Data on all distilleries in ScotlandThe mAlmanac - A Beginner's Guide to single maltsAn interactive map of the whisky regions of ScotlandRatings and basic data on all the single malts I've sampled so farMy collectionA collection of liquid linksBig Black Book - Overview

 

 

 

 

96    Saint Magdalene 19yo 1979/1998 C/S
93    Port Ellen 22yo 1978/2000 C/S
93    Laphroaig 10yo 'Original Cask Strength'
92    Ardbeg 27yo 1973/2000
(240 Bottles)
92    Lagavulin 16yo 'White Horse'
91    Laphroaig 15yo 1985/2000 'Laudable'
(318 Bottles)
91    Ardbeg 24yo 1975/2000 
(713 Bottles)
91    Lagavulin 1979 DE Double Matured
91    Macallan 18yo 1976/1995
90    Aberlour NAS A'bunadh C/S
(No Batch Number)
90    Ardbeg 25yo 'Lord of the Isles'
90    Ardbeg 1975/1998
90    Macallan 10yo '100 Proof'
(USA Bottling)
90    Caol Ila 21yo 1975/1997 C/S
90    Springbank 21yo
(2000 Bottling)
.

63.8%     UDRM
60.5%     UDRM
57.3%     OB
50.0%     OMC
43.0%    
OB*
50.0%     OMC
50.0%     OMC
43.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
59.6%     OB
46.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
57.0%     OB
61.3%     UDRM
46.0%     OB
..

During phase 1 of my mission
(1997-2001) I kept a complete
'Best-to-Worst List' of all the single
malts I seriously sampled.

This seemed to make sense when
I started out, but as I proceeded
on my virtual journey through
Scotland I was haunted by a
growing suspicion.

While my senses grew more acute,
I discovered more and more cracks
in the facade of some 'official' old
friends like Lagavulin 16yo and
Talisker 10yo.

 

 

89    Lagavulin 12yo Cask Strength
89    Aberlour NAS A'bunadh C/S Batch #7
89    Macallan 10yo '100 Proof'
(European bottling)
89    Lagavulin 14yo 1984/1999 (Bourbon)
89    Macallan 18yo 1982
89    Macallan 15yo 1984
89    Ardbeg 17yo
89    Ardbeg 10yo
(Bottled +/- 1999)
88    Aberlour NAS A'bunadh C/S Batch #6
88    Ardbeg 1974/1995
88    Macallan 10yo 'Cask Strength'
(European bottling)
88    Talisker 10yo
87    Balvenie 21yo 'Port Finish'
(Bottled 1997)
87    Bowmore 32yo 1968/2000
87    Braes of Glenlivet 17yo 1979/1997 C/S
87    Highland Park 18yo
86    Rosebank 20yo 1979/1999
86    Ardbeg 1978/1997 'Limited Edition'
86    Bowmore 21yo
86    Glendronach 15yo 100% Sherry Casks
86    Laphroaig 10yo
86    Laphroaig 15yo
86    Talisker 19yo 1980/2000 'Tactical'
(348 Bottles)
86    Port Ellen 18yo 1981/2000
85    Bruichladdich 1983/2001
(Ceramic; 600 bottles)
85    Linlithgow 18yo 1982/2001 (Cask 3002)
85    Aberlour NAS '100 Proof'
85    Balvenie 12yo Doublewood
85    Braes of Glenlivet 1977/2000 Madeira
85    Springbank 12yo
(Bottled 1996)
85    Caol Ila 1989/1999
85    Highland Park 12yo
.

58.0%     OB
59.9%     OB
57.0%     OB
46.0%     MmcD
43.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
40.0%    
OB*
46.0%     OB
59.9%     OB
40.0%     CCh
58.8%     OB
45.8%    
OB*
40.0%     OB
46.0%     SigV
58.1%     SigV
43.0%     OB
60.3%     UDRM
43.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
43.0%    
OB*
40.0%    
OB*
50.0%     OMC
43.0%     Gibb
46.0%     OB
43.0%     SigV
57.1%     OB
43.0%    
OB*
43.0%     Mgm
46.0%     OB
43.0%     MklC
43.0%    
OB*
.

I found out that there's no such
thing as 'the' Lagavulin 16yo or
'the' Macallan 12yo. I had to accept
the fact that official bottlings like
Talisker 10yo or Edradour 10yo can
change over time.

In fact, the discovery that 'official'
bottlings change over time shouldn't
have surprised me as much as it did.
After all, the conditions that shape
this year's Oban 14 or Balvenie 12
may be slightly different from those
that influenced last year's stock.
Since a lot of official bottlings are
produced year after year after year,
the stillman will have to use
different casks for each batch,
while trying to make exactly
the same whisky as last time.
A nearly impossible task...

