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Malt Maniacs Awards 2006

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Malt Maniacs Awards 2006

Postby Caledonians » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:31 pm

You can find the results of the Malt Maniacs Awards 2006 here:

http://www.maltmaniacs.org/
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Postby Choochoo » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:25 pm

So has anyone on the forum tried any of the gold winners?
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Postby bamber » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:36 pm

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Postby Choochoo » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:45 pm

I suppose I could take a second mortgage out on my house and perhaps afford one of those gold bottle.

It's just a matter of convincing my wife that it would be a good idea to do something like that.

That could be a tough sell.
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Postby les taylor » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:57 pm

In answer to choochoo's question. Not one.


:)
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Postby Mustardhead » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:01 pm

Choochoo wrote:So has anyone on the forum tried any of the gold winners?


Not a chance ;)

At least some of the silver winners are affordable and available.

Awards like this do seem a bit strange but then the tasting notes are more interesting than the awards themselves.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:05 pm

This looks to me to be an exercise in thanking bottlers for donating valuable samples. If they didn't give medals to (for!?) the expensive ones, they'd stop being given them. Surely no serious awards dish out so many medals of each colour.
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Postby peergynt323 » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:45 pm

I hope someday I will be rich enough to find the awards useful. 8)
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:46 pm

I'm sure they are all great but I'm a wee bit sceptic to the results because of my preference for younger single malts. I just like the character or edge you find in a malt that is typical 10/12 years old. But I cannot comment on any of the gold award winners because I haven't tried any of them :roll:
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Postby Jan » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:39 pm

Nick Brown wrote:This looks to me to be an exercise in thanking bottlers for donating valuable samples. If they didn't give medals to (for!?) the expensive ones, they'd stop being given them. Surely no serious awards dish out so many medals of each colour.


As I understand their system, the medals are given, when the average score for a malt is above a certain number (80 for bronze I think.)

My impression is that the MM awards are conducted seriously and I think you are being unfair.

Surely most bottlings sent by the interested parties will be of good quality and deserving a 80+ score?

Also; as far as I know, the only contender pleasing they are doing is not mention the losers.
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Postby Oliver » Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:22 pm

This looks to me to be an exercise in thanking bottlers for donating valuable samples. If they didn't give medals to (for!?) the expensive ones, they'd stop being given them. Surely no serious awards dish out so many medals of each colour.


I agrre entirely with the above. No question that getting free samples -- usually enitre bottles -- influences the ratings and perhaps even becomes their 'raison d'etre'.
What is a little irratating is the refusal of the award givers to acknowledge this fact. Lets face it, its a pretty cool gig -- if you can get it. Free things do tend to influence people, and obviously free bottles of malts influence malt fans -- a fortiori the so-called malt 'maniacs'.

I remember being sent a couple of bottle of corn whiskey by a U.S. distillers who was eagerly awaiting a review on maltresistance thereafter. Problem was the stuff tasted truly awful, sticky sweet (I think JM loved it lol ;-)) --I didn't know what to do, so I just didn't review it, which I think was a cop out, though perhaps less than singing its praises....
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:45 pm

I cannot say I question the integrity of any of the malt maniacs as I know mostly nothing about them, their methods or anything else. As I said earlier I do question the fact that the gold awards were given almost exclusively to older single malts - and personaly I prefer younger malts. I'd also like to say that I have the highest respect for the malt maniac we frequently see here on this forum. He is unquestionably a person with great knowlegde and experience.
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Postby Scotchio » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:12 pm

I think if you look at the malt monitor there has always been a tendancy from the Maniacs to rate older whiskies highly, infact interestingly they also rate old bottles of younger whisky highly aswell usually. I don't think it's necessary to imply any conspiracy theory though.
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Postby vitara7 » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:17 pm

only have one of those in the gold cat.
the brora 30yo OB - dont collect IB's personally
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Postby Choochoo » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:24 pm

I actually really enjoy reading over the awards each year, even though the samples are out of reach to most enthusiasts, it’s still interesting to see what brands are putting out the highest quality stuff. Last year it seemed that Glengoyne came through quite well, resulting in many people taking a closer look at their output. I know I was curious and bought the 17yo after seeing them do so well on the awards. I also assume that the high praise for Japanese whisky this year may encourage some people to try more whisky from Japan, maybe even I’ll try some.

