If you’re still selecting your whiskies based on its age statement, then you might be:
a) possibly old fashioned
b) kinda boring
c) somewhat clueless
d) all of the above
A whisky isn’t great just because there’s an age-statement on its label, it’s a whole stew of factors, and only one of which is how long it has slept in a barrel. You should drink a whisky by flavour, not by its age. And here are some NSA (no-age statement) whiskies we think you should get to know.
The Macallan Edition No.2
The second in the Edition series, the focus – as always with The Macallan – is on the wood, and brought to fruition through a special collaboration. Bob Dalgarno, The Macallan’s Master Whisky Maker, worked with the Roca Brothers (of award-winning resto El Cellar de Can Roca) to handpick seven different cask types (all from Spanish bodegas, naturally) to create a harmonious and balanced whisky.
At 48.2% ABV it’s richer and fuller than most age statement whiskies from the house, and the result is a rich and spicy spirit with loads of dried fruity flavours including figs, berries, apples, oranges, vanilla, toffee and ginger.
We don’t talk about launch parties per se that much (unless it sucks donkey balls), but this creative event is well worth a mention. Pastry Chef Janice Wong created a wonderland of treats to showcase the flavour profiles of Edition No. 2. Almost everything in the saccharine paradise was edible and delightful, from the mushrooms made of toffee caramel, to yuzu gumballs, to dehydrated grapes injected with reduced balsamic, and the Christmasy white coated chestnut choux (above). Not by coincidence, Wong also had a short working stint with the Roca Brothers years back. Serendipitous.
The Edition No. 1 (above) is no slouch either. It’s made from eight distinct European and American oak casks and leans towards a more citrusy profile. The Macallan Edition No. 1 is available for S$190, The Macallan Edition No.2 at S$198 (both before taxes).
Bruichladdich Octomore 07.3
The Hebridean distillery does a fine line of NSA whiskies, even its flagship The Classic Laddie is a creamy and refreshing delight without the burden of age. On our previous road trip piece we wrote about the brand’s provenance, but here the focus is on Octomore, the world’s most heavily peated whisky series. The new iteration is Octomore 07.3, and at 169PPM (7.1 was a powerful 208 Parts Per Million) isn’t as peated but is as gloriously experimental, salty and sweet. You’ll taste the fruits and floral flavours, but the peat will linger long after your dram is finished.
Auchentoshan (‘the field of the corner’) is an evocative name, and brand of whisky, from the Scottish Lowlands. There are two NAS whiskies we wanna highlight: The Auchentoshan Three Wood single malt whisky has been matured in three different cask types, moving from American Bourbon to Spanish Oloroso Sherry – and finally Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. Three Wood is a rich, complex whisky with incredible toffee and sherry oak flavours – a particular favourite with the Parched team.
The American Oak uses first fill North American oak casks that are perfect for maturation. Where once they held bourbon, years of sweet sleep reveals sweet aromas of vanilla and coconut with layers of citrus fruit.
The latest New Malt Order campaign encourages you to get creative with your whisky drinking, by using the brand’s range of spirits to make cocktails. Its signature hints of citrus, nuttiness, sweetness and spiciness from the whisky’s maturation in bourbon, oloroso sherry and Pedro Ximenez casks makes it ideal for cocktails. The Three Wood, for instance, goes very well with coconut, while the American Oak works well with grapefruit.
The Glenlivet Kinrossie Single Cask Edition
Limited, yes, only 250 bottles in existence. Drawn from a single Hogshead cask picked for its exceptional quality from the house’s inventory, this has been bottled after 15 years of maturation, at 60.4% cask strength and without chill filtration to offer the purest expression of The Glenlivet style, providing the closest experience possible of drinking a dram straight from the cask. S$400, if you can find it.
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