An 18-year-old whisky might be expensive, but is it worth it? Find out how ageing affects a whisky and how to appreciate a wonderful dram of a high quality aged whisky.

The value of the whisky gets enhanced further with its age. The older the whisky, the higher is its rate. It only takes a few days to distil a barrel of whisky but it takes ages for them to mature to give that unique taste.  As soon as the whisky is distilled, it gets sealed up in its barrel. Newly distilled whisky will just taste like malted barley but when it gets into the wooden barrel, the taste starts changing. Traditionally, Whiskey was stored in Oak barrels which were either toasted or charred when they were built and this leads to the creation of charcoal that filters out the raw spirit's unwanted flavors leaving behind the best of the malt.

The above process happens due to a chemical process called absorption. As you see the entire process is a tedious one but the end resultant of it is the best of the whisky that emerges out which would not only taste rich but also bring riches to its makers.

Aged whiskey is basically stored whiskey in a barrel for a long time (a decade or so). So what happens as decades pass in a Whiskey barrel? Because it stored in Whiskey barrels and the interaction between the oak and the whiskey and is one of the most interesting if not completely understood components of the whiskey production process.
The quality of the whiskey barrels is carefully monitored because the new spirit is to gain character and color from the wood in which it rests.Some casks will previously have been used to mature oloroso, fino or amontillado sherries; some will have contained bourbon and some will be oak. type's of Whiskey barrel used for maturation will have been determined by the Master Blender who is seeking a particular character and continuity of the whiskey.
Only after a minimum of three years maturation can the new make spirit be legally defined as Scotch Whisky.

It is a general opinion among whisky lovers that an aged whisky is better. It is true to some extent. There is a reason why an old whisky tastes so good. When a young whisky is poured into a barrel, the under wall surface of the barrel adsorps some of the molecules of the whisky which removes the unwanted taste of whisky. Moreover the wood of the barrel too add some flavour to the whisky which gives it the good taste that we all know. The scotch is aged in humid conditions while some whiskies are aged in dry condition. Aged whisky is generally costly and it is rightly so but if the whisky is too old it doesn't get more and more better. Once it gets all the right flavours it is not really necessary to age it more. Cheers.

Age definitely is more than just a number when it comes to whisky!

 

If the real taste of whisky came simply from a mere formula of mixes, then all whiskies would be the same. But that’s not the case. There is definitely something that some whisky makers are doing out there that others aren’t, and that is what makes their product so worthy of the price tag!

 

The first time I had a Glenfiddich 12YO, I could literally taste the difference! In the world of whisky, the older the better!

 

Aged whisky is that ‘water of life’ that has become more than delicious after aging in barrels for many, many, many years!

 

But besides just keeping your whisky untouched in a barrel locked away in some warehouse to mature, there are a lot of other factors as well that affect the final flavor of it.

 

The barrel size, the wood, the warehouse, the temperature and weather also affect the whiskey a great deal.

 

With demand for aged whisky on the rise, there are quite a few distillers out there who also rapidly age their whiskies.

 

 

The majority of the whiskies are made from corn, barley, rye and wheat and or any combination of these grains. The malt whiskey is almost always means all barley. Ageing of the whiskey is almost like a child maturing over the years. The whiskey becomes refined because of staying in the barrel for a long time, which gives it a great taste. Aging of Whiskey is a process of storing distilled spirits in wooden barrels for a specific period of time. As the volume area of the barrel is small, more and more volume of the stored whiskey gets in touch with the wood and getting refined in the process and this works better than when whisky is stored in a big volume barrel. Today, using compressed techniques, whiskey can be made taste more aged artificially. Commercially speaking, using such techniques reduce the wait time before one can taste an ultimate whiskey.

The name Whiskey is derived from The Gaelic drink Uisce Beatha which literally means ‘Water of life’.

