Great article from The Whiskyphiles!
Rick and I were talking about this Saturday night. I will admit at first I was angry about the distilleries going to NAS. I forgot one important thing, I started drinking Whisk(e)y because I enjoy the complexities and nuances that each bottle has. There is a certain prestige with drinking a bottle that is 25 years old, but a large price tag comes with that. Then you find out that an 18 from another distillery is better than the 25. Age statements are just a number, it’s what is in the bottle that counts.
According to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), whisky made in Scotland must be matured for a minimum of 3 years in Scotland before it can be called Scotch Whisky. Though not wholly relevant to what follows, this requirement has recently been amended to state that it must also be bottled in Scotland, effectively meaning an end to export of 3 year old casks to be matured and bottled elsewhere!
Since the inception of single malt scotch whisky marketing, manufacturers have declared age statements on bottles as a direct measure of their quality. For example Glenfiddich, considered to be the first producer to market single malt whisky in the 1960’s, soon started declaring their product was aged over 8 years. To keep producers honest the SWA added regulations stating that the age statement on the bottle must display the minimum age of any of the maturing casks used to make that…
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