: 'Very sherried, licorice. Chewy, tannins. Excellent body and finish.'

Glenfiddich 15yo Solera Reserve (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
I can't be certain, but I'd say the fact that the malts were sampled completely blind this year worked in
the favour of Glenfiddich. After all, Glenfiddich is to many malt lovers what Abba is to many music lovers;
a guilty pleasure at best. Under the cloak of blindness, many maniacs scored it a bit higher than previous
batches. Serge, Craig and Luc voted for bronze and Roman, Ho-cheng and Alexander were even ready to
go for silver with this one. That's just enough to help reach this one the 'recommendable' bronze status.

Glenfiddich 21yo Gran Reserva (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
After winning a solid bronze medal with the 21yo Havana Reserve last year, Big Fiddich strikes again with
this 'Gran Reserva'. They have changed the name (to appease US customs?), but it's still finished in Cuban
rum casks. The 15yo Solera Reserve may have sort of limped into recommendable territory with a lucky tail
wind this year, but here's a malt most maniacs are really enthusiastic about. Craig (who gave it a whopping
90 points) writes: 'Lots of nice tropical fruit, refill sherry, nice mouthfeel. An instant classic - Very classy.'

Glengarioch 15yo 1988/2003 (46%, Whisky Galore)
No, that's no spelling mistake - even though 'Glen Garioch' is usually spelled as two words, Duncan Taylor
printed this as one word on the label. Whatever the spelling, this bottling has the honour of being the first
Glen Garioch to win a medal in the MM Awards. Krishna voted for gold and Serge for silver, but a majority
of the maniacs (Olivier, Davin, Craig, Klaus, Alexander and myself) felt that bronze would be enough here.
Klaus detected malt, caramel, chocolate & grapes in the nose and found the taste very pleasant and rounded.

Glengoyne 12yo Cask Strength (57.2%, OB, 2004)
Krishna actually thought that the winner of the SINGLE STARLET AWARD could be an Aberlour A'bunadh.
Well, not quite - although its average score would make any A'bunadh proud. As far as Klaus, Krishna and
Mark were concerned, this one might have even won gold. Klaus found the nose 'Very interesting: smoked
ham yet somehow fresh, citrus notes. Exciting! After some minutes sherry emerges and the citrus notes
move into the background of sandalwood.'
Definitely the most exciting new 2004 release for most maniacs.

Glengoyne 17yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
All in all, Glengoyne performed exceptionally well this year. They won three medals and this was the only
one to 'only' get bronze. Peter, Klaus and Roman were most impressed by this one, and the only maniacs
ready to go with a silver medal. Davin, Krishna, Luc, Mark, Alexander and myself all voted for bronze here.
Klaus wrote: 'This malt has a very unique nose; wood & herbs, I like it! Taste: mint, karamel, malt, fruits,
very interesting and complex composition which deserves a second, third... dram to unravel the secrets.'

Glengoyne 19yo 1985/2004 Summer (52.6%, OB, Cask #608)
The winner of the HIGHLANDS AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE comes from a distillery that's located in the
far south of the Highlands. In fact, until not too long ago there were people who considered Glengoyne
to be a Lowland distillery. Hah! Well, those people might be interested to learn that this 'borderline case'
was actually the highest scoring silver medal winner on the 2004 awards. If it had been up to Craig (91),
Luc (93), Klaus (94), Krishna (90), Roman (92), Alexander (91) and myself (91) it would have won gold.

Glen Grant 1969/2004 (46%, Berry Brothers, Cask #1773)
To tell you the truth, I was a bit disappointed that this one didn't win a gold medal. I gave it 92 points
and Serge (90), Klaus (94) and Mark (91) voted for gold as well. Olivier, Davin and Craig nominated it for
silver and Krishna, Luc and Alexander went for bronze. Klaus wrote: 'Nose: a sherry-monster. creamy,
sandalwood, beeswax, sweet no dark wood, leight but nevertheless intensive. Taste: a little different
from that what the nose suggests, sherry, chocalate, café au lait, toffee, no sandalwood. Delicious!'

