Glenlivet has recently decided to drop it’s 12 year old age stated Single Malt for a non age statement whisky, Glenlivet are not the first to move away from age statement and they won’t be the last and it’s starting to get right on my tits.
When we buy whisky we are buying into a small slice of history, this is a liquid which has laid in a warehouse untouched for years until one day the beautiful drink we know as whisky is poured from the barrels and bottled and sold to us and that is part of the mystery and the joy of drinking whisky surely?
Whisky is expensive for three reasons, firstly it is expensive because of the huge amount of tax placed on it by Revenue and Customs, it’s not fair but I guess there isn’t much we can do about that is there?
Next there is the skilled workforce at the distillery who make and care for our beloved drink and then there is the waste or the Angel’s share. (Yes I know there are more people taking their cut but let’s not get too bogged down in it eh?)
When spirit is put into wooden casks for maturation two things happen, first the spirit mixes slowly with itself and the flavours of the wood to create our beautiful drink and secondly the spirit evaporates into nothing costing the producer more as the years go by.
This Angel’s share is why we pay so much for aged whisky and that’s fine by me and that’s why distilleries place so much providence on the age of their bottled whisky.
Non Aged Statement whisky could be pretty much anything that is legally defined as whisky and in my opinion is now being promoted to sell us young and often inferior whisky but still at age statement whisky prices and that’s what gets on my nerves.
Whisky is a gamble, you can read all the reviews in the world, you can read the label but at the end of the day whisky is such a personal thing that it’s important that we know what we’re buying to give us as consumers the best chance of hitting the jackpot.
I know, because I’ve drank whisky for twenty years that certain whiskies are worth buying but often when I’m taking a punt on a bottle I’ll aim for something between ten and eighteen years, it’s my opinion but for me certain whiskies age better at different times so I know what to buy but with non age statement whiskies you could be buying anything which makes it even more confusing which isn’t fair on consumers and frankly is a fucking con.
Now, I own several Single Malt non age statement whiskies and some are brilliant the Talisker Storm is superb as is the Bowmore Small batch reserve both presents but here’s the thing, the Storm is forty quid, it’s the same price as the standard ten year old, why? it’s not going to be ten years old because let’s be honest if it was it would say it.
Come on whisky industry, don’t rip off your punters because if you then eventually people will leave you.