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 evokes the mystery of misty woods of Scotland; and the one that brings flavors of the dark Gaelic sea. 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.
What's in the box
Dog Dogson'sSmartass corner
90% of all Scotch Whiskies sold are Blends.
Scotland is home to more than 20 million casks of maturing Whisky. That’s four for every person living there. Nuts!
Whisky distilling goes way back to 1494 when the first recorded batch was made by a posse of monks who acquired about 60 gallons of barley and decided to turn it into "aqua vitae". They created the first 1,500 bottles of Scotch in History.
Can Scotch go bad? Technically, an unopened bottle of Scotch can last forever. Air is the only true evil to Whisky; once the liquid is oxidized it is no longer immortal. After opening, as long as you store your Whisky in a cool, dry place, it will last another 5 years.
Categories of Scotch Whisky: Single malt, Blended malt (formerly called Vatted malt), blended, single grain and blended grain Scotch.
Blended Whiskies are the result of years of craftsmanship and dedication. A master blender does not simply wake up one day with a profound ability to create a cohesive and enjoyable liquid. From nosing the liquid to working out quantities of each different grain and malt to go into the blend, a master blender can take years, if not decades, to train.