For those of you who don't know the Malt Maniacs, they are no less than the world's most respected single malt tasting society. Founded by Johannes Van Den Heuvel sometime in the late nineteenth century, the Malt Maniacs are an international organization whose annual whisky ratings are among the most influential in the world.
Nearly all of the top whisky bloggers and commentators are members. I'm talking Serge Valentin, Chris Bunting, Dave Broom, Tim Puett, Oliver Klimek, Mark Gillespie, Davin de Kergommeaux, the recently inducted Ralfy Mitchell, and the list goes on and on. Think of a well known single malt blogger and they are probably a member.
But the trick to the Malt Maniacs is you can't just join the club. Like the Knighthood, the Papacy and the Skull & Bones society, you have to be chosen. I'm not sure what process is used to select members, but I'm pretty sure the selection takes place in a weeks long closed door meeting somewhere in Luxembourg and involves some sort of animal sacrifice and a haggis.
Obviously, having a proven taste for whisky and a finely toned palate are two criteria for being a Malt Maniac, but what, you may ask, are the disqualifiers? Well, I've come up with the top ten reasons why Sku is not now and likely will never be a Malt Maniac.
10. Every time a new epistle is published, he sends an angry email complaining about misspelling of the word whiskey.
9. Not clear on the difference between Ulf Buxrud and Ian Buxton, if there is a difference.
8. Spends a lot of time poking fun at their members.
7. Told friends in New York that root canals at the Jazz Dentist were pretty much all done to a soundtrack of piped in Anthony Braxton tracks.
6. Doesn't have a goatee.
5. Not sure he can do a fair rating of 250 2ml samples.
4. Has no opinion on the impact of barometric pressure at different levels of the Port Ellen warehouse in the summer of 1978.
3. Six words: Jim Murray Fan Club Charter Member.
2. Once drank a 40% abv chill filtered single malt.
And the number one reason Sku will never be a Malt Maniac:
1. He secretly suspects single malt Scotch is just poorly made bourbon.