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Younger = Better?

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Younger = Better?

Postby Dubois » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:54 pm

You might prefer some younger expressions compared to their older brothers. Share your experience...!

As for me, I prefer by far Caol Ila 12 Yrs compared to Caol Ila 18 Yrs.
Last edited by Dubois on Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby rthomson » Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:57 pm

Laphroaig 10 wins over the Laphroaig 15 for me.

Cheers,
Ron
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Postby bamber » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:04 pm

Nice idea :)

Agree about the Caol Ila.

Few others:

Ardbeg 10yo vs. Ardbeg 17yo
HP 18yo vs. HP 25yo

Old Rip Van Winkle 10yo vs. Pappy Van Winkle 20yo
Weller 7yo antique vs. Weller 12yo (both very good though)
Wild Turkey 10yo (101 Russel Reserve) vs. Wild Turkey 12yo
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:11 pm

I kinda plumb for young versus old more often than not but it is not a hard fastened rule. If I like it I like it... simple as that.

Some of the more potent whiskies I prefer untamed by age 8) ... i.e Laphroaig10 & QC, Talisker 10 and I'd love to taste a Lagavulin 10yo Ob if there was such a thing i know there is a 12 CS which I've yet to try but will get around to it though. But I prefer all these to the older siblings up to 18years. After that money comes into play and I start crying. HP 25 is wonderful but I just can't afford it too often but i do prefer 12 over the 18.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:33 pm

Pulteney 12 beats Pulteney 17
Rosebank 10 reigns supreme
Glenmorangie 10 reigns supreme

I agree about the Laphroaig and Ardbeg examples - although Ardbeg 1977 beats Ardbeg 10.
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Postby Dubois » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:38 pm

Just remembered another one :

Glenlivet 12 Year Old beats Glenlivet 18 Year Old
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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:53 pm

I had a huge crush on Cindy for ages, but ultimately found that her younger sister, Mary Beth, was more my style.

Oh...whisky....

It seems to me a lot of this is about expectation. Younger expressions tend to be more attention-grabbing and accessible. A 12yo is like a well-crafted pop tune; the 18 is Dizzy Gillespie; the 25 is a late Beethoven piano sonata. (Signatory Vintage Islay 5yo Cask Strength is death metal.) Lots of people like pop music, and that's fine. The others may require a little more attention to appreciate, but reward one with greater depth.

Still, that's probably not what Mr From-The-Wood is talking about...certainly there are older expressions that just seem to fall flat compared to their younger siblings. But I can't think of any that are definitively so. They are different. I think it rare that a distillery releases anything that is intended to be simply an older version of the standard expression; they are usually meant to be different whiskies altogether. So it's not unnatural, I guess, that one might prefer one to another, regardless of age.

Ah, I've thought of one...I prefer Balvenie 15 to 25. But if I could afford it, I'd be more than happy to give a full chance to a bottle of the latter--I could easily change my mind.

Sorry if I seem argumentative...just thinking out loud.
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Postby Aidan » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:37 pm

Midleton 25 is supposed to be better than Midleton 26...
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Postby rthomson » Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:41 pm

I think your analogy gets to the heart of the matter. There are those that would describe Beethoven's later sonatas as the 18yo compared to, say, "Night in Tunisia" being the 25yo. The appreciation is highly subjective. Most who post here judge each expression for its individual merits. Still, it's an enjoyable topic to throw about.
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Postby Virginia Gentleman » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:51 pm

I prefer the Glenmorangie 10 over the 15 and 18. I also prefer the standard Connemara over the 12.

Scott
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Postby Jan » Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:55 pm

I think I usually prefer the slightly older expressions...

Ardbeg 17 over 10
Hp 18 over 12
Talisker 18 over 10

... not to say I don't like the above 10/12yo olds, I like them a lot, I just like the older ones better...

Cheers
Jan
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Postby DramMeister » Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:17 pm

Dubois wrote:Just remembered another one :

Glenlivet 12 Year Old beats Glenlivet 18 Year Old


No, no no

:evil:

Glenlivet 18 - fab
Glenlivet 12 - dull



Longmorn 15 beats Longmorn 25 (G&M)
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Postby Jan » Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:19 pm

DramMeister wrote:
Longmorn 15 beats Longmorn 25 (G&M)


Agreed!
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Postby PuckJunkie » Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:51 pm

Neat topic. There are several distilleries that would fit the profile if we were talking about perceived value - I love Macallan 25, for instance, but there is no way it's worth that much more than the 18. But I assume we're talking about head-to-head, and if offered both for free, I'm taking the 25. There's only a few for which I honestly prefer the younger version:

Balvenie 15 vs. Balvenie 21. I like the 21, I drink it occasionally, but usually I'd rather have the 15. And that 12 isn't too shabby either.