Glenkinchie 12yo (58.7%, OB, Limited Edition, Bottled +/- 2004)
This was a malt that divided the maniacs like few others. Olivier (88), Davin (86), Krishna (89), Mark (89)
and Alexander (88) all loved it to the tune of silver bells, but Serge (82), Craig (81), Roman (83) and yours
truly (83) felt that bronze would do here. Peter, Klaus, Ho-cheng and Luc didn't want to give a medal at all.
In the end it still outscored many older and stronger Speysiders. Not too shabby for a Lowlander this young.
Davin wrote: 'Nose: Oily, peanuts, biscuits, oat cakes, quite unusual. Nice, nice nice...'  I have to agree.

Glenlivet 26yo 1977/2003 (57%, Adelphi, Cask #13120)
Opinions about the Glenlivet ranged from gold (Krishna, Ho-cheng & Mark) to silver (Serge, Olivier, Davin, Luc,
Alexander & myself) while most of the maniacs that didn't like it (Peter Klaus and Roman) REALLY didn't like it.
Thanks to the fact that our awards calculation diminishes the effect of extreme scores this one just makes it
into 'highly recommendable' territory. Krishna wrote: 'Hot and sweet. Fresh sea air, strong, Fiery, sweet, hints
of smoke and fruits, lots of tannins. Good body and long finish. A Highlander? Talisker or Highland Park maybe?'

Glenrothes 1987/2002 (43%, OB)
During last year's awards, Glenrothes OB's managed to pick up three bronze medals while a Wilson & Morgan
bottling secured a silver medal for the distillery as well. This year's pickings were not quite as rich, it seems.
Roman loved this one and gave it 91 points, but only Serge, Craig, Ho-cheng, Alexander and myself agreed
this was medal material. It still makes our 'recommendable' list because most maniacs that didn't nominate it
for a medal still thought it was a pretty good dram and scored it in the upper 70's. Quite good but not great.

Glen Scotia 1992/2003 (62.1%, G&M Cask Strength, C#89.92)
(G&M Cask Strength, cask #89.92, Refill sherry hogshead)
This Glen Scotia is the bronze medal winner with
the highest average score; Krishna (92) nominated it for a gold medal and Serge (86), Olivier (87), Peter (86),
Roman (86) and Alexander (88) voted for silver. Impressive, but Klaus, Mark and Luc were not quite impressed
enough to push this into the upper 80's. Krishna wrote: 'Strong nose, fresh sea air, smoke & peat, fruit comes
out later, very very sweet and spicy. Explosion on the palate.'
  Davin calls this one 'a malt for equestrians'.

Highland Park 18yo (43%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
After winning two bronze medals at last year's awards (for the 12yo OB and a 19yo from Douglas Laing)
Highland Park snagged up three medals this time, one of them silver. This one was among the higher scoring
bronze medal winners - although the Signatory / LMW bottling below scored even higher by a few decimals.
With 'silver' votes from Serge (88), Olivier (89), Krishna (86), Mark (85), Luc (85) and me (87) this one almost
made it into the upper 80's - but not quite. Davin wrote: 'Well balanced. The sherry notes are especially nice.'

Highland Park 18yo 1985/2003 (53.9%, SigV/LMW, Cask #2915)
(Cask number 2915, Signatory Vintage bottling for La Maison du Whisky)
This independent version of the
18yo Highland Park got almost the same average score as the OB, but the 'raw' scores that produced that
average were more diverse. Serge and Davin both voted for gold with their scores of 92 points while Krishna,
Alexander, Luc and myself were ready to go for silver. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough support for that
from the other maniacs, so this one got stuck with bronze instead of silver. I think it's worth checking out.

Highland Park 25yo (50.7%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
If it hadn't been for that pesky Scapa 23yo from Chieftain's, this one would have certainly won the
Islands Award of Excellence. In fact, this was the highest scoring malt not to win an award this year.
If it had been up to Serge, Davin or Craig this one would have won gold and Olivier, Krishna and myself
were leaning towards a score in the 90's as well. Peter was the only one who didn't think it deserved
a medal at all. Davin lovingly described it as 'A nice, rich, sherried malt with a great mouth feel.'