As far as influencing scores goes, since the scores are drawn from a group of people rather than one individual, it would be less likely that there would be a strong influence on any final scores due to a brand giving samples out in return for a high score. I personally don’t have any concerns about the integrity of the scores. Besides, the amount of time, work, and passion that those involved with the MM site show, it wouldn’t make sense to me that they would in essence “sell out” to rate any specific brands higher based on free samples.
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Postby peergynt323 » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:31 pm

Don't they taste blind? Although I'm sure they have sensitive enough palates to have a good guess at what they're sipping.
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Postby Choochoo » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:47 pm

We could do a Whiskymag Forum Malt Awards for 2006. Everyone lists the top 5 malts they’ve had this year, count up the votes, and find out what malts got the most votes. Then we could send a certificate of award to the winning distilleries, noting their esteemed spot in our pantheon of awesome greatness.

After that we could all expect to be flooded with free samples of the finest and rarest malts from all distilleries vying for our praise in the 2007 Whiskymag Forum Awards.

That would be a sweet deal!
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Postby hpulley » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:48 pm

I believe they are all nosed and tasted blind so they must have 'old' noses to pick them.

I haven't had any golds but I've had several of the others.

Why so many awards? As said above, it goes by the score.

As noted at the bottom, sponsors don't send any old bottle now either so there are probably better whiskies than average.

Harry
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Postby jimidrammer » Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:14 pm

From the awards list I've had: 0-Gold, 7- Silver, and 6- Bronze. A few not '06 releases.
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Postby lambda » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:40 am

Except for one person that knows which sample corresponds to which whisky, everyone tasted blind. I think it is extremely rude to suggest that their ratings are dishonest. They do give a lot of medals, but their method is completely transparant, namely they give a medal to each whisky that averages 80 points or more ('recommendable') and it is easy to find out how the points correspond to other whiskies in the maltmaniacs matrix.
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Postby Di Blasi » Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:32 am

Again, one groups ratings and tastes and styles, and if you agree, you agree, and go after they're suggestions. If not, you go after others. They have tasted lots of various whiskies, and are all quite experienced! Hats off to them!
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Postby Di Blasi » Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:09 am

And I have been lucky to taste the following...

Brora 30y
Talisker 25y, (yes, very good, fond memories still!)
Talisker 18y
Nikka Yoichi 15y, (I thought "Bruichladdich!" when I first tasted it!)
Laphroaig 15y, (served to me in the wrong glass, but it was still good)
Ardbeg Still Young, (Wow! Thought of it as fresh, lighter, and fruity when I first tasted it, til I tasted it again a few weeks back, and ka-boom! Excellent!)
Port Ellen 23yo 1983/2006 OMC Douglas Laing, (Always good, but from which cask??)
Glenfarclas 15y, (A bit too Cognac-like if I remember correctly, my least favorite style for whisky)
Ardbeg 1990 'Airigh Nam Beist' (Emphasis on the WEE little beast)
Laphroaig 'Quarter Cask' (Great stuff!)
The Ileach
Compass Box 'The Peat Monster' (Quite nice, and sweet. My friend I had it with loved it!)
Laphroaig 10yo (Had it again recently and was impressed, but might have been the mood, hit the spot really)
Macallan 14yo 1991/2005 The Alchemist (I'm not sure if it was this one or the Highland Park I preferred by the same bottler?)
Bunnahabhain 12yo (Tried it the other night, great nose, nice whisky!)
Highland Park 15yo The Alchemist (Again, same as above, "I'm not sure if it was this one or the Highland Park I preferred by the same bottler?" as I tasted them side by side)
Benriach 10yo 'Curiositas' Peated Malt (I never enjoyed it much til I got to the end of the bottle, damn!)
Glenfarclas 25yo (Was it this one or the 21y I preferred? Maybe it was this one??)
Bruichladdich 'Fifteen' 2nd Edition (The first edition was unbelievable! This one was okay)
The Glenlivet 21yo 'Archive' (Not bad, my friend loves it!)
Aberlour 10yo
Connemara Peated single malt (Pretty good stuff there)
Glenmorangie 'Artisan Cask' (Soft, vanilla)
Rosebank 1990/2006 (61,1%, Gordon & MacPhail Cask, Refill Sherry Butts #1605 & 1606) (I have 2 of these, but of course from different a cask as mine are 60%! I'm still looking for it elsewhere, as I've only seen this one ever mentioned!)
Talisker NAS '175th Anniversary' (I had the cask strength of this, goodness, makes me like Talisker too!)
Arran 10yo (I prefer their special bottlings, wood finish, etc)
Glenmorangie 18yo (It's been awhile)
Glenfarclas 21yo (Again, not sure if it was this one or the 25y I prefered as I had them side by side)
Tyrconnell (Last summer, Prague, don't remember more than "cool, a single malt from Ireland, gotta try it!)