The phenomenon I've described
is known as 'batch variation'.
And let me tell you it makes the
life of a malt maniac a lot harder.
You never know if the next bottle
of Laphroaig 10 you love so much
will be just as lovable as the last
one you tried.

 

 

84    Aberlour 15yo Sherry Wood Finish
84    Balvenie 15yo 1980/1996 'Single Barrel'
84    Bowmore 17yo
84    Caol Ila 12yo 1989/2001 (Bourbon)
84    Linlithgow 26yo
84    Caol Ila 26yo 1974/2001
84    Longmorn Glenlivet 1963/1996
83    Aberfeldy 1978/1996 C/S
83    Glenfarclas 21yo
83    Port Ellen 24yo 1978/2002 2nd Annual Release
83    Benrinnes 15yo
83    Bruichladdich 15yo
(New bottling)
83    Caol Ila 20yo 1974/1995 C/S
83    Glenlivet 21yo
83    Glenmorangie NAS Madeira Wood Finish
83    Port Ellen 23yo 1975/1999
83    Saint Magdalene 1965
82    Auchentoshan NAS 'Three Wood'
82    Bladnoch 16yo 1980/1997
82    Blair Athol 11yo 1989/2000
82    Caol Ila 11yo 1989/2001 (Sherry)
82    Saint Magdalene 1975/1999 Cask Strength
82    Caol Ila 1981/1995
82    Dailuaine 16yo
82    Bruichladdich 1984/2002
82    Glenmorangie 18yo
(Ceramic)
82    Lagavulin 16yo 'Port Ellen'
82    Linkwood 12yo 1989/2002
82    Mortlach 21yo
82    Linkwood 15yo
82    Macallan NAS Travellers Edition 'Thirties'
82    Mortlach 1969/1996
82    Bladnoch 1992/2002 C/S
82    Talisker 20yo 1981/2002
80    Ardbeg 8yo 1991/1999
81    Aberlour NAS 'Antique'
81    Auchroisk 11yo 1989/2000 Port Finish
81    Balvenie 10yo 'Founders Reserve'
81    Bowmore 15yo 'Mariner'
81    Bruichladdich 20yo
(New bottling)
81    Bunnahabhain 12yo 1989/2001 (Sherry Finish)
81    Glenfarclas NAS '105'
81    Glenmorangie NAS 'Cellar 13'
81    Glenmorangie NAS Port Wood Finish
81    Glenmorangie 10yo
81    Glen Scotia 9yo 1991/2001
81    Highland Park 12yo 1988/2001
81    Linkwood 12yo 1984/1996
81    Longmorn 15yo
81    Mortlach 1989/2002
(Sherry Cask)
81    Mosstowie 1979/1999
80    Aberlour 10yo
80    Bowmore 12yo
80    Bunnahabhain 12yo
80    Clynelish 11yo 1989/2001
(South African Sherry)
80    Convalmore 15yo 1983
80    Dalmore 12yo
80    Glendronach 12yo 'Traditional'
80    Glenfarclas 12yo
80    Longmorn Glenlivet 12yo
80    Macallan 12yo
80    Glen Scotia 14yo
80    Singleton of Auchroisk 1981
80    Glenrothes 8yo
.

43.0%     OB
50.4%     OB
43.0%     OB
46.0%     SigV
50.0%     OMC
50.0%     OMC
40.0%     G&M
59.3%     ScSl
43.0%     OB
54.3%     OB
43.0%     F&F
46.0%    
OB*
55.7%     SigV
43.0%     OB
43.0%    
OB*
43.0%     SigV
40.0%     CCh
43.0%     OB
43.0%     Ultm
58.1%     Cad
43.0%     SigV
41.5%     Cad
40.0%     CCh
43.0%     F&F
46.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
43.0%    
OB*
43.0%     Coop
40.0%     Sest
40.0%     G&M
40.0%     OB
40.0%     G&M
58.5%     JmcA
62.0%     OB
43.0%     SigV
40.0%     OB
43.0%     Chft
40.0%    
OB*
43.0%     OB
46.0%     OB
43.0%     Chft
60.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
43.0%     SigV
43.0%     Ultm
43.0%     SigV
45.0%    
OB*
43.0%     Coop
40.0%     CCh
40.0%    
OB*
43.0%    
OB*
40.0%    
OB*
56.7%     SigV
43.0%     Chft
43.0%    
OB*
43.0%     OB
43.0%     OB
40.0%     G&M
40.0%    
OB*
40.0%    
OB*
43.0%     OB
40.0%     G&M
.

