MISTAKE NUMBER FIVE
Using age statement as the sole determiner of quality
Don’t be fooled into thinking that a 43-year-old is objectively better than a 3-year-old
At the Society, we think an age statement printed on the bottle is important. It delivers transparency of offering, and keeps an honest approach to what you’re enjoying in the glass.
But I don’t believe that focusing solely on age statement as a determiner of quality or complexity is correct.
I was lucky enough to be part of a session last year at The Vaults with five whiskies presented to us in a blind tasting session.
The third whisky in the lineup was a dark, rich, and truly thrilling whisky. Was it a Vaults Collection from distillery 39? From 24? Maybe even from distillery 1?
Nope, it was Cask No. 136.2: Paradise in a paradis, which was a whopping 3-years-old from a first fill oloroso hogshead – only just legally able to be called Scotch whisky. It had incredible balance and complexity at only 3-years-old, and had also just won a Gold medal in the Independent Bottler’s Challenge for 2018. Would I dismiss it for being so youthful? No way!
I love the 30+ year old casks we bottle and I love the 3+ year old casks. Both are remarkable quality, so don’t use the age statement to be fooled into thinking that a 43-year-old is objectively better than a 3-year-old. They offer different dramming experiences, no matter how you enjoy your whisky.