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If there was ever a collection of whiskies that epitomised the independent bottling ethos, it would be The Maltman series.
I mean, check out this quote from their website. If it was in Latin, it’d pretty much be the motto of the independent bottling industry:
Our Maltman range, all single cask releases, is without any added colouring or chill-filtration. We like to keep our whisky as natural as the day it left the cask, leaving all the goodness of mother earth’s oils, fats and proteins, offering you a dram with outstanding aroma, texture and most importantly, taste.
(Interestingly, The Maltman’s actual motto is ‘Courageous and Faithful’ which is also a pretty great description of the independent bottling ethos.)
Just in that short quote, they’ve demonstrated why The Maltman series embodies everything we love about independent bottling.
But let’s break it down a little bit more:
Independence, impartiality and expertise
The Maltman range is the crown jewel of Meadowside Blending Co. Ltd (who also produce The Royal Thistle blend) thanks to their dedication to sourcing and bottling the finest single malt whiskies they can find.
But it goes beyond just finding great whiskies and buying them from distilleries. Each whisky under The Maltman banner has been hand selected by Donald and Andrew Hart, the father and son team that runs the company.
Both of them are bona fide experts in the field, honing their noses and knowledge over long careers (Donald started working in the whisky industry in 1964) and bringing that experience to bear with The Maltman range. (In fact, both of them are now Keepers of the Quaich, an elite honour bestowed upon those working to promote the good name of Scotch whisky, and in recognition of their achievements.)
A dedication to authentic drams
As you’d expect, The Maltman range has a strict no artificial colouring, no caramelisation and no chill filtration whatsoever policy.
The award-winning range is all about the whisky as authentic and natural as possible, with the very least amount of interference. You might get some chill haze, you might get two drams that are different colours and you might be greeted by a big whack of alcohol, but it’s all worth it for the end result.
Time after time, The Maltman put out incredible independent bottlings. And they’re not just your typical bottlings either, they put out incredible bottlings of rare single malts from mothballed distilleries.
Plus, they use sherry and bourbon casks to mature or finish depending on the character of the whisky.
Every step of the process is carefully considered to complement and enhance the whisky they’re bottling.
Fancy a dram or two of an excellent Maltman expression?
How about the Benrinnes 18 Year (Maltman, 1997)?
We absolutely love this whisky; you can taste every step of the journey it has been on, from still to cask to bottle.
Not to mention the fact that a Benrinnes single malt is a rare treat (they are usually used for top-shelf blends). (Which is a real shame, because Benrinnes have distinctive notes of dark chocolate and fruit that are often lost in a blend.)
Building on that incredible foundation, Maltman let it mature for 17 years in a bourbon cask. During that time, it picked up that vanilla sweetness from the charred wood.
And then, after that, it had another 6 months of maturation in a ruby port wood cask. Finally, it finished its maturation in a Pedro Ximinez cask for a sweet sherry finish.
And boy, has that journey has been more than worth it.
On the nose, you get hints of sweet barley that build into toffee and dark chocolate on the palette, followed by hints of Christmas cake, treacle and figs. Finally, you get a warm and smooth finish of marzipan and sweet smoke.
Quite simply, a sublime whisky. Why not treat yourself to a bottle and share it with some friends? We promise you won’t be disappointed.