Does it really matter ?
Single malt whisky is becoming more and more thought off as a luxuary commodity, we go to the shop and look online in order to browse the shelves for our favourite whisky or that next purchase.. There is whisky ranging from 10 to 40 years old, all the ones you normally buy but then you spot that one with the strange name, wait a minute where is the age? Who knows what’s in this bottle, will it be any good ? Should I buy it ? … We kind of know what we are getting when it has an age statement on it, if it is 10 years old or 18 then it has to be good ! Or does it.. Yes we know that a 10 yo whisky has to have whisky that is over 10 years old, but that does not guarantee quality, but it does give us an insight into what we can expect.. So if it has a 40yo age statement then that liquid must be fantastic ! Wrong again, it is rare and that is why it is expensive but it does not guarantee it will be good. So what’s wrong with just having a fancy name instead and does it really matter ? Many will tell you it does, most of them will be the die hard long term drinker/ collectors who don’t want or like change.. Todays market though is looking for the next generation drinker, the old school drinker is already hooked on buying the product so this is where the fancy name comes in. Trendy bars and the new mix masters ” bar tenders ” don’t always care what age the whisky is, some do of course, but they just want some fancy names on the shelf in order to sell it. The trendy people buying the cocktails and tall glasses don’t care about age, they want something that sounds flash, they want to be trendy. This though is not the only reason fancy names are coming in, it is also to help cover up the lack of mature stocks the distilleries find themselves with. In the 1970s, 80s and early 90s there was plenty of spare whisky, sales were steady and releasing aged stocks was not a problem, but today distilleries don’t have the stocks to compete with the growing bubble that is the whisky world of today. The distilleries can not keep up with demand and so they had to do something, they either sold younger whisky by age or give it some fancy name, the slight problem is too many people are hung up on the thought older whisky is better.. It was probably easier to give it a fancy name and pitch it to the next generation.. whatever they did it would have caused uproar..
Distilleries are getting bigger and production is full on, the future is rosey as they say, so will age statements come back ?.. probably .. Will our whisky change in quality due to fancy names ? It shouldn’t ! Will it get younger ? Yes I think it probably will.. Does it really matter if it has a fancy name or an age statement ? No not really.. It’s just another way to sell whisky, and after all that’s what it is all about.. What does matter is if the companies behind the whisky try to rip us the buyer off, the worry is they will give us whisky that is younger and raise the costs, this is where the problem comes in..,it’s called ripping off your customer.. DONT DO IT !! If you put out poor quality whisky then no one will buy it .. If you put out sub standard whisky and raise the price again no one will but it.. Your customers should come first not the increase in price.. We all understand your in business to make money but don’t piss off those that give you your profits ! I am sure many of the companies will just sit behind their big desks and simply ignore what the general public has to say, churn out some crap with a fancy name and expect us dumb asses to rush out and give our hard earned cash in order to drink this.. Think again ! There will also be those companies that will give us quality malt at a fair price and hope we the intelligent customer flock to buy their bottles.. And that we will, quality at a fair price is all any of us want.. Look after your customer and we will look after your sales..
So the problem is not NAS, the problem is younger whisky priced as a premium whisky.. Unfortunately I’m afraid we will just have to get used to the fancy names, the trendy new labels and even the smaller bottles.. the whisky world is changing constantly, it has to, NAS is only the latest trend, it is here to stay so you better get used to it as who knows what is next..