Although my main interest has been rum, this year I turned to single malt whiskeys and it's been a great ride so far. At The Rum Project I promoted the notion that expensive rums are frequently not all that great, whereas some of the world's great rums are really quite affordable.
The Malt Maniacs have long been one of my favorite resources and I've gotten to know Johannes (van der Heuvel) pretty well, particularly as we both are quite independent and non-commercial. Each year Johannes assembles his group of Malt Maniacs, usually about 10 skilled individuals, and they distribute and blind taste about 200 or more fine single malts. By fine I mean releases up to 40 years of age and mucho dinero. The MM awards (link) are awaited with great anticipation and they were just published.
Naturally I took note of some of the younger single malts that held their own against much older and well respected competition. This year these included:
Glenfarclas 105, 10yo
Glen Garioch 9yo
Compass Box "Spice" (one of the very few blends).
The Ledaig and the Bunnahabhain received special awards for exhibiting exceptional maturity at very young ages. Naturally, these younger releases are available at reasonable prices, and demonstrate that quality can be achieved without excessive aging. Which is not to say that most of the high scores weren't dominated by considerably older and more expensive offerings.
Thought you'd be interested.
Be it whiskey, whisky or scotch, this is the place.
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