I started blogging just for fun, I enjoy writing and the Whisky Apocalypse was a fun way to remember the various gaming/drinking sessions as well as little tasting notes from the WA nights out.
I mention this because now I’m getting more hits and some back and forth correspondence asking for advice on choosing whisky I feel it’s important to remind people that when I write anything regarding a whisky I’m doing it as if it’s the same handful of friends as from five years ago, which in fairness sometimes it still is.
This moves me on to what I’m really here to discuss and that is NAS or non age statement whisky which must be the most hotly contested issue in whisky circles that I’ve seen in a long time if not ever.
I’m going to assume you know what NAS whiskies are because I’ve written about them before, as have everyone else, and to be honest I’m not really here to discuss the issue again what I am here to talk about is honesty.
Honesty from everyone, bloggers, journalists and the industry all matter, if I was spinning out some shit because I was earning a few quid out of it I’d be lying to the handful of real friends I have in the world as well as anyone else who’s reading this, and I thank you if you are.
And now for everyone else, the industry should be a little bit more honest about what they’re selling if age statements are good enough to make money then younger whiskies should be explained and not just have a “Special sexy reserve” label because no one is falling for it, unless they are of course.
But there is something else going on here, a nasty little clique is building up a head of steam deriding NAS statement whiskies in the same way many deride blends or chill filtered a “I’m better than you” attitude and it’s really turning me off the whisky community.
Barrel quality is becoming as equally as important as the age of the whisky, you have any whisky aged for twenty years but if its barrel has been over used or perhaps poorly reconditioned then you’ll get a far inferior whisky than a five year old in a brilliant barrel.
I’ve come to this conclusion because whilst on my quest to find the perfect blend I’ve been drinking over versions of blends you can still get today, White Horse, Johnnie Walker Red and Black Label for example and it’s startling how different the whisky is today and trust me it was better back in the seventies and eighties because less people were drinking whisky and so there were more high quality barrels knocking about, not so much now and this is an important fact when talking up or down a whisky.
Of course some firms will knock out sub standard whisky and if you’re unlucky enough to end up with a bottle then bad luck as I know there are people out their who’ll say nice things about a whisky to get free shit when they should be being honest but remember you can always mix it with Ginger ale or Coke or whatever else because even if it’s bad it’s not going to be undrinkable, I have only come across one whisky in over twenty years of drinking whisky that I deemed undrinkable, one, in the hundreds I’ve tried over the years.
Drink what you like, enjoy what you’re drinking and drink like a booze hound let out on licence.