I’m not to sure what I think about the NAS (No Age Statement) craze at the moment. Sure the number is not important, but the taste is. So why did the scotch (marketing) guys were indoctrinating us (the consumer) with the slogans that “age matters”, and “older is better” and so on. We’ve come to live with age statements, and now they want to make us believe that “age doesn’t matter”. NAS gives them the freedom to blend without restrictions, any age goes as long as its 3yo, otherwise they can’t call it Whisky, and thát still is a word they would like to use on the labels.
We are now living a while with NAS bottlings, and yes, the Whiskies got younger, but not necessarily better, if you ask me. And by the way, I still prefer age statements. I’m more inclined to buy something that is good and has an age statement, like Benromach 5yo than something that doesn’t have an age statement like Tomatin Legacy or Laphroaig Select. But maybe that’s only me. In the end I do believe that age matters.
Time for another 18yo, this “Extremely Rare” Glenmorangie. What’s up with the funny name? It already has an age statement and it seems to be a blatant lie, since I see this in every shop and nobody tells me there is a shortage of this. Stop it! Great packaging though (it’s from their “Prestige Range” you know), and for an 18yo it’s not very expensive to boot. The whisky was aged for 15yo in Bourbon Casks and finished for three years in Oloroso Casks.
Nose: Fruity and spicy wood. Nutty and sweet. Honey. Hint of smoke and cask toast. Dried sweet orange skins. Lots of sugared yellow fruits. Almond dust. Quite a full aroma for a Glenmorangie. Reine Claude’s, wax, some smoke again and vanilla. Chocolate.
Taste: Matches the nose. Marzipan and lots of yellow fruits. Figs and toffee with the sweetness kept in check. Waxy as older malts tend to get (nice!). Easily drinkable, immediately nice. Not a lot of wood actually. The wood impairs milk chocolate, yet hardly an oaky sensation. Just like the Highland Park, 43% is too low, 46% probably would have been better. There is enough going on in this one to not let it get hot. Especially the finish, again just like the Highland Park 18yo, is the weakest link.
You see that age matters. Just like the 18yo Highland Park, this again is a perfect example how Whiskies do need quite some ageing, especially in a cold climate as Scotland has. Although there are some nice examples of NAS Whiskies, I do like my 18yo’s