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In the nine years since my amazing discovery of single malts, my senses seem to have been magically enhanced. My sense of taste has developed considerably, and with it my appreciation of Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

It's the wonderful variety in character and style that sets "the water of life" apart from other noble drinks like Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados. This wide variety makes it difficult to discuss single malts in terms of "good" or "bad". Like so many things in life, it's a matter of personal preference. That's why I'd like to stress once more that the rantings and ratings on this site just refelect my own personal opinion.

S ome distilleries (like Macallan and Lagavulin) appear on the Top 10 list with several different bottlings. Move your mouse across the little piece of paper on the left for a list of my Top 10 Favorite Distilleries. For these distillery rankings, I've 'averaged' the scores of the different versions and bottlings from a certain distillery.
Behind the name of the distillery you'll find the number of versions I've tasted - both officially and unofficially.

Number One

Top 10 'commercial' single malts

 

1

 Lagavulin 16

 Et In Arcadia Ego

2

 Ardbeg 17

 Eldorado Ouverture

3

 Talisker 10

 Symphony in smoke, salt and pepper

4

 Macallan 18

 The fruity essence of wood

5

 Laphroaig 15

 Character and power in abundance

6

 Balvenie 21 Port

 The nose that keeps on giving

7

 Ardbeg 10

 A true 'liquid poem'

8

 Laphroaig 10

 Concentrated volatility!

9

 Macallan 12

 Smoothness in flawless balance

10

 Highland Park 12

 Northern 'not so light'

(The list has changed for the last time on September 30, 2001)         

Top 10 Distilleries

 

1

 Ardbeg

7

 Dist. 10, 17 & 1975, Cad. 1972, C.C. 1974, Ult. 19, Sign. 1991

2

 Lagavulin

4

 Dist. 16 & 1979 DE, Vint. 1987. Mur/McDavid 1984

3

 Macallan

6

 Dist 10, 10 C/S (100 Proof), 12, 18 & 25, Speymalt 1990 (G&McP)

4

 Talisker

3

 Dist. 10 & 1986 DE, 18 C/S

5

 Balvenie

4

 Dist. 10, 12, 15 & 21 Port

6

 Glenmorangie

6

 Dist 10, Cellar 13, Port, Madeira, Sherry, 18

7

 Highland Park

4

 Dist. 12, 18 & 25, Ultimate 7

8

 Laphroaig

2

 Dist. 10 & 15

9

 Longmorn

3

 Dist 15, Ult. 1989, Glenlivet 1963

10

 Bowmore

8

 Dist. Surf, Legend, 10, 12, 17, 21 & Darkest. Ultimate 6

(The list has changed for the last time on September 30, 2001)         

These are just my TOP 10 'commercial' single malt bottlings (and distilleries). I haven't included independent bottlings by the likes of Cadenhead and MurrayMcDavid in my Top 10, because those bottlings are usually hard to find and limited in production numbers by definition. Listing single malts nobody can find would be pointless, eh?

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Click HERE for the complete 'Best-to-Worst' list of all the single malts
(commercial & independent) I've tasted since my
amazing discovery.
Please note that the malts from these lists aren't always suitable for "beginners". I'm not too big on subtlety, so some malts in my Top 10 can be quite an assault on your senses. Check the
"Beginner's Guide" for a list of malts that might be better suited for budding lovers of the water of life.

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