What’s so special about old whiskeys and why do we crave them so badly? First off they are extremely limited. As we all know, as whiskey ages, there is less and less in the barrel as the Angels take their share and the Devil takes his. Secondly they can be extremely expensive. Bottles can go for more than I paid for my first house, heck even more than I paid for my current house.
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Last October single bottle of Macallan Fine scotch that is 60 years old sold at auction for $1.9 million. No my house isn’t even close to that. With that though, does old whiskey taste better. In my opinion it doesn’t. There are fine lines of what the age of a whiskey needs to be in my mind. While a 20 year old scotch is great, a 10 year old bourbon to me is great. Just like a 3-4 year old Texas whiskey can be great. It all depends on that regions climate as I have state many times in the past.
This week Jim and I discussed that while sipping on two older bourbons. A Knob creek 15 yr and a Elijah Craig 18 yr. Both are fine bourbons, but the age didn’t make a deference. Sure they both had those oak characteristics that you come to expect from Kentucky bourbons of this age, but they lacked in the proof. They both also had that ting of bitterness. What we crave as whiskey drinkers the most is what we cannot have. That’s human nature right? That’s a sin right?
I want a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23 yr, just like everyone else. I’m even willing to pay MSRP, but the thing is I know that there are probably better wheated bourbons out there for a lot less. I’m also not going pay black market prices (secondary). Maybe one day I will get my hands on this elusive bottle but until then I will gladly reach and get bottles in the 10 yr range that we love so much. Now if you see Jim and I out at a bar and want to buy us a dram of old, expensive whiskey, rest assured that we won’t be rude. We will gladly drink a wonderful dram with you and kindley say thank you with a smile.
So with that grab your self the oldest bottle on the shelf and pour a nice tall dram and listen as Jim and I take you on another adventure down The Bourbon Road discussing older bourbons. Cheers
Mike (Big Chief)
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