The Communist Manifesto

After a decade of heavy dramming (a great deal of it without a lot of purpose or
structure), we felt it was time to draw up some sort of 'official document' with
a few words about our philosophy and guiding principles. That way, we can
make that sure we are all (more or less) 'on the same page', so to speak...
Although the size of our team is limited to just 24 certified malt maniacs
(at least in 2007), the composition of the collective can change from time
to time. This 'manifesto' gives new team members (and those aspiring to
become team members) a general idea of the privileges and
responsibilities that come with being a certified malt maniac.
Very much like the 'Communist Manifesto' (1848) by Karl Marx and Friedrich
Engels, our manifesto is all about principles. But that's where most of the
comparison ends I'm afraid... In fact, we've recently made a fairly 'capitalist'
move by allowing a few advertisements on this site. They're small, but still...

So, you could say that most maniacs have a love-hate relationship with the whisky industry at this point.
We love (part of) the malt whisky they make - and a lot of the industry people we got to know over the years.
However, we acknowledge that remaining independent from the industry is important. After all, the driving forces
behind that whisky industry (from Scotland, Ireland, America, Japan or anywhere else) may not always have our
best interests at heart. Looking at some trends, some maniacs may lean a bit more towards 'hate' in the future ;-)

And our manifesto is a much quicker read too...
As you may know, the Communist Manifesto was about the eternal struggle between the proletariat on one
end, and the bourgeoisie and elite on the other. Those with overly flexible minds might see parallels between
that conflict of interest, and the struggle of the certified Malt Maniacs and 'the whisky industry'.
The minds of those people are indeed 'overly flexible'. We may not always agree with everything that happens
in the whisky industry (and most maniacs still feel free to voice our opinions when we feel like it), but we still
depend on that same industry no make the stuff we love. And over the past decade they've manage to make
enough good product at a fair price to keep us very happy - and in high spirits....

MM Archives - Home
Whisky Manifesto

[ VERSION 1.1 - September 1, 2007 ]


'Malt Maniacs' is an international collective of 24 independent malt whisky aficionados who are dedicated to enjoying,
understanding and discussing single malt whiskies. Our enjoyment and understanding is enhanced further by our
discussions - and the sharing of our insights and opinions with each other and the rest of the (whisky) world.
The Malt Maniacs community is primarily web based; our thoughts are published via an E-mail newsletter with thousands
of subscribers and our web site Additional material is available through two companion sites
( and and (in the future) via 'printing on demand'.

Apart from the 'international' team of 24 certified malt maniacs, a number of 'foreign correspondents' can contribute too,
via input on Facebook or through submitting their own E-pistles. We are thinking about developing 'local chapters' of Malt
Maniacs as well. That way, members can publish their thoughts, opinions & discussions in their mother tongue.

Mission Statement

Since the early, humble beginnings of the Malt Maniacs collective in the 1990's our mission statement has evolved
from the fairly selfish 'helping each other find the best single malt whisky in the world' to a more 'missionary' one;

"Expand and enhance the appreciation and understanding of malt whisky amongst ourselves and
throughout the world by publishing independent information and opinions about (Scotch) malt whisky".



First and foremost, Malt Maniacs encourages the responsible consumption & enjoyment of whisky (and whiskey)!!!

Furthermore, Malt Maniacs is all about freedom of speech and respect for the opinions of others.
We may sometimes disagree and mock each other's opinions, but we only feel free to do so because we know we are all serious about our passion. Sharing different perspectives about whisky enhances our own understanding. We encourage differences of opinion and nobody speaks for 'all malt maniacs'. Opinions published in our E-pistles are always personal by definition - they may or may not be shared by one or more other certified malt maniacs.

Malt Maniacs is fiercely independent and completely non-commercial. Malt whisky is one of the last remaining truly authentic products in our modern world and the malt maniacs would like to keep it that way. To maintain our independence Malt Maniacs does not solicit or accept advertising or financial contributions from the whisky industry. Rather, the certified malt maniacs pay a membership fee for publication and website maintenance costs.

Certified malt maniacs do not use their membership in the team for personal gain.
This does not prevent team members benefiting from the hospitality of those within 'the industry' and 'the trade', as long as our independence is not compromised in the process. Contributions to the website from malt maniacs or 'foreign correspondents' that could be 'contaminated' with commercial information will not be published.


Membership of the 'certified' malt maniacs is by invitation and is predicated on the requirement that each member make regular contributions to Once invited to join the team, individual Maniacs remain on the team as long as they continue to contribute regularly to the website and participate in our on-line discussions.

Malt Maniacs is not a traditional club and does not have an elected executive.
After an earlier 'anarchist's utopia' construction for Malt Maniacs failed miserably, founder Johannes van den Heuvel took charge again by popular demand in the role of 'enlightened dictator'. Johannes acts as chief executive of Malt Maniacs and is responsible for the concept, tone of voice and direction of the Malt Maniacs website & community. Johannes is also responsible for inviting new members to join (and inactive members to resign).

There is a balance among countries represented so as to maintain an international organisation. The maximum number of malt maniacs from one country is three. Malt Maniacs includes among its members whisky lovers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America - and hopes to welcome members in South America one day.


Malt Maniacs was established primarily to share freely with other malt aficionados and thus its primary focus is building a comprehensive alternate source of accurate and reliable information for beginners and knowledgeable malt aficionados alike. While individual malt maniacs may publish widely, it is strongly encouraged that information gained through association with Malt Maniacs be contributed to our audience and community (first) rather than other websites or publications. That information should reflect an independent perspective on whisky.

Several professional whisky writers are certified malt maniacs and contribute significantly to discussions.
However, scoring or rating whiskies is left strictly to the 'amateurs' on the team. Working members of the whisky industry are not eligible for membership of Malt Maniacs. Membership of the 'Keepers of the Quaich' society does not preclude membership of Malt Maniacs, as long as the 'double agents' remain independent of the industry. Membership of other, independent whisky communities and organisations is heartily encouraged.

Individual malt maniacs write at least four E-Pistles each year, or contribute to at least three 'Ask an Anorak' discussions, or otherwise contribute to the material published on the Malt Maniacs website. Malt maniacs attempt to taste whiskies from every operating Scottish distillery within a reasonable period of time after joining the team.
Malt maniacs attempt to taste and evaluate at least 50 new whiskies each year and report on their findings.


The community developed on the World Wide Web around the Malt Madness website that founder Johannes van den
Heuvel launched in 1995. Several visitors to the Malt Madness site started posting their comments on the site in 1997;
the international 'Malt Maniacs' community gradually evolved from there. When we had grown to 12 'certified' members
in 2002 we launched our own E-zine. (On the page about the history of Malt Maniacs you can find more information.)


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

The Malt Maniacs Manifesto - Our Guiding Principles

Malt Maniacs & Friends on FacebookJohannes van den Heuvel
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