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No age statement trend

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@bourbondrinker
bourbondrinker started a discussion

Dear Whisky lovers, as I have been away from the community for some months now, I am curious to know if this new trend - no age statement single malts - has taken off yet. The endless combinations of marying diffrent casks older & younger sounds way promissing!!! Slàinte!

10 years ago

12 replies

@CanadianNinja

@bourbondrinker, there was a rather interesting discussion on Connosr about this topic not very long ago. I've tried to search for the thread but I wasn't able to find it. Anyway, in that thread someone posted a link to a great article about this subject. Here's the link, I highly recommend giving it a read ; )

whiskyadvocateblog.com/2013/04/…

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@PMessinger
PMessinger replied

@bourbondrinker great point you bring up in this discussion thread, however I'm more of the 85yr old 45yr old telling kids to stay off my lawn. I feel that age statements have always been there since the good old days of whisky production and I'm not comfortable changing that system. Sure there are always going to be new ideas for blends and expressions that push the envelope, and there is a time and a place for that. New combinations may not work out and then the old tried and true age statements will be missed by those of us who loved the certain style, mystery, connection, with something that was interesting and magical so I would have to say You Kids Stay Off My Age Statements. :)

10 years ago 2Who liked this?

@Nolinske
Nolinske replied

@PMessinger I really appreciate where PM is coming from in that i love the tradition of age statements, and I value the ability to know exactly how old the youngest whisk(e)y in the bottle is. Where age statements lose me is in the age of new technologies there are many cases where the whisk(e)y is ready to be bottled before the 10yo 12yo or 16yo arbitrary benchmark as set forth by years of tradition. Great whisk(e)y is ready when its ready, and maybe I'm just being a young whippersnapper, but I am fine with no age statement whisk(e)ys.

The one caveat i will throw in is that i still do appreciate on the NAS whisk(e)ys when the distillery will be upfront about at least the average age of the spirits in a bottling. Preferably we would get to know all of the spirits that make up a bottling, but let's be honest if its a great 4yo NAS whisk(e)y there is no way that the company is telling us for fear of people not buying the spirit because its "too young to be good"

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@PMessinger
PMessinger replied

@Nolinske great point that you brought up. My view from a history enthusiast as well as a scotch enthusiast is that age statements are the bees knees. That said there are many whisky's that are good at a younger age. Octomore, Kilchoman, the McClelland range of whisky's are to name a few that fall into the category of good young whisky's. With expressions that are good or even great at a young age I would agree with you that age statements are not needed. However you can see where I draw to the historical and traditional side of this discussion. No you are not being a young whippersnapper for having a different view. Only whisky will be ready when it says it's ready but the age statement for me still holds something of magical significance that I just can not ignore. :)

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@JoeVelo
JoeVelo replied

Honestly, If it is good, I'll buy and drink regardless of the age statement or not. I like younger whiskies as much as old ones.

10 years ago 0

@Eli
Eli replied

My problem with the whole NAS trend is that it seems to be being done, at least from my perspective, for the wrong reasons. It's dumping age statements to meet demand and not because producers have found younger whisky to be of good quality, I'm sure they've known that all along. It's just now more people want the stuff so they need it out sooner. So the brands put a PR spin on 'special' cask maturation or finish to take off the attention that it's putting out younger whisky but charging the same or more as it would an aged whisky (Ardbog??). And Macallan said age statements were confusing customers. Really? This 'confusion' must have reached the company in the decades and decades that age statements were used. It's just now, that supplies are low, the companies want to do something about it. What timing! The whole NAS movement is done with $$$ in mind and not for the consumers. That is why I have a problem with removing age statements.

And believe me I know that older doesn't mean better, just like the pappy craze going on now. Everyone wants the 23 year old but don't understand that it has spent too much time in the barrel which has over oaked the bourbon. But what age statements do is set a benchmark and without a benchmark it can become easy for money driven companies to cut corners which will have a negative affect on all of us

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@bourbondrinker

@Eli, I admit, I have never thought of it that way...scary!!!

10 years ago 0

@bourbondrinker

Thank you all for your feedback, and I respect your views on tradition PMessinger.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

Rigmorole replied

Blending different aged casks is cool. Not labeling or disclosing ages is uncool. If I buy food, I read the label and like to know what I'm eating. If I drink a scotch I like to know what's inside the bottle. Common sense, really. Not rocket science.

As for tradition, I don't care much about that. The traditions are often fickle, such as being okay with putting gross coloring in scotch but not using wood staves to flavor the scotch. Rather silly, actually. I'm quite interested in how a scotch was vatted or blended. I find the information rather fascinating as well as helpful.

Since I have learned a great deal about vatting over the past year, it's a subject that interests me. And, yes, I know the term "vatting" is no longer used, but calling scotch "blended single malt" is fine too. I personally think any "blended scotch" should disclose it is blended with grain. That is a must. Most do that, but not all. When it comes to scotch, there is no such thing as TMI for me. I like full transparency when it comes to distilling.

10 years ago 1Who liked this?

@Onibubba
Onibubba replied

@rigmorole Yes. No such thing as TMI. Tell me what I am buying. Guess what? If I want a heavily peated sock in the face, the 10YO is going to do it for me better than the 18. But if I want a bit more ease, I would lean toward the elder. Am I just supposed to pony up 100 bucks and guess what I am getting? Give me some f'ing guidance please.

Oh I know why they are doing it, I just don't appreciate it. Yes, young whisky can be good. Young whisky can be great. But age, like cask, like abv, does inform you on which way the whisky may be leaning. I am not confidant that this is being done for the right reasons. Just my opinion of course.

10 years ago 0

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@PMessinger