2009 Malt Maniacs Archive
Malt Maniacs Archives - 2009

Malt Maniacs Issue #111  -  February 8, 2009

E-pistle #2009-01; SWA; the Scotch Wankers Association (Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)
E-pistle #2009-02; Do You Believe in Bottle Maturation? (Serge Valentin, France)
E-pistle #2009-03; The Chemistry of Water & Whisky (Nabil Mailloux, Canada)
E-pistle #2009-04; My Best Whiskies of 2008 (Krishna Nukala, India)
E-pistle #2009-05; Fruit Flies or Peat Flies? (Lex Kraaijeveld, UK)
E-pistle #2009-06; A Dozen Chaotic Drams (Luca Chichizola, Italy)
E-pistle #2009-07; Politics, Religion & Whiskey in America (David Wankel, USA)

Malt Maniacs Issue #112  -  April 13, 2009

E-pistle #2009-08; For Sake's Sake (Michel van Meersbergen, Holland)
E-pistle #2009-09; Today's Whisky Climate (Dave Broom, UK)
E-pistle #2009-10; Spreading The Word (David Wankel, USA)
E-pistle #2009-11; A Gourmet's Delight (Craig Daniels, Australia)
E-pistle #2009-12; Ardbeggeddon Ten (Davin & Euan McPhee, Canada)
E-pistle #2009-13; Adventures in Taste Perversion (Mark Gillespie, USA)
E-pistle #2009-14; A Sulphury Discussion (transcript by Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)

Malt Maniacs Issue #113  -  June 15, 2009

E-pistle #2009-15; What Is Sherried Whisky? (Dave Broom, UK)
E-pistle #2009-16; A Sherried Discussion - Part 1 (Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)
E-pistle #2009-17; Macallan Masters of Photography (Michel van Meersbergen, Holland)
E-pistle #2009-18; Stuart Nickerson Interview (Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)
E-pistle #2009-19; Astar Trek (Nabil Mailloux, Canada)
E-pistle #2009-20; Victoria Festival Report (Davin de Kergommeaux, Canada)
E-pistle #2009-21; Vienna Whisky Fair (Konstantin Grigoriadis, Greece)
E-pistle #2009-22; Summer Speysides & Friends (Louis Perlman, USA)

Malt Maniacs Issue #114  -  October 21, 2009

E-pistle 2009-23; A Few Truths & Observations about Scotch whisky (Lawrence Graham, Canada)
E-pistle 2009-24; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Wine Tasting (Peter Silver, USA)
E-pistle 2009-25; Matching Dogs & Whisky (Lex Kraaijeveld, England)
E-pistle 2009-26; Pairing Whisk(e)y with a Great Meal (Dave Wankel & Adam Herz, USA)
E-pistle 2009-27; Summer Means Tequila! (Noel Buckley, USA)
E-pistle 2009-28; Where Does A Specific Taste Come From? (Benny Ingman, Sweden)
E-pistle 2009-29; Why Whisky is better than a Woman (Paul DeJong, Belgium)

Malt Maniacs Issue #115  -  December 31, 2009

E-pistle 2009-30; Tripping Down Memory Lane (Johannes van den Heuvel)
E-pistle 2009-31; Commotion At The Collecting House (Serge Valentin, France)
E-pistle 2009-32; From Whisky Scorer to Juror: Part 1 (Nabil Mailloux, Canada)
E-pistle 2009-33; Stunning Wines, Stupendous Whiskies (Krishna Nukala, India)
E-pistle 2009-34; Book Review - Whisky & Philosophy (Davin de Kergommeaux, Canada)
E-pistle 2009-35; Black, White & Gold Bowmores (Mark Gillespie, USA)
E-pistle 2009-36; South Africa's First Single Grain (Joe Barry, South Africa)
E-pistle 2009-37; The Colouring & Filtering Experiment (Bert Bruyneel, Belgium)
E-pistle 2009-38; Confessions of a Swiss Malt Maniac
(Patrick de Schulthess, Switzerland)

Curious what the future will bring? Check out Malt Maniacs & Friends on Facebook for daily updates.