And I'd love to taste some of the others! Especially the Berry Bros and Rudd as I truly love their Blue Hanger 25y blended Scotch!!!
With awards like "gold, silver, bronze," is it also similar to the Olympics in that this occurs every 4 years??? Gosh, over how long of a period of time do they do this competition???
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:41 am

It's bloody easy to be cynical when you don't know a damn thing.

Well, let's see...the distilleries send you free samples, so you rate them highly so they'll send you more free samples. And what free samples would you like them to send you? Ones you like, of course. Duh.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:47 pm

Isn't it great when the green eyed monsters raise their heads from the comfort of the WM forum !
So they get samples / bottles sent to them for this ? Eh doesn't Whisky Mag for their tastings section ? Whats the difference ? No one moans on about that !
I know several of the maniacs very well and i know that this is conducted as others have mentioned , blind , also some of the maniacs are not allowed to take part due to their relationships to the whisky industry . If some people on this forum were as enthusiastic as them instead of being "Victor Meldrew" at all and sundry in the whisky world the forum would be a more pleasant place.......
Good luck to them doing the awards i couldn't rate so many whiskies and long may they continue !
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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:28 pm

Spirit of Islay wrote:Isn't it great when the green eyed monsters raise their heads from the comfort of the WM forum !
So they get samples / bottles sent to them for this ? Eh doesn't Whisky Mag for their tastings section ? Whats the difference ? No one moans on about that !
I know several of the maniacs very well and i know that this is conducted as others have mentioned , blind , also some of the maniacs are not allowed to take part due to their relationships to the whisky industry . If some people on this forum were as enthusiastic as them instead of being "Victor Meldrew" at all and sundry in the whisky world the forum would be a more pleasant place.......
Good luck to them doing the awards i couldn't rate so many whiskies and long may they continue !


I'd sooner have a dose of cynicism and a palate that I trust rather than blindly accept and report every marketing press release as fact.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 02, 2006 1:56 pm

Nick Brown wrote:
.........rather than blindly accept and report every marketing press release as fact.


Who does that ? Moi ? I just pass them on so people who arn't on the mailing list can see what's going on , a few actually appreciate it .
I see you've left Edinburgh now and went to the gaelic stronghold Stornaway , hope the fresh air does you good and you enjoy being back amongst your own people speaking your native tongue .
Enjoy yourself !
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Postby bamber » Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:19 pm

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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:01 pm

bamber wrote:
Ohh touchy must not be mean about your chums !


You can call who you like mate , i'm not bothered infact a few of you are getting quite expert at it now !

