What About Nas?
No Age Statement
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Taste before age
We’re all hung up on age. Nobody wants to get old, but we all want old Whiskies. Well, age isn’t the most important thing as any lady will tell you. Sure, you don’t know how fancy the dram is if you don’t know how old the juice is. But it ain’t about age – it’s about maturity. And when Whisky makers aren’t constrained by age, they can go wild with their magic. In other words, who cares how old the Spirit is if the sorcery of casks and all the whole lovely shebang around it made it taste like heaven?
Why is No Age Statement (or NAS, as the cool kids call it) so notorious? Well, for one, we drank almost all the aged stock and we’re running out of it. While we absolutely adore aged Whiskies, we may have to take it easy for a while. So, if we’re switching to Whiskies with no stated age, what are we supposed to focus on? The flavor, silly. The color, the techniques, the location, the wood. While we wait for the next batch to age, the distillers are fooling around, tinkering and shaking things up. Enjoy the alluring golden hue, the lovely flavors that will blow your socks off, amazing hints and notes from different woods. Who cares about age? Your socks are off!
If there’s one thing we can say about the NAS Scotch Whiskies, it’s they’re not boring. This box brings the best to the table: the one with the perfume-like aroma from PX Sherry casks; the one that brings flavors of the dark Gaelic sea; and that one with its smoky character that evokes the mystery of misty woods of Scotland. Not one bottle tells you its age, but all of them are pretty special.
We feel you: how will you impress your guests if you can’t say you’re having a 15-year-old Scotch? With something better: tell them the bottle contains awe-inspiring flavors and mind-boggling aromas. Tell them the Spirit they’re about to savor was matured in various fancy barrels. Tell them they’re drinking a literal legend. You know, the important stuff. Let the Whisky purists worry about age and embrace the wonderful new world of Whisky Alchemy!
Sláinte, our young/old/who-cares friend!
1) NAS Whisky isn’t some kind of a millennial fad, it’s been around for some time. It became a trend due to the limited availability of older Whiskies, growth in sales, and a desire of Whisky makers to break the chains of age regulations. Don’t worry, though, you’re not getting Whisky straight from the still: every Scotch has to be at least three years old.
2) Aged Whisky shortage is real and serious: stocks of Malt Whisky older than 11 years have been depleting by 6% every year since Adele released ‘Rolling in the Deep’.
3) The term “No Age Statement” was actually invented by consumers, not producers.
4) There’s quite a ruckus about the NAS Whiskies. Those who think it’s a bad idea say it’s taking away a huge strength from Scotch, while those who embrace the trend claim it broadens the canvas on which the Whisky artists can paint.
5) Age statement is a quirky affair: if you blend an ancient 18-year-old Scotch with a 3-year-old, the bottle must say the blend is only 3 years old.
6) There are two interesting trends with NAS Whiskies. Right now, the NAS releases of major brands are generally ranked lower than those with age statements, which means consumers are not yet ready to embrace the movement. But on the other hand, there are cask strength NAS Whiskies that people go bananas for. So innovation that comes with freedom works.
7) One of the proofs NAS Whiskies have been loved for quite some time is Aberlour A'Bunadh, rocking our buds since 1998. Two decades later, its cousin Casg Annamh (“rare cask” in Gaelic) is matured in a trio of cask types with a stunning Sherry-dominated flavor profile.
About The Flavor Spiral
Has the largest number of distilleries
Effectively, all the areas surrounding the Speyside region
Unrecognised sub-region of Highlands
Scotch Whisky Regions