Whisky like any brown spirit has more character than any white spirit (e.g., Tequila, gin), because their are distilled at a lower strength (about 70% ABV for Whisky vs 90-95% ABV for Tequila), so most of other flavours are basically removed. Also white spirits are not matured and can't gain additional complexity.
1) Re: spirit str of tequila. Well, it depends on the tequila. The bulk companies distill high up there, and then add water to dilute, whereas boutique distilleries distill exactly to 38-40% and bottle this. There are strict rules about the strength you can distill tequila - I'm not sure at this moment what the specifics are.
2) Re: white spirits can't gain additional
complexity. Well, I guess that's true. But it doesn't mean that they are not complex to begin with. Feel free to try El Tesoro, Herradurra, or Casa Noble Blancos. They do have some complexity, with flavours such as herbs, pepper, and citrus comming out in droves. Feel free to try Tanqueray 10 as a complex white spirit although some of the complexity comes from herbs added. I've also heard about aged white rum
, where the coulor from aging is removed by chill-filtering. Not sure how this tastes, but responces to it have been very good from Ed Hamilton's website (http://www.ministryofrum.com
In theory I would agree with the ideas you put forward. Generaly spirits that are not barrel aged can miss an additional layer of complexity coming from the oak casks. But there are interesting exceptions. I've had an absolutly fantastic Mezcal at 48% abv that had loads of character and complexity.
I don't know alot about gin, but I would guess there is room for complexity to be present with all them herbs (and spices I think) added. Vodka connisouers remark that this one tastes better than that one, although there are degrees of difference. With the recent explosion of premium vodkas out there, some of it may be conspicuous consumption. But I think people comming from cultures where vodka is drunk neat could probably tell good quality from poor.
Just my take on things.