MM#111 - E-pistle 2009/01 - SWA; the Scotch Wankers Association * (by Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)
Most of the Scottish people I've met on-line or in real life were friendly, generous people. Nevertheless, not all of them are - at least not if you
look at the way the Scotsmen that are working in the SWA (= the Scotch Whisky Association) operate. Lying and cheating comes easy for them.
(* Please note that the purely personal opinions expressed by Johannes are his own, and his own only. Please feel free to disagree if you want to! (**)
(** If you want be a wanker too, that is! ;-)

MM#111 - E-pistle 2009/02 - Do You Believe in Bottle Maturation? (by Serge Valentin, France)
Serge likes to think of the Dutch as pacifistic people who prefer to run half-naked in tulip fields while smoking pot and drinking hard genever (or
whisky, for that matter) rather than as rude and aggressive warmongers! So, he was understandably a bit shocked by Johannes' latest E-pistle.
Rather than throw some more oil on the fire, he added his own perspectives to the discussion - and then smoothly segued into OBE.
MM#111 - E-pistle 2009/03 - The Chemistry of Water & Whisky (by Nabil Mailloux, Canada)
According to Nabil, there is nothing in the world that will bring you closer to a fist-fight with a fellow connoisseur of whisky than to start talking about
whether to add water or not to your dram. Nabil finally decided to ask science instead - presumably to prevent further damage to his face and fists...
And all that close contact with science brought out the teacher in Nabil, so he added plenty of colourful pictures to make his points.
MM#112 - E-pistle 2009/08 - For Sake's Sake (by Michel van Meersbergen, Holland)
I think it is safe to say that most malt maniacs have delved a little deeper into the whisky world than the average whisky consumer. For many of us,
fine-tuning our noses and palates on whisky has us also given a greater appreciation and understanding of other spirits and alcoholic beverages.
In this article, Michel van Meersbergen presents the results of his sake study - about the Japanese rice drink.
MM#112 - E-pistle 2009/09 - Today's Whisky Climate (by Dave Broom, Scotland)
How does the global warming phenomenon affect the UK, Scotland and the whisky industry? The picture of the UK in 2080 painted by the UKCIP02
report shows a country which hasgot progressively warmer with annual temperatures between 2.5˚C and 4˚C warmer than today, with northern Scotland
warming the least and the southeast of England rising the most. Dave Broom investigates whether or not we should worry. (I'm guessing: yes!)
MM#112 - E-pistle 2009/12 - Ardbeggeddon Ten (by Davin de Kergommeaux, Canada)
There's Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group, Zumanity, and David Copperfield, but for one weekend in January, the most exclusive ticket in Las Vegas
is to a private whisky weekend called Ardbeggeddon - the PLOWED Society's annual gathering of the clan. The 10th Ardbeggeddon edition was held
in January 2009, and one of the highlights was a head to head tasting of 13 different batches of Ardbeg 10yo.
MM#112 - E-pistle 2009/14 - A Sulphury Discussion (by Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)
Some of our discussions take place on Twitter and Facebook these days, but there still is massive e-mail traffic as well. And sometimes, maniacal
discussions are ignited by accident - like this discussion about sulphured whisky and the relation with the 'wrong' sherry casks used in maturation.
MM#113 - E-pistle 2009/15 - What Is Sherried Whisky? (by Dave Broom, Scotland)
Dave Broom did a couple of "What Is Sherried Whisky?" classes recently. For each he used two sherries from Lustau {Palo Cortado Vides and
Oloroso Pata La Gallina) and then four whiskies from the SMWS. The whiskies differed each time but in simple terms all were from ex-sherry casks
but the first was from a knackered butt, the second from tired refill, the third was sulphury and the fourth was first fill with no sulphur.) The aim?
To tease out what the sherry industry wants from oak, what the Scotch industry wants from oak, whether the two are talking about the same thing
and, if not, what "sherry cask" actually means.
MM#113 - E-pistle 2009/16 - Ask an Anorak: A Sherried Discussion (Part 1) (by Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)
Dave Broom's article on sherried whisky was an eye-opener for many of us. Sherry casks were used in the past with shipping and storage in mind,
not maturation. These days 'sherry seasoned' or 'bespoke' casks are treated with sherry purely with the whisky industry in mind. That's debatable.
MM#113 - E-pistle 2009/19 - Astar Trek (by Nabil Mailloux, Canada)
For a husband and father of two young girls, even a 'nearby' whisky festival can sometimes seem light-years away. The first phase of the trip is
actually persuading your wife that the Spirit of Toronto is simply one of the best home-grown whisky festivals of its kind. In my case, I also had to
throw in that it was very important to connect with my fellow Malt Maniacs, the opportunities for this being so few and far between. 
Even after Nabil's pretty slick sales pitch, his wife still gave him an eye-roll - in a loving sort of way, of course.
MM#114 - E-pistle 2009/26 - Pairing Whisk(e)y with a Great Meal (by David Wankel & Adam Herz, USA)
The Los Angeles Whisk(e)y Society (LAWS for short) with 21 members includes a number of serious whisky enthusiasts who travel to find rare
and superb bottles of anything in the whisky world.  The main focus is on drinking the good stuff - and sometimes on food!
MM#114 - E-pistle 2009/27 - Summer Means Tequila! (by Noel Buckley, USA)
It's summer and that means Tequila! - at least according to 'foreign correspondent' Noel Buckley. Tequila is a spirit grown, distilled and (when
high quality) bottled in Mexico.  While agave spirits come from many locations, Tequila itself comes from GI (Geographical Indication) regions
and is restricted to being made in specific areas in Mexico from only one specific type of agave plant. Noel's excellent article digs deep...
MM#114 - E-pistle 2009/28 - Where Does a Specific Taste Come From? (by Benny Ingman, Sweden)
Benny Ingman from Sweden wonders where a specific taste in whisky comes from. From different use of malted barley, less yeast or use of other
casks - or combinations of this? Benny focused his research on the Laphroaig distillery and argues that specific tastes come from maturation.
MM#115 - E-pistle 2009/30 - Tripping Down Memory Lane (by Johannes van den Heuvel, Holland)
Malt whisky is a liquid time machine; when you're enjoying a dram you're nosing and tasting a product that was produced several years (or even
decades) earlier. That's one of the things that makes single malts so interesting; the gap between the 'crafting' of the product and its consumption.
MM#115 - E-pistle 2009/31 - Commotion At The Collecting House (by Serge Valentin, France)
'Whisky is for drinking, not for collecting!', Scotch distillers and bottlers claim, although this never prevents them from explaining how collectable
their newest 20yo or 30yo whisky is, lavishly packaged or not. Lack of coherence? Double speak? Plain dishonesty? Probably a bit of everything.
MM#115 - E-pistle 2009/33 - Stunning Wines, Stupendous Whiskies (by Krishna Nukala, India)
Another year, another edition of the Malt Maniacs Awards. And for our Indian malt maniac Krishna, it also meant another trip around the world
to personally fetch the Malt Maniacs Awards samples - just to avoid the horrors of the Indian customs that try to foil our competition each year.
MM#115 - E-pistle 2009/37 - The Colouring & Filtering Experiment (by Bert Bruyneel, Belgium)
So far, very few whisky consumers have been able to tell the exact effects of chill filtration and/or colouring on a whisky, simply because there
is usually just one version of a whisky in the stores; either chill filtered or unchillfiltered, and either coloured or uncoloured. However, Bert Bruyneel
managed to find the very same batch of whisky, bottled in 4 different ways: chill filtered and coloured, un-chillfiltered and uncoloured, chillfiltered
and uncoloured, and finally un-chillfiltered and coloured. He drove to Haarlem, Holland to conduct a tasting experiment with other maniacs.