When understanding aged whisky, it is important to know that as the whisky ages more and more, it becomes more matured. There is no rocket science here; it simply means that a more matured whisky has a more enhanced taste. Ageing is best done in barrels commonly made of Oak. Usually, scotch whiskies are generally aged for anything over 3 years. There are some select edition specials that are aged for over 50 years, which produces a distinct and classy after note. To understand it in simpler words, the more you age/mature the whisky in barrels, the more refined it tastes. Long aged whiskies are very expensive, and are generally had on special occasions.

It takes a couple of days to distil a barrel of whisky. When whiskey is first distilled, it tastes like malted barley and is crystal clear instead of golden brown in colour.

This crystal clear whiskey is then aged in wooden barrels for that golden beverage’s taste to develop. The process of aging in barrels for many, many, many years makes the whisky delicious and adds colour along with flavor to the final product.

There are two major factors that determine what it will taste are: The type of wooden barrel used and the environment the barrel is stored in. In 100 Pipers (12 years) here 12 years means that the youngest whiskey in the bottle is no less than 12 years of age.

Aging is a term that one needs to understand well when it comes to whisky. You would hear many people saying that the older the whisky, the better it is. While that is true, people mistake it for even that whiskey stored in glass bottles for years and years together. That is not aging, and no matter how long you keep bottled whiskey, its change is not going to change by much.
Aging is a process done in Oak casks after fermentation, and this is the procedure that gives whisky 80% or more of its taste and colouration. The casks could be charred or uncharred, used or unused based on the geographical style of making whisky and that is what defines the taste.

Aging is a term that one needs to understand well when it comes to whisky. You would hear many people saying that the older the whisky, the better it is. While that is true, people mistake it for even that whiskey stored in glass bottles for years and years together. That is not aging, and no matter how long you keep bottled whiskey, its change is not going to change by much.
Aging is a process done in Oak casks after fermentation, and this is the procedure that gives whisky 80% or more of its taste and colouration. The casks could be charred or uncharred, used or unused based on the geographical style of making whisky and that is what defines the taste.

Understanding aged whisky is not that big a task. Once you understand how whisky is made, the process of aging will not be a matter of confusion for you! 
Fresh distilled whisky is always clear and tastes like malted barley. Once it is kept inside a wooden barrel, things become quite different.  
When stored in traditional Oak barrels, they develop a woody flavor, or vanilla like or buttery flavor.
Ageing gives the whisky its actual whisky. With aging, the initial harshness and bitterness gets replaced by more unique flavors. When it comes to whisky, the older it is, the better, and unfortunately, also more expensive. Sigh! 

 

Some things get better with age; Whiskey is the best example to understand this fact. The older the whiskey, the better it will taste. This is one of the reasons why some people are always ready to spend any amount of money just to get aged whiskey during their weekend getaways outstation trips. In case you are a whiskey lover and want to make your next weekend memorable, go for aged whiskey and feel the difference. The moment you take its first sip, you will feel out of the world. Still don't believe me? Ask any of your friend who has done it in the past, and they will clear your doubts right away.

 

The older the whiskey, the more complex the taste and the pricier it is. Traditionally, new barrels are used to age bourbon; once they are finished, the bourbon-soaked barrels often go to scotch whiskey distillers, who let their product sit for longer to tease out the remaining flavors. And once you start getting into scotch, there’s a whole new chemical component to be reckoned with -  phenols, introduced when burning peat is used to dry the barley - which gives that type of whiskey its distinctive smoky flavor.

Old whiskeys might cost a pretty penny, but for the flavor, Pickerell recommends choosing a more middle-aged whiskey – 6 to 10 years for bourbon, and about 20 years for scotch. Any older, and you might just be paying for age, not flavorful beauty.

There is a reason why Scotch Whiskies are some of the finest and therefore some of the most expensive in the world. The reason behind this is the procedure of aging where after distillation, colourless, barely-flavoured whisky is put into oak casks or barrels for a period of three years in the EU nations and for a same or shorter time frame in different locations across the US.

Any distiller would tell you that 80% of the colouration and flavour are a result of the process of aging.