Talisker 10 vs. Talisker 18 or Talisker Distiller's Edition. Same here. Talisker DE is a really fine whisky, but Talisker 10 is one of my all-time favorites.

Ardbeg Uidgeadail vs. Ardbeg 17. But is that a fair comparison? Who knows what the 17 would taste like at cask strength. I haven't had the 10.

Caol Ila 12 vs. Caol Ila 18. I really like the younger CI whiskies - my favorite is actually a 9-year-old Signatory.

Maybe this doesn't have a place in a discussion geared toward single malts - or even higher-quality blends - but I have to say I far prefer JW Red to JW Black. I don't drink either very often, but I recently bought 20cl bottles of both to compare them in a scotch and soda. In an ice-cold drink, it's not even a contest. But even poured neat, Red gets the edge: it has an up-front character in its flavor that I enjoy. I don't see anything in the Black to recommend it. It bores me.

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Postby Paul A Jellis » Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:58 pm

The youngest I've had the chance to try was two days old, too young to be called whisky, but very, very good!

Cheers, Paul
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:42 am

Definitely Ardbeg Ten over the 17!
But Highland Park 18 over the 12!
And Macallan 18 over the 12 too!
Laphroaig Quarter Cask over the 10!
Lagavulin 12CS over the 16!
Old Potrero Hotalings 11y Rye over their 19th Century Rye, (just a few years old)!
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Postby les taylor » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:52 am

Bruichladdich 10 year old or 17 year old or even 1970. In this case the older expression wins every time.
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Postby kallaskander » Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:29 am

Hi there,

to go back to the starting example. I think that the best OB Caol Ila is the 55% cask strength.
Better than the 12, better than the 18 don´t know about the 25 years.

The CS does not carry an age statement. I think it is the best of the range. So what does this proof?
That the fresh new spirit is the best Caol Ila there is? Ok let´s get rid of the tiresome and cumbersome proceess of maturing whisky first! The industry will love it.

Greetings
kallaskander

PS Could well be a case of reducing cognitive dissonance like Leon Festinger describes it.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Aug 03, 2006 9:21 am

The Caol Ila example is a good one. The 12 is packed with flavour - the 18 is dull, spirity and almost completely devoid of flavour (unless it has chanhged substantially since I bought a bottle a few years ago). That doesn't mean all old Caol Ilas are in the same vein. I had a very good 20yo SMWS one last night, for example, but the 18 is just a bad malt.
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu Aug 03, 2006 10:04 am

Yes, Nick, true about the Caol Ila 18y! I heard it only spends 2 weeks on Islay, not sure if that's why it lacks depth etc. I'll admit the nose of the 18y is dynamite, but tasting it, a big letdown!
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Postby Dubois » Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:33 pm

Macallan Fine Oak 15 Yrs is much better than Macallan Fine Oak 18 Yrs. :!:
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Postby thehighking » Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:15 pm

I tend to like the older versions of most things more (e.g. Macallan 18 vs. 12, Balvenie 21 vs. 15 or 12, etc.), but one whisky that I simply cannot understand is Highland Park.

I'm sorry, but I will take the 12 over the 18 or 25...particularly given their price points.
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Postby Aidan » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:55 pm

Yes, generally I go for the older versions. I'm sure there are lots of exceptions.
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Postby Iain » Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:49 pm

Drammeister wrote "Longmorn 15 beats Longmorn 25 (G&M)"

And the OB 10 was better than the 15!

But Glen Grant 5 certainly isn't better than the 10 - imho of course.

Re older expressions - FWIW Aeneas Macdonald, whose book "Whisky" is about to be revived, wrote in 1930 that

"The best opinion holds that a whisky which has been more than fifteen years in the cask tends to deteriorate. It becomes slimy - not in every case, but frequently enough to make one treat with some degree of critical attachment the blind worship of seniority in whisky." (p126 in the 1930 edition).
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Postby kallaskander » Fri Aug 04, 2006 12:26 pm

Hi there,

other have dealt with that question, too.

http://www.maltmadness.com/mm02.html#02-08

Greetings
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Postby Admiral » Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:35 am

I chair the tasting panel for the SMWS (Australian branch), and we recently worked our way through 12 samples, ranging from a young 7yo Ardbeg up to a 33yo Glen Grant, and everything in between.

All whiskies were sampled blind, so we had no idea what was what.

When the whiskies were unmasked at the end of the night and we tallied up our scores, the whiskies that came in at 2nd and 3rd place were the 7yo Ardbeg and an 8yo Bunnahabhain.

So it would seem that these younger whiskies certainly offered more than the older whiskies that were put on the table. (1st place went to a 17yo Dalmore).

