Not to say that you're wrong by any means, but to look at things from another direction....
kallaskander wrote:I would venture to say that it is all about getting all the market will bear.
Maybe it's because I'm American, but my immediate reaction to this is...So? It's a business, isn't it? (And I try so
hard to be open-minded.) As in any business in which esthetics are involved, I do believe it is worthwhile to support those independent producers who do what they do because they love it. But if there were no profit, not even they would do it at all.
We all love to hate the big multinational drinks companies, but in the end you have to simply accept them for what they are. Outrage that some bean-counter shut Port Ellen should be tempered by the probability that many more distilleries would long have been shut if not for these companies. (And I know that's a highly arguable point, and have no doubt someone will argue it. What I don't think is arguable is that the business would be different; better or worse, and in what ways, we could argue about forever.)
kallaskander wrote:And by the way haven´t we all realised that the standard malts between the age of 10 and 15 years do taste differently nowadays because the same big companies have deemed it to be right to cut down on the age of the whiskies used for a standard single malt? In a let´s say 12 year old malt used to be barrels of 20 or even 25 years of age. No more the window, the span of ages used for standards is about age plus 5 years at the most I would say.
Am I wrong in thinking that the biggest reason for that is that the industry was in a huge slump 20-25 years ago, and hardly anyone was producing much? When we all got interested in malts, ther was a pretty large surplus of older stocks; there may be again in fifteen or twenty years. But the early '80's were lean years for whisky production.
The second reason, perhaps, is the great increase in demand for older single malts in the last ten or fifteen years. That's us. Why would any rational businessman pour a barrel into a vatting for a standard 10yo vatting when he can get $100 or more for a bottle? Do we not now appreciate that 25yo bottle considerably more than we would if it were buried in a standard bottling? Generally speaking, that is.
kallaskander wrote:So why would one want to buy and taste a malt that has not been up to the standards of its creator in the first place after it has taken on aromas and flavours it was never meant to have in the first place? Riddle me that!
Because the end result is interesting and tastes good. The proof is in the pudding. It's absolutely true, no doubt, that no one ever said "This is a really great whisky--let's put a finish on it!" By the same token, the early 19th-century distiller would likely never have said "Let's put this in a bourbon barrel for fifteen years!" When you say it's an attempt to make substandard whisky saleable, that sounds bad; but if you say it's an attempt to make a lackluster whisky interesting and drinkable, that sounds okay. It's the same thing.
kallaskander wrote:So why I would like to ask the audience should we put up with to put it mildly whiskies that are just not so good and spend money on them?
Well, none of want to do that! But we all have a different idea of what constitutes "good" and "not so good". Somebody
likes those wine finishes! Somebody's buying them, and it doesn't wash with me to say that Pernod-Ricard (or whoever) tricked
them. Nobody says that you have to like them, Kallaskander; and to paraphrase Yogi Berra, if nobody wants to buy it, how are you gonna stop 'em? The market will take care of this business, one way or the other. (There I go being American again.) And in a forum like this, Frodo can ask for opinions on any given product, and get a wide range of answers from people whose taste he respects. --Although he hasn't got one yet.