When you go to buy a bottle of whisky, you may have noticed - 8 years old, 12 years old, 18 and 21 and so on and so forth. These are the ages of the whisky but mean nothing if the whisky has been staying in glass bottles for that period. The richer tastes are imparted by the wooden oak casks for exactly a period of three years and a day (now by law in the EU nations) for the fermented malt distill to be officially called whisky......

Whiskeys mature only in the cask and not in the bottle. The "age" of a whiskey means the time between distillation and bottling.

 

“The older the better,” absolutely stands true for whiskey/whisky. Come to think of it, there must be a real good explanation for those ‘so and so’ years’ old bottles to cost a fortune!

I have always been fascinated with the concept of ‘Aged Whisky.’ But, it is not always necessary that the more aged it is, the better it tastes. Some might not like very aged whiskies at all; it is more of a personal choice than anything else.

I always wondered what it meant when I would come across a label reading ‘12YO,’ or ‘10YO.’ But now I know, and you should too. Basically, if any bottle of Scotch whisky shows an age statement like ‘10 Years Old,’ it means that the youngest whisky in the bottle is at least 10 years old.  (Important to note- a bottle of Scotch whisky must be matured for a minimum of three years.)

Scotch is usually bottled at varied ages, ranging from 3 years to 50 years.

As far as Malt whisky is concerned, it is used in blends from any age over 3 years old, but typically would be between 5 and 10 years old as malt matures more slowly than grain.

Grain whisky would be used between 3 and 5 years old in blended whisky brands. Popular 12YO blends are Johnnie Walker Black Label and Chivas Regal 12.

It is rightly said that maturity comes with age and similar is the case with whisky. Although it is fine to drink the whisky straight away but to enjoy that good taste of rich liquor, it is important to age it. So whisky becomes more refined over a period of time. Also, aged whisky is darker than unaged whisky.The important factor here is the barrel and the wood used. Based on it, a different flavour will be derived.So, if you want to enjoy a good taste and willing to spend more for it, ensure that you go for an aged whisky.

Aging is a term that one needs to understand well when it comes to whisky. You would hear

many people saying that the older the whisky, the better it is. While that is true, people

mistake it for even that whiskey stored in glass bottles for years and years together. That is

not aging, and no matter how long you keep bottled whiskey, its change is not going to

change by much.

Aging is a process done in Oak casks after fermentation, and this is the procedure that gives

whisky 80% or more of its taste and colouration. The casks could be charred or uncharred,

used or unused based on the geographical style of making whisky and that is what defines

the taste.

 

I always wondered what it meant when I would come across a label

reading ‘12YO,’ or ‘10YO.’ But now I know, and you should too. Basically,

if any bottle of Scotch whisky shows an age statement like ‘10 Years Old,’

it means that the youngest whisky in the bottle is at least 10 years old. 

(Important to note- a bottle of Scotch whisky must be matured for a

minimum of three years.)

The value of the whisky gets enhanced further with its age. The older the whisky, the higher is its rate. It

only takes a few days to distil a barrel of whisky but it takes ages for them to mature to give that unique

taste. As soon as the whisky is distilled, it gets sealed up in its barrel. Newly distilled whisky will just taste

like malted barley but when it gets into the wooden barrel, the taste starts changing. Traditionally,

Whiskey was stored in Oak barrels which were either toasted or charred when they were built and this

leads to the creation of charcoal that filters out the raw spirit's unwanted flavors leaving behind the best of

the malt.

The above process happens due to a chemical process called absorption. As you see the entire process

is a tedious one but the end resultant of it is the best of the whisky that emerges out which would not only

taste rich but also bring riches to its makers.

 

There is a reason why Scotch Whiskies are some of the finest and therefore some of the

most expensive in the world. The reason behind this is the procedure of aging where after

distillation, colourless, barely-flavoured whisky is put into oak casks or barrels for a period of

three years in the EU nations and for a same or shorter time frame in different locations

across the US.

Any distiller would tell you that 80% of the colouration and flavour are a result of the process

of aging.

When you go to buy a bottle of whisky, