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Issue 69 - Older and better?

Whisky Magazine Issue 69
January 2008


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Older and better?

In this issue we decided to focus on the increasing number of premium aged whiskies that are being released and how they are viewed by the drinking public. Who better to give us the answer than Whisky Magazine's online community at

With the rise in interesting premium aged whiskies, is older necessarily better?

MATTHEW: If I learned one thing at Whisky Live Glasgow, it is that older and more expensive does not always indicate better.

I am referring specifically to one recently released bottling.

At £950 a pop, I was looking forward to this immensely. This should be the finest Scotch I had ever taken. Buckets of sherry, great colour and nose, rich taste, but hang on? What's going on here? Somebody has taken my lovely whisky and stuffed a load of wood shavings in it. Truly unpleasant.

In my opinion the length of time in wood had completely killed whatever qualities the whisky might have had. If you want something to taste like this, but are worried that it might break the bank, you can save yourself the money and suck a pencil instead.

JONATHAN: True, older is not necessarily better, just like a higher price doesn't necessarily mean the whisky is great, or will be to your liking. What makes up the price of a whisky is brought about by many various factors, and not just because people might be willing to spend more on an aged whisky, but also a limited supply of that whisky. This doesn't mean the whisky is better than a younger expression from that same distillery, there are just fewer bottles to go around for example, but perhaps it's not good enough and shouldn't go around at all. Some people don't care for aged whiskies, and are willing to spend more on younger expressions. It truly depends on the...

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