As far as I'm concerned, a malt is
only as good as its latest bottling.
What do I mean by that?

Whenever I tried several different
batches of the 'same' official
bottling that showed a difference
between them I've included the
rating for the last bottling I tried
in the Hit List at the left.

Multiple batch bottles are
identified by the little star behind
the OB indication; OB*.
You can find a full listing of all the
different batches I've tried by
clicking on the OB* link in the
column at the left. This will take
you directly to my
Track Record.

Whenever I feel the need to
change my score for an OB it
tends to end up lower than before.
This makes perfect sense
when you think about it.
When I happen to run into an OB
that ends up in the nether regions
of my Hit List I'm not likely to try it
again. Affordable bottles that I like,
on the other hand, are generally
replaced as soon as they're empty.

 

 

 

   The large majority of the single malts I've sampled scored between 70 and 80 points.
   That could be translated as 'good, but nothing to get too excited about'.
   Listing more than 200 malts in this category seemed a little pointless, so I made a selection.
   I've included a few 'typical', widely available malts  to illustrate what sort of malts I mean.
   Check out the
Track Record for a complete overview of all ratings.
.

 

79    Glenlivet 18yo
78    Ben Nevis 10yo
77    Glen Garioch 15yo
76    Dufftown 10yo
75    Glen Moray 12yo
'Classic'
74    Strathisla 12yo
73    Glengoyne 12yo
72    Dalwhinnie 15yo
71    Glenfiddich 15yo Solera Reserve
70    Glen Grant 10yo
.

43.0%
46.0%
43.0%
43.0%
40.0%
43.0%
43.0%
43.0%
40.0%
43.0%
.

OB
OB
OB
OB
OB*
OB
OB
OB
OB
OB
.

For me personally, the price I have
to pay for a bottle is an important
factor. Especially in the 'average'
segment my shopping behaviour
is largely determined by the
'Bang-For-Your-Buck' value
I expect from a bottle.

 

 

69
69
69
68
68
67
67
67
67
66
66
66
66
65
65
65
64
64
63
63
62
62
62
61
61
61
60
60
.

Glenturret 12yo
Speyburn 10yo
Longmorn 8yo 1989/1997
Lochside 10yo (MacNab)
Glenlossie 10yo 1989/2000
Strathmill 10yo
Glenlochy 1977/1994
Tormore 12yo
Ben Nevis 8yo 1990/1999
Glenkinchie 10yo
Tamnavulin 12yo
Inchmurrin 10yo
Hillside 25yo 1971/1997
Craigellachie 1983/1994
Glen Grant NAS
Bowmore Darkest
Inverleven 21yo 1966/1988
Coleburn 14yo 1983/1997
Glenugie 16yo 1980/1997
Glen Deveron 12yo
Glenfiddich 12yo 'Special Reserve'
Glenburgie 8yo
Littlemill 8yo
Glen Spey 21yo
Tullibardine 10yo
Arran NAS Sherry Casks
North Port-Brechin 1981/1998
Glenfiddich NAS 'Special Old Reserve'
.

 

OB
OB
Ultm
OB
Gibb
SW
CCh
OB
SigV
OB
OB
OB
UDRM
VCh
OB
OB
Cad
SigV
SigV
OB
OB
G&M
OB
JMcA
OB
OB*
CCh
OB
.

I won't go into the details of my
rating system, but in order to
interpret these ratings you should
know that I use a 1 - 100 scale that
includes other drinks like blends,
bourbons and cognacs as well.

Most single malts I've tasted score
between 60 and 90 points, while
blends tend to score between 10
and 80 points. This means that in
my system the average single malt
scores higher than the average blend.

Click HERE for more info about my rating system; Click HERE for my ratings on some blends, bourbons and vatted malts.

 

 

 

59
59
58
58
57
57
56
55
51
44
40
11
 

Isle of Jura 10yo
Glentromie 12yo
Glenesk 1984/1997
Auchentoshan 10yo
Deanston 12yo
Kinclaith 20yo
Clontarf NAS
(Ireland)
Tobermory NAS
Loch Lomond NAS 'Pure Malt'
Old Rhosdhu 5yo
Drumguish 3yo
Loch Dhu 10yo
 

 

OB
OB
CCh
OB*
OB
Cad
OB
OB
OB
OB
OB
OB*
 

I receive a lot of e-mails with
comments on these ratings.
Some people agree (which is nice),
some people disagree (which is nice
too, for where would we be if we all
agreed with one another, eh?)

Nevertheless, I'd like to stress
once more that these ratings
reflect my own personal
preferences regarding single malts.

Surf to Scotchwhisky.comDrop me a note...
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