Just remember that some of the whiskies on the monitor were sampled by just one or two of the malt maniacs.
If you want more opinions or tasting notes, the MM Awards section or the MaltMenu might be able to provide that.
The monitor offers a complete overview of all the whiskies we've seriously sampled and scored so far. As such, it's a
great resource for checking which bottlings were released by each distillery or bottler. Of course the monitor doesn't
list all the hundreds of thousands of whisky bottlings that were ever released. Nevertheless, for many years it most
probably was the largest overview of 'tested' whiskies that was publicly available - and it still may be...
As far as the scores themselves go; visit the page about whisky scores for the details of
our whisky rating system, and the personal perspectives on scoring from various maniacs.
In the past, we deemed a whisky with an average score of 80 points or more to be
recommendable, but in recent years a new, more 'generous' generation of maniacs has
joined the team. Their scores has pushed the theoretical average score of 75 points into
the actual average score somewhere in the lower 80's. The number of whiskies with an
average score of 90 points or more is growing as well, but you can be pretty sure that
any whisky that gets an average score of 90 points or more is legendary.
The focus of the MMMonitor is on single malts, but a number of blends and grain whiskies
are listed as well. The monitor in PDF format should be easier for printing & downloading.
I used to hate PDF, but the improved integration with modern browsers (especially if you
use Mozilla FireFox and a few extensions) have finally turned me around. So, these days
you can print the monitor on A4 or A5 format paper (the latter makes a nifty booklet) to
take it with you to the liquor stores on your next shopping spree.
And if you're thinking of printing the monitor: remember the environment - and the fact
that the MM Matrix offers a more 'condensed' perspective. The matrix doesn't list quite
as many different whiskies as the monitor, but the more than 3,000 entries each have
at least four scores, so you can compare the opinions of various people on a certain
whisky before you spend any actual money on a bottle.
Please keep in mind that the MM Monitor and MM Matrix are something DIFFERENT from
the Malt Maniacs Awards - we use the same scoring system but the 'rules' are different.
Scores given in the blind tastings for the MM Awards are included in the matrix as well as
the monitor, and may not be changed afterwards - as opposed the scores for other whiskies.
Last but not least: Serge initially published the monitor as an Excel file
- but we've switched to PDF in recent years.
When we still published the 'raw data', there have been some enterprising individuals that used and published that data out of context.
This usually happened with the best of intentions, but even so we didn't always feel comfortable with the conclusions that were attributed to our scores. Even when published on our very own website with additional explanations about the way to interpret our scores, some people still draw the wrong conclusions. To decrease the chance of people misunderstanding our scores, we decided to switch to a simple PDF.
And these days we have the monitor database on www.whisky-monitor.com - so everybody can draw their own conclusions.
Before you read any further, you should know that this 'archive' page is mostly
dedicated to the history of the Malt Maniacs Monitor and the way it should be interpreted. The new version of the monitor is a fully interactive database,
which is currently located on its own www.whisky-monitor.com domain.
So, please move along if you're currently looking for malt whisky scores.
However, stick around if you want to read about the background of the
Malt Maniacs Monitor and its primitive predecessor: the MMMatrix. Or, if
you rather want to understand the foundations of our scoring system
first, check out the page about scores on this site. If you do, you will be
able to determine if a score of 50 points warrants a price tag of 50 Euros.
Meanwhile, for the amateur historians among you, we've included a link
to the last edition of the PDF version of the Monitor (Feb. 2010) below.
That version has been lovingly maintained by Serge and Luca ever since
we evolved beyond the old matrix - but at some point it became too much.
It finally dawned on me that I could probably have spent all the hours
of 'double bookkeeping' on the matrix more productively. After that,
the matrix was extracted from the data on the monitor. Please note
that the matrix & monitor don't include ALL whiskies we ever tried. Only
whiskies that were sampled seriously enough for a solid score are listed.
Not all maniacs feel that the multimedia experience of a good whisky can be expressed
in a simple score. That did not stop the others from trying, though... It all started with
the Malt Maniacs Matrix in the late 1990's. At the time that was a relatively simple
table in HTML with the scores of a handful of malt maniacs, but soon after Serge
Valentin joined our team in 2002 he decided to lift things to a whole new level
with the MMMonitor. The matrix just lists the whiskies that were scored by at
least four maniacs - the monitor lists ALL whiskies we've tried collectively.
In February 2010 we had sampled 13,000 different whiskies (mostly malt
whiskies) and the new database now has well over 15,000 whiskies.
The original matrix on Malt Madness was all 'handiwork' in HTML and
for a while the matrix (which focused on 'the big picture') and the PDF
Monitor (a full overview of all whisky bottlings) existed side by side.
Even with those limitations, the size of the PDF Monitor gradually grew to well over 4 Megabytes.
That means that downloading or opening the file might take a while - at least if you're not one
of those jet setters living the high life with their broadband connections and private lavatories.
So, do you feel ready, punk? Do you? OK, in that case you can push the Big Red Button and try
to grasp the full awesomeness of the 'static' monitor. And then return here for the backgrounds.
Or jump to the Monitor Database of course. Because batch variation
is a real thing, there's a good
chance that recent expressions from Glendronach or Highland Park will score differently from their
counterparts that were bottled ten or twenty years ago. In fact, I KNOW the scores are different
because I checked it already: scores for Glendronach are up while Highland Park is dropping... ;-)
The PDF Monitor includes more than 40,000 scores
for thousands of different (malt) whiskies.
Because the relatively deep pockets of some of the maniacs, good contacts with some people in
the whisky industry and some generous fans we have been able to taste some 'antique' whiskies
dating back to as early as 1902. (In fact, there is one bottle of Longrow 1890 on the new monitor,
but that is most probably a fake. (The older a bottle gets, the higher the odds it's actually a fake.)
We take great care to make sure that all the data on the monitor is complete and correct.
In 2006 we undertook a thorough 'cleansing' of the old monitor and removed hundreds of
bottlings where some details were missing; details we needed to identify a bottle with certainty.