Imperial 1993/2004 (45%, G&M for LMW)
(45%, Gordon & MacPhail bottling for La Maison du Whisky)
The very first Imperial ever to win a MM medal.
Serge wrote: 'Nose: fresh and quite fragrant. Quite a lot of oomph. Ginger ale, tobacco, fir honey, sandal
wood. Hints of eucalyptus and turpentine. Some smoke too. Develops on spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
Very, very nice. Mouth: creamy and nutty. Roasted peanuts, malt, caramel. Crystallised orange, fir honey,
eucalyptus, peppermint. ... Very nice balance, highly enjoyable. This is still the best Imperial I ever had.'

Invergordon 38yo 1965/2004 (51.6%, Peerless, C#15537)
(Cask #15537, 254 Bottles)
Amazingly enough, the winner of this year's GENTLE GIANT AWARD for the
best un-peated, un-sherried and un-finished bottling didn't go to a single malt. It went to a single grain
whisky instead. Serge and I were already utterly impressed by a 36yo Invergordon 1965 from Peerless
at Whisky Live London 2004 and now most maniacs seem to enjoy this new expression as well. Olivier,
Davin and Ho-cheng were willing to give this a gold medal; a measly grain whisky amongst mighty malts.

Lagavulin 12yo Special Release #2 (57.8%, OB)
(57.8%, Official Bottling, Second 2002 Release)
  Last year, the first release bottled at 58% managed to
win a silver medal too and now they even won an award; the TOP BOURBON CASK AWARD. Not bad at
all, wouldn't you agree?  Luc wrote: 'The nose is peaty, complex, wet wood, sweetness. Thick oily taste,
a little dry and perhaps a little harsh, but then the sweet peat kicks in, whauh, lovely stuff. Rich and very
fat, and a super long finish, coming back over and over again. I LOVE this!'
.  I don't have anything to add.

Lagavulin 1987/2003 Distiller's Edition (43%, OB, lgv. 4/491)
The winner of this year's WARPED WHISKY AWARD was correctly identified by Krishna as a Lagavulin,
which is quite impressive when you consider that any original distillery character is heavily masked here.
Lagavulin won the 'Warped Whisky Award' for the second time in a row; its 1986/2000 predecessor won
last year as well. Klaus wrote: 'Nose: sherry & old polished wood, leather, smoke, smoked ham, a library
room in mansion comes to my mind. Taste: sherry, wood, orange, some peat. Great.'
  Indeed, I agree.

Laphroaig 17yo 1987/2004 Rum Finish (50%, DL OMC, 256 Btl.)
(256 Bottles, DL 1217, 6 Months Rum Finish)
  Here is another malt that strongly divided the maniacs.
Olivier, Craig, Krishna, Alexander and Luc were ready to go for silver or gold while Serge, Peter and
Ho-cheng didn't think it was medal material. That means this one didn't do quite as well as last year's
entry from Douglas Laing, the Laphroaig 16yo 1987/2003 (50%, OMC, DL REF 814, 276 bottles) that
was nominated for a medal by all maniacs that tried it and won a silver medal. This one got bronze.

Lochside 1981/2004 (46%, Berry Brothers, Casks #610/613)
This Lochside was one of the higher scoring bronze medalists. Eleven maniacs agreed this one deserved
a medal - and if it had been up to Serge and Olivier it would have even been gold. Hey, could Lochside
be the 'hidden gem' some people think it is? Serge wrote: 'Nose: wow, quite punchy! Extremely fragrant.
Lots of tropical fruits, litchi, passion fruit, pineapple. Superb! Whiffs of Chanel n°5. Some very nice coastal
notes. Develops on spices (cardamom). Really beautiful.'
  Yeah, and those are just his notes on the nose...