And that's it, at least as far as the 'editorial comments' for the year 2009 are concerned.
Below we'll start with some of our most popular articles from the period, while you can find
all the E-pistles (whisky articles) that we published in 2009 if you scroll further down...

We may be producing less E-pistles than a few years ago, but many of them are much larger.
And again, we could welcome contributions from a number of 'foreign corespondents' as well.
Like a massive piece about tequila (a 'deviant dram' / 'malternative' for Scotch whisky) by Noel
Buckley (USA) and an investigation into the origins of taste by Benny Ingman from Sweden.

Ah, the year 2009... We remember that year modestly, but also with some pride and satisfaction.
And that's because, after a faily slow year in 2008, we managed to publish 38 E-pistles and five
issues this year. And we've covered quite a few hot topics too, for example in Serge Valentin's
E-pistle on bottle maturation, Nabil Mailloux's massive piece on the chemistry of whisky, Michel
van Meersbergen's exploration of the sake world, a long hard look at today's whisky climate by
Dave Broom, the big filtration & colouring experiment by Bert Bruyneel and, last but not least, a
handful of 'Ask an Anorak' E-pistles by Johannes about sulphur, sherry and other anoraks stuff.

So, I'd say that we've given our readers plenty to think about in the E-pistles we wrote this
year - and don't forget that the maniacs do more than write articles. We've organised the
2009 edition of the MM Awards and expanded Malt Maniacs & Friends on Facebook further.

OK, those were just some of the 'highlights' out of the five issues we published in 2009. Here are all whisky articles we wrote in 2009;

Malt Madness - our first whisky web siteWhiskyFun - by Serge ValentinMalt Maniacs - The ArchivesQuestions?Malt Maniacs - The ArchivesMM Archives - HomeMM Archives - Archive
2007 E-pistlesThe New Malt Maniacs website2003 E-pistles2005 E-pistles2008 E-pistles2009 E-pistles2010 E-pistles2011 E-pistles

Overview of E-pistes that were published in 2009

Malt Maniacs & Friends on FacebookJohannes van den Heuvel
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