I’m going to rant today, (already? After just four days Diego??) after tasting a very expensive beautifully packaged NoAgeStatementNoVintageStatementWithaFancyName bottle from a very reputable distillery….
Most of us know by now, distilleries are crazy about NAS lately, No Age Statement, meaning we do not know how old the whisky is inside, it could be 3 years old, it could be 30 (right). This has ben the norm for a while, the huge increase in demand for whisky has pushed our Scottish friends and (more likely) “the dudes, who know nothing about whisky, sitting in a skyscraper’s International Headquarters office thousands of miles from Whiskyland” and barking orders on Skype to the Distillery Manager of that “new company we just bought”, produce! Faster! More! Run the still hotter! Shorten fermentation time!
Whisky is born with patience, repeat after me handsome suit and tie executives, “whisky takes patience”, it takes time to become Whisky. It takes many winter storms, and snow and sea gusts, it takes good old wood which has hosted before, it takes a long fermentation and quality yeast, and strong men who can weather all kinds of conditions, then it has to rest for a very long time. That’s how you make good whisky, and this coming from an Italian who knows absolutely nothing about REALLY making whisky, so maybe a new and young exec will point this out in some meeting and suggest to prepare for the future, to do things well.
So this being an “advice” blog, why do I tell you all this, you already know it, I advise you to HOLD ON to some of the old bottles you have, to buy the still inexpensive OB 10 and 12yo that most distilleries had issued in the 80’s, with 70’s distillation, the Glen Gariochs, the Linkwoods, the Tormores, the Dalmores etc, you can still get them at auction for less than 150 euro, there’s decent stuff in there, at least its more complex than anything out right now. Keep in mind that 10 years ago we got spoiled by all those great bottles we could buy for a dime, so when we first tasted these, back then, it was no big deal, but NOW, well, taste a new NAS and then one of these and see what you think. They at least have that “old whisky style” complexity that is non-existent now. I will try in the near future to post here an extensive list of them.
OK I promise never to complain about the state of Whisky again! (thanks)
This will not last, i foresee. A new (bad)Whisky Loch will spring out of this rush. Stills and more new stills are pissing out faster then ever, there will be more whisky than thirst, and so some day we will hear, “we produce a REAL 12 years old!” “yeah… but it will cost you!”.