Macallan 1991/2004 Extra Strength (50%, Wilson & Morgan)
Interestingly enough, Krishna identified this as a Macallan in the blind tastings - even though to me the
profile seems quite different from the 'old school' OB's. Klaus' notes start with 'Stinking fart sherry'. Huh?
Pardon me? That doesn't sound too pleasant, but looking at the nominations of the maniacs (two votes
for gold, six for silver and three for bronze) most of them enjoyed themselves with this one. Krishna wrote:
'Mild nose, fruity with hints of peat, citrus notes. The taste is sweet with lots of tannins, Strong finish.'

Macallan 15yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)
Actually, the difference between the average score of the 12yo 'Fine Oak' (that just missed out on bronze
with an average score of 79) and this slightly older expression isn't that big, but the 15yo received enough
support from the maniacs to warrant a medal. Ho-cheng really liked it and was ready to go for a gold medal.
Klaus wrote: 'Nose; very intensive - fresh, mint? pinapple, malt? yeast? maybe a little bit sour. Taste: malty,
sweet, ginger citrus, very rounded. Is it a bourbon cask? Someone who likes this style would rate it higher.'

Macallan 12yo 'Sherry' (40%, OB, Bottled 2004)
We were delighted we had the opportunity to sample a bunch of bottlings in the new Macallan range that
was introduced this year. There are quite a few sherry afficionado's amongst the maniacs, so it didn't come
as a big surprise that the first medal winning Macallan is the 'sherry' version that is offered as an alternative
to the new 12yo 'Fine Oak'. That one just missed out on a bronze medal with an average score of 79 points.
That being said, Craig, Peter, Krishna, Ho-cheng & Mark actually preferred the 'Fine Oak' over the 'sherry'.

Ledaig 29yo 1974/2004 (50%, Dun Bheaghan, C#5477-5478)
(Cask #5477-5478, 396 bottles)
  This one received nominations from ten maniacs (Olivier, Krishna,
Roman and Alexander even voted for silver and Serge for gold), but in the end the maniacs that didn't
like it disliked it so much that this one still ended up with bronze. Nothing to be scoffed at; that means
it's recommendable. Davin wrote: 'Dry and grassy, flowers, cinnamon, cloves, rich fruity sherry, the xmas
spices dominate, grass, sileage, apples, grass oil and sherry, cactus fruit, complex and nicely balanced.'

Macallan 21yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)
  This was Craig's favourite among the Fine Oaks, he liked it a lot and nominated it for a gold medal.
Actually, it was the only one of the 'Fine Oaks' he deemed worthy of a medal. Not all maniacs were as strict,
though. Ho-cheng, Mark and Alexander all voted for silver and there were five votes for bronze. In the end,
it managed to earn an average score just short of that for the 30yo Fine Oak - which is quite impressive...
Craig wrote: 'Gold! Beautiful nose. Palate has chocolate and nuts then tropical fruit - classy and refined.'

Macallan 25yo 1978/2004 (50%, DL OMC, 258 Bottles)
(Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask, DL 1214, 258 bottles)
  Hey, this is actually a bit of a surprise.
Most maniacs usually like their malts at a slightly higher proof, but in this case this 'overproof' (50%)
bottling got sucker-punched by the 25yo 'Fine Oak'. On the other hand, it earned pretty much the same
average score as the 30yo 'Fine Oak' OB, which is not bad at all. Four maniacs nominated this one for a
silver medal and it received five votes for bronze. Davin wrote: 'A nice sweet, smoky whisky to sip slowly.'

Macallan 25yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)
Overall, this 25yo expression turned out to be the favourite 'Fine Oak' expression of the malt maniacs.
It received two votes for gold (Roman and Mark), six for silver (Serge, Davin, Ho-cheng, Alexander, Luc
and myself) and two for bronze (Olivier and Krishna). Even the three maniacs that didn't nominate it for
a medal liked it, which is quite an acomplishment in such a gruelling blind set-up. Krishna proved his nosing
skills once more by describing this blind sample as 'a milder version of the last one' - which was the 21yo!