This forum used to be quite a friendly little place but just of late a group of "Elite" members seem to have taken upon themselves to call / insult anything that doesn't fit with in their realms or they disagree with . There are a lot of things i don't like about whisky ( distilleries , people etc) but i wouldn't come on here and slag them down just because i don't agree with what they do , how they go on ....... but perhaps i'm a decent honourable person that way......
Luckily there still are some people on the forum who can hold a decent conversation on whisky without resorting to this but most of that seems to be few and far between and on PM's !

At least people here can give their own real opinion and don't have to worry about putting people's noses out.


....as long as it fits into the thinkings of the "Elite" members .........
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Postby bamber » Sat Dec 02, 2006 5:25 pm

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Postby hpulley » Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:27 pm

Might be a lost cause but trying to get this thread back onto a friendly track, I've had of that list:

Gold:
[none]

Silver:
Talisker 25yo
Talisker 18yo
Ardbeg 'Still Young' 1998/2006
Port Ellen 23yo 1983/2006 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC)
Ardbeg NAS 'Airigh Nam Beist'
Lagavulin 16yo
Laphroaig NAS 'Quarter Cask'

Bronze:
Compass Box NAS 'The Peat Monster'
Laphroaig 10yo
Compass Box NAS 'Eleuthera'
Saint Magdalene 23yo 1982/2006 (50%, Douglas Laing OMC)
Arran NAS 'Lepanto PX Brandy Cask from Gonzales Byass Finish'
Glenmorangie NAS 'Artisan Cask'
Compass Box NAS 'Hedonism'
Glenfarclas 21yo

I must say that the bottlings of the year for me are the Ardbegs in the list, the Still Young and the Beist. The Taliskers were nice but not great (some of the 20yo cask strengthers have been better, IMO), the OMC Port Ellen is too smooth for my tastes and Laga 16yo and LQC are bottlings from the previous year and both good but not tops for me.

In the bronze list St. Maggie and the Lepanto Arran are both very good.

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Postby Choochoo » Sat Dec 02, 2006 6:46 pm

Out of all the bottles on the list, I've only had the commonly available ones, such as the Laphroaig OB stuff and so on.

Those "common" OB malts that made it to the list were the most interesting entries for me, in that they were, to some extent, able to stand up to the super special distillery selected samples.

Even though it only got a bronze, I was very happy to see the Bunnahabhain 12yo OB on the list. It's a low priced malt that I've always found to be very well put together and has an originallity about it that I really enjoy. Seeing it on the list among other heavy hitters put a smile on my face :D
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Postby hpulley » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:07 pm

I've always enjoyed the 12yo Bunnahabhain OB but I haven't had the new one which I believe they are mentioning (2nd Edition? One from Burn Stewart I assume). I've only had the older Highland Distillers ones.

I too was glad to see both OBs (though many of them are special these days) and IBs.

Good to see the Japanese whiskies as well. I need to try more of them (Wish more were available!).

Harry
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Postby Aidan » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:14 pm

I think my personal taste is for older whiskies, probably because I like "smoother" whiskies, and age does tend to mellow a whisky.

It's a shame Lex doesn't post here anymore. He knows everything there is to be know about every kind of whisky. He was also one of the judges on the panel.
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Postby Mustardhead » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:25 pm

Of the Silver medal winners I've tried these:

Laphroaig 10yo Cask Strength
Talisker 18yo
Laphroaig 15yo
Ardbeg 'Still Young'
Aberlour A'bunadh
Talisker 25yo
Ardbeg 'Airigh Nam Beist'
Lagavulin 16yo
Laphroaig 'Quarter Cask

It is good to see that people who regularly sample some pretty esoteric malts rate a few "cheap" malts highly.
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:51 pm

Just so that everybody understands, the samples are tasted blind and there were hundreds of samples. It took the judges months to judge them all and retaste every sample to make sure the scores were acccurate.

It's easy to be flippant and talk about 'free whisky' but that is not the motivation, the judges took the task very very seriously and it was a lot of work as you can imagine. They are all an excellent group of people who love whisky and the people in the industry, please try to remember that.

If you find the awards or their rating style is not for you then fair enough but please try to be polite about it.

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