It is believed that age is just a number when it comes to wines and whiskeys. The older, the better.
For non-whiskey experts, does whiskey age matter? It raises a lot of questions, such as how aged whiskey differs from its younger counterparts. The older the bottle, the more expensive, but are they necessarily better?
Experts were asked if they care about a whiskey’s age, and this is their collective opinions:
One expert said that age matters because it is not a whiskey when it is not matured in a wooden barrel. A whiskey’s maturity is determined by the number of months or years spent in the wooden barrel. Some distillers want to downplay the wood’s role in maturity because of limited stock for their age statement, but it doesn’t go that way.
Another expert said that age is just a number. For years, whiskey has gained popularity, and supply has struggled to keep up with the demand. Time has become a luxury in the whiskey industry. The expert agrees that whiskey’s character is developed by spending a long time in wooden barrels. But new producers have found a way to create new products that are comparable to those that are aged in barrels. They have developed products that were made by selecting better grains, recalibrating mash bills, and examining the aging process to maximize time.
Is aged whiskey better?
There’s a debate on whether aged whiskey tastes better than the modern produced ones. Experts have different opinions in regard to whiskey’s taste.
One expert laid down the myths about the aging of whiskey. First myth: every age statement is a particular blend. The number indicated in bottles does not necessarily tell the age of the whiskey. One example given by the expert is Macallan 12 and Macallan 18. The Macallan 18 is not Macallan 12 aged for another six years. Contrary to what is believed, the number indicated in the bottle means that in their particular blend, the youngest whiskey is 18 years old and 12 years old—both coming from different blends.
Another expert said that an older whiskey does not mean it tastes better than a younger one. Some factors affect the whiskey’s taste, such as the type and condition of the place where the whiskey matures. The barrel where the whiskey is aged is also a factor in developing the whiskey’s character.
One expert also agreed that not all aged whiskey tastes better. The taste of a whiskey from how it was made from the beginning affects the taste even if you age it for a long time. Aging a poorly made whiskey for fifteen years will not change the flavor. You will have an intense, poorly made whiskey in the end. A well-made young whiskey would be better in comparison to the poorly made old-aged whiskey.
What to look for when stocking the shelf at a bar?
There are different ways on how to stock a shelf in a bar. As one expert has suggested, it depends on what bar you have. If it is a whiskey-focused bar, you can showcase a range of styles such as Irish, Canadian, American, Scottish, Japanese, etc. If you have a cocktail bar, choose the types of whiskey that can be used for mixing.
Another expert said that a variety of well-made products is what should be stocked on shelves. When you shelve whiskeys, you can showcase whiskeys from around the globe or store them according to their grains. You can arrange and stock your whiskeys on what you want your customers to see first. Some customers would look for familiar brands and types, and some would look for interesting types or the country where they came from. Stocking your whiskey depends on how you want to market your products.
What are some young whiskeys that are interesting to have?
There are plenty of young whiskeys that are available in the market today. One is Oran, a highland Scotch whiskey that has good taste. Another is Highland Park, a single malt Scotch whiskey that’s aromatic and exceptional in taste. Bourbon is one classic whiskey that people still love to consume.
Some people will prefer properly aged whiskey for its taste and aroma. Some will settle for younger whiskeys that have undergone modern process aging and bottling. No matter its age, a whiskey will always be everyone’s favorite as long as it was made correctly and aged properly.