This week on The Whisky Topic, we're joined by John Quinn. John Quinn is the Global Brand Ambassador for Tullamore Dew. We speak about the Irish Whiskey industry, through it's recent history (70s to today), and taste a deconstruction of Tullamore Dew as well as something new!Read More
In an interview with Jane Conner, the director of Maker’s Mark Private Select program, whsky.buzz learned additional information around the recently announced program. Maker’s Mark is getting ready to roll out a program where whisky lovers can, literally, choose their own adventure. In this case, there will be a total of 1,001 unique outcomes, and program members will have a preview of some of these different taste profiles.Read More
The Whisky Topic is on its sixteenth episode! I see podcasting as the equivalent to DVD commentary found on many blu-ray and DVD movies (I didn't invent this concept, I think Dan Benjamin may have). This week’s episode is an excellent example. I would rarely write about any of the tastings that I host—it would make for a boring read. I do think, though, it makes for an interesting listen.
This week, Jamie and I are joined by Glenford Jameson to discuss a blind tasting I hosted at my place a few weeks back. I’ve stressed it is important to maintain trust with your audience when doing blind tastings. It insults your audience if you pair two dynamically different whiskies in hopes of ‘tricking’ them. However, I made an exception. I asked a group of friends I regularly drink whisky with to participate in a ‘tricky’ blind tasting. They didn’t know what they were up for, but I broke all the rules. I served them:
- slightly different versions of the same whisky
- the same whisky
- the same mash bill and age statement, but different label
This week on The Whisky Topic, Jamie and I talk about scotch. Undoubtably, the discussion leads to no-age statement whisky and the current state of whisky from Scotland.
When I wrote about this topic originally, I noted that it’s not just about age-statements. It’s about the quality of the barrels used. Just yesterday, Oliver Klimek wrote about how Laphroaig 10 has changed over the years. Stylistically speaking, I’ve always been a far bigger fan of the Laphroaig Quarter Cask and the 18 over the 10. The 10 has always been a touch too mild, and while that can be good, it’s not really the type of drink I want from Laphroaig.
But this brings us back to the point that age-statements are such a small part of the picture when it comes to good whisky. First-fill, second-fill, third-fill, fourth-fill. These aspects of barrel maturation matter far more. That’s not to say all good scotch is made in first-filled barrels. It’s not. It does, however, mean that quality of the barrels matters far more than how long the whisky has been sitting around in those barrels.
The problem with no-age statement whisky isn't the lack of age statement (though that is a part of it). It's an issue of trust and credibility. For the distilleries that are selling NAS whisky, it's an issue they're going to need to address.
Ultimately, it’s about palate and flavour. Check-out the podcast for a deeper explanation. Meanwhile, I’m going to see if I can find myself a Laphroaig 18. It’s an incredible drink!