Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Superaged spirits: How old is too old for whiskey, gin, and chartreuse? - Slate Magazine

I found this article recently and thought I had to share it with everyone. Having attended a few whiskey tastings in my day and drank a few whisk(e)ys aged 30 and over, a lot of this came as no surprise. While it was fun to drink some aged spirits, I can't say that any of them really blew my socks off. The 30 year Canadian Club comes to mind. While it was indeed expensive and it sure was smooth and oaky, that's about it. No wow. Just "Hm, that's what a $200/bottle whisky tastes like."

Younger rye's are tasty. And 16 - 25 seems to be where Scotch gets awesome. Thoughts? What are your experiences?

We might need to take better notes at whiskey club :)

Superaged spirits: How old is too old for whiskey, gin, and chartreuse? - Slate Magazine:

'via Blog this'


DrChako said...

My sister sent me a bottle of 35 year old anCnoc (middle cap intentional) from her recent trip to Scotland. The review of the limited edition said that it tastes quite young, which I thought was funny. It was (is) delicious and perhaps even better than my fav (Macallan 18).

There was a bottle of 1940s vintage Macallan at the Wynn that I intended to try if I won the WSOP event I was playing (I didn't), but I did not expect it to blow me away. It was more of an experience than anything. At $650 a shot, it could never live up to the hype.

IMHO, the sweet spot (pun intended) is 18-25 years old. Macallan if you please.


Astin said...

All over the place.

The 12-25 range in scotch can see all kinds of variety. But these days so many are finished differently that a direct comparison is hard.

I love the Lag 16, but the Distiller's (finished in Sherry for another year) is lesser.

Highland Park 18 is miles above the 12, and the 25 is noticeably better, but not nearly worth the price difference to the 18.

I have a bottle of the 30yr CC. Was the first time I could drink Canadian Whiskey straight. Don't think I've opened it since.

Pappy in the bourbon realm - 15 is amazing. 23 also amazing, but I like the 15 more. 12 is good too, but not mind-blowing and not significantly better than other quality bourbons.

It depends so much on who's making it. At the end of the day though, most aged whiskeys aren't worth the huge price jump from their slightly younger versions.

Then there's rum. Rum can get amazing when it gets old.

Michael M. said...

I think a lot of people tend to forget that wine and spirits are still agricultural products at base. Thus, they do have a "shelf life" that depends heavily on storage environment.

I've had a few older bourbons and a couple of older ryes I liked, but not sure I have the palate to compare them properly to their younger standard versions. I don't have enough experience yet with Scotch or Irish whisky to have any idea whether extra age is worth the extra price. I have found it wise to defer to Chako and Astin on all things libation-related. However, sign me up for any tasting sessions!

OhCaptain said...

I think we might want to consider creating a whiskey rating scale that is weighted based on price. I can name a few lower priced whiskies that make me just as happy as a higher priced variety. @Astin, I agree with the huge variety in taste/happiness/age/price spectrum. Probably a good reason to keep drinking as many of them as I can :-)

I'm not a huge fan of Glenlevit 12, but for some reason, sitting in the poker room at Aria, playing cards, it tastes extra special.