Independent Bottler's Challenge: Shome Mishtake, Shurely?!
Just been perusing the results of the Independent Bottler's Challenge in this month's issue and something's not quite right.
While we're always delighted at winning medals for our bottlings, it seems that our Silver Medal for Elements of Islay might be misleading.
Unfortunately the feature doesn't say which of the three Elements of Islay bottlings won the award, but I'm afraid that whichever it was, the medal has been awarded in the wrong category: Islay 19 Years Plus.
The Elements range are all no-age-statement bottlings (the marketing phrase for this is now 'multi-vintage' apparently, but I'll stick with what I know). I'm not at liberty to reveal the exact ages of the casks that went into the Elements bottlings, but I don't think it will surprise too many of the readers of this forum if I say that for the purposes of this competition, under the laws whereby the age of a whisky is determined by the youngest cask vatted, all of the Elements range would be in the 12 years old and under category.
That makes the medal all the more welcome, but I just thought I should clear this up in case anyone is led to believe from the article that the Elements range were over 19 years of age. We really don't want people to buy them expecting a typical long-aged Islay and then being disappointed or accusing us of false advertising.
Also, on looking more closely I saw that there was something else wrong with the 19 years old Islay category awards- the Bronze medal was won by Caol Ila 1995. I can understand how the lack of an age statement on the Elements range might lead to confusion on which category to put them into, but I'm stumped as to how a 1995 malt can win an award in the over 19yo category (unless the vintage is a typo?).
And finally, if the Gold Medal winner in this category (Finlaggan Old Reserve) is really over 19 years old then that has to be the bargain of the century as it costs just over twenty quid. Shome mishtake, shurely? Can anyone shed any light on this?