Macallan 30yo 'Fine Oak' (43%, OB, Bottled 2004)
Older isn't neccessarily 'better' - and this is a bottling that proves it. The 25yo 'Fine Oak' expression earned
a slightly higher average score, even though the two maniacs that nominated the 25yo for gold both scored
this 30yo one point above the 25. In fact, few maniacs scored them more than a point apart! Only Ho-cheng
found significant differences. Davin describes the bouquet as 'Wax, dried fruit, alcohol, grass, mild tobacco,
some dryness, hints of smoke, glue stick, plastic, wood
.'  Krishna found this a 'Textbook Sherried speysider'.

Port Ellen 21yo 1982/2004 (50%, DL OMC, 420 bottles, Sherry)
(Douglas Laing, 420 Bottles, Full Sherry)
  The winner of the TOP SHERRY CASK AWARD might as well have
won the Islay Award of Excellence - and vice versa. In the end, we agreed that 'sherry' was an even more
defining element in this whisky than in the 23yo Port Ellen - at first Luc was convinced he tasted Glenfarclas.
His notes say: 'Lovely Glenfarclas nose, deep intense sherry notes, burnt sugar from a crème brulée, super
complex nose, super super super. Whauh, what a super whisky!'
  Agreed, a super whisky indeed, Luc!

Port Ellen 23yo 1979/2003 (46%, Wilson & Morgan, Butt #6769)
This Port Ellen won the ISLAY AWARD OF EXCELLENCE - but it was a contender for the Top Sherry Cask
Award as well. Just like the 21yo OMC Port Ellen, it has a beautiful combination of Islay and sherry traits.
Craig's notes say: 'Big sherry with great rancio characters. Very peaty palate. Big peat and leather in tail.'
It's interesting to see that all three gold medal winners this year (two Port Ellens and a Brora) were in fact
produced at distilleries that no longer exist. And keep in mind we tasted them blind - no 'label effect' here.

Scapa 23yo 1979/2003 (55.6%, Chieftain's, C#663, 564 bottles)
(Sherry Butt #663, 564 bottles)
  This was another big surprise this year. Even though there were many
Highland Park bottlings in the competition, Scapa brought the ISLANDS AWARD OF EXCELLENCE from
Skye (Talisker won last year) to Orkney. Well, this certainly is a worthy winner; Krishna, Ho-cheng and
Alexander nominated it for gold and Olivier, Peter, Klaus, Luc and myself were not far off either. Great!
Davin felt this was 'A contemplative malt that develops nicely over time.' Agreed; seriously good stuff.

Springbank 34yo 1969/2003 (54.7%, Signatory, C#262, 408 Btl.)
(Signatory Rare Reserve, Butt #262, 408 bottles)
  It's a long (and admittedly slightly contrived) name,
but the decision about who gets the LOWLANDS & KINTYRE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE is quite simple.
Because neither the Lowlands nor Campbeltown areas in Scotland have more than a handful of distilleries
we felt that it would be only fair to combine the two area's into one 'competitive' area; Lowlands & Kintyre'.
This may seem strange at first - until you realise that Lowland and Campbelown profiles can be quite similar.

Talisker 18yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
This brand new expression didn't quite receive the unilateral praise that was heaped upon its sherried
20yo predecessor (bottled at 62%) in the 2003 Awards, but eight maniacs still voted for gold or silver.
In fact, if the people from Orkney hadn't sent us the Scapa 23yo and Highland Park 25yo, Talisker would
have won the 'Islands Award of Excellence' again this year. Serge writes: 'There obviously is some sherry
in there, but the winey notes just can't make it through the smoke. I really like it.'
Most maniacs agreed.

Talisker 20yo 1982/2003 'Refill Casks' (58.8%, OB, 12000 Btl.)
Hmmmmm... We're actually not quite sure if this bottling is the same as the Talisker 20yo 1982/2003
(58.8%, OB, 12000 Bottles) that was submitted last year. We assumed that one was matured in Bourbon
casks while this one specifies 'refill casks' were used. At any rate, just like last year it won a bronze medal.
Davin wrote: 'Nose: Grassy, rich, smoke, earth, spirit, fruit, esters, quite complex with leather, tobacco,
rotten fruit, hints of licorice. Taste: Lots of action on top of a slowly developing base line of peat smoke.'