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Iain » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

I think it's a very recent idea that old = better. For example, here's a reference to The Glenlivet from one of the leading authorities of his day on sms:

David Daiches, Scotch Whisky: Its Past and Present, London, 1969, p130:

But later experience of comparing different ages and proofs leads me to believe that additional age over twelve years does not add all that much in quality, and (within limits of course) a twelve-year-old at a higher proof tastes better than an older whisky at a lower proof. But the twelve-year-old is decidedly better than anything younger

Afaik, until recently, the conventional wisdom was that most Scotch sms reaches its peak at about 8-12 years.
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Postby Bob & Jill » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

I was thumbing thru Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible and noticed his ratings for 10 & 12 year olds compared to 15-18 year olds. He too tends to give many of the younger ones a higher rating (I mentioned this in a previous post some time ago). Then the ratings go back up for the 25+ year olds. I get the impression something interesting—that is not exactly positive---is going on with the whisky during the 15-18 year period of aging. I wonder what it could be?
Jill

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Postby Bob & Jill » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

Unrekated topic:

I noticed this site was "down" this morning. Now, when I just sent my post, the date for it is Fri Aug 11th. I could have sworn it was Sat the 5th---how did we lose a week so fast?
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Postby Whiskana » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

Bob & Jill wrote:Unrekated topic:

I noticed this site was "down" this morning. Now, when I just sent my post, the date for it is Fri Aug 11th. I could have sworn it was Sat the 5th---how did we lose a week so fast?
Jill
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So the time flies...Image

Forum was down yesterday also...Image
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Postby Admiral » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

David Daiches, Scotch Whisky: Its Past and Present, London, 1969, p130:

But later experience of comparing different ages and proofs leads me to believe that additional age over twelve years does not add all that much in quality, and (within limits of course) a twelve-year-old at a higher proof tastes better than an older whisky at a lower proof. But the twelve-year-old is decidedly better than anything younger


I wonder if, at the time Daiches wrote this, there was less demand for quality casks? (99% of casks went off to be blended, and the matured whisky he was trying at the time had come out of the post-World War II years). In other words, lots of whisky was going into first-fill casks, and maturing at such a rate that the whiskies were peaking at 12 years old. Being first fill casks, any more than 12-15 years, and perhaps some of them were getting too woody and past it?

Today, however, global demand for whisky dictates that casks have to be re-used far more than they may have been in the past. Much of the stock now being released as single malt is now maturing in second and third-fill casks, which means the rate of maturation is slower, and some of these whiskies may actually be peaking at older ages, i.e. 15 to 25?

Just speculation, of course, but the theory holds up! :)

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Di Blasi » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

Yes, I couldn't get in last night, or today. And now I've missed almost a week! Too make things worse, my responses to pms aren't being sent, just sitting there in the outbox. Hopefully things will be fixed soon.
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Young or Old

Postby dram_time » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

I certainly find the younger malts are more to my preference, as I have said before; I can get more flavours, taste’s and ultimately more enjoyment from a younger dram as opposed to an older one.

That’s not to say I don’t drink older expressions, because I do and I enjoy them as well. I just prefer the freshness of a young malt.

Dt
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Postby Iain » Sun Aug 06, 2006 1:00 pm

Hmm... it's now Monday 14th, not Sunday 6th. WM has developed an artificial ageing process for posts? But I don't know that this one is any better for being 8 days older :D
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Postby kallaskander » Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:01 am

Hi there,

that many whiskies reach their peak at 8-12 years might be the case. Better would be to say that the vattings that become standard OBs usually do. The peak of a single cask can vary and can well be reached at 25 or 30 years in some cases. Why else should be some casks be left alone for those spans of time?
On the other hand it is no pure coincidence that Lagavulin is bottled at 16 years Longmorn at 15 many a Clynelish is bottled at 14 year by independents as is the OB. And of almost every malt we can mention there are superb older bottlings which are cloud No. 9 stuff.
A classical example for the contrary is Glenfiddich which becomes really good at the age of 18 years and beyond. Old Glen Grants old Strathislas Old Glen Keiths are often fabulous and the 10-12 or 15s are not very exciting.
In OBs it has to do with the lack of old casks to prep the 12 OB up, it has to do with advances in distilling technique it has to do with harder competition among distilleries it has to do with subtle and overall changes therefore I can not share the view that younger malts are superior to older malts.
It is so that an older malt is more expensive and therefore the expectations are much higher than when we buy a cheaper standard OB. And then we find that the high priced 40 year old Macanything or Glen Something which everybody raves about just - tastes of whisky and does not take us to realms of flavour and taste nobody has ever heard of. That after all the fuss it is just a whisky which was made some years ago but it is whisky none the less and not nectar.

Greetings
kallaskander



Greetings
kallaskander
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