The Whisky that Cannot be Named 1953/2003 (54.3%, Adelphi)
(Cask #1668 - it cannot be named, but some maniacs wouldn't be surprised if this was Glenfarclas)

The winner of the SPEYSIDE AWARD OF EXCELLENCE may not be an entirely 'proper' single malt in
the strictest sense of the word (the distillery isn't revealed, making it a so-called 'bastard malt'), but it
beats most legitimate malts with a stick. Serge, Craig, Ho-cheng, Luc and myself were all going for gold.
Charles MacLean writes: 'a superb example of how the very best of Speysides tasted in days gone by'.

Tomatin 12yo (40%, OB, Bottled +/- 2004)
This turned out to be a very nice surprise from a relatively 'low profile' distillery. All maniacs that sampled
the Tomatin 10yo in the past scored it in the mid-70's, but nine maniacs agreed this new 12yo expression
was worthy of a medal. Davin wrote: 'Nose: Sweet, rich, musty, sharp, fruit, oily animal smells, farm smells,
fruit, some esters. Taste: Sugary sweet, spice, rotten fruit, all but the spice fades quickly. Hints of licorice,
a bit oilly. Hot spice, a rally pleasant funkiness. Overall: Good with a nice, long, sweet and spicy finish.'

W&M Born on Islay 1995/2004 (43%, Wilson & Morgan)
(House malt Born on Islay 1995/2004, Casks 655-672, Rumoured to be Caol Ila)
  Surprisingly enough, two
of the award winners this year were so-called 'bastard malts'. The PRESSURE COOKER AWARD for 2004
went to this whisky that's shy about its heritage. Well, it doesn't have to be. Krishna, Ho-cheng and Mark
liked it enough to nominate it for a gold medal, but Olivier, Davin, Craig, Klaus, Luc and me all voted for silver.
The odd thing is that this one is more 'Lagavulinish' than the brevious batch - which actually was Lagavulin.

Alphabetical overview of medal winners in 2004

And those were the results of the Malt Maniacs Awards in 2004...
By the time you read this, 'batch variation' could have changed the character of some of the official bottlings considerably, while most of the independent bottlings will probably be hard to find these days. Check out the Malt Maniacs Awards Overview or the MaltMenu to find out about more recent bottlings. Check out the Matrix and the Monitor if scores are your thing.

Malt Maniacs Awards - 2004

December 1, 2004 - In 2003 we set up the first edition of the Malt Maniacs Awards.
The wonderful response from both our readers and "the whisky industry" inspired
us to give it a second try in 2004. 'Collectively' we have now sampled and scored
some 4,000 different (single malt) whiskies - and well over a thousand of these
whiskies were rated by at least 3 of the malt maniacs, and are therefor included
as malt whiskies that 'we' have an opinion on in the Malt Maniacs Matrix.

MM Archives - Home

You would think that would quench anyone's thirst for malts, but the maniacs
from all over the world (Canada, the USA, Australia, France, Germany, Belgium,
Holland, Israel, India and Taiwan) were in the mood for some more dramming
and joined in the 2004 MM Awards to figure out who makes 'the best whisky'.

We'll get back to the results for 2004 in a moment, but we should also point out
that this is an 'archived' website. Many of the whiskies that are discussed will be
hard to find in stores these days. If that doesn't bother you, you are welcome to
browse the 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 awards editions.

Malt Madness - our first whisky web siteWhiskyFun - by Serge ValentinMalt Maniacs - The ArchivesQuestions?Malt Maniacs - The Archives
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The Malt Maniacs Awards 2004 - Complete Results

MM Awards Overview --- Rules --- A2003 --- A2004 --- A2005 --- A2006 --- A2007 --- A2008 --- A2009 --- A2010 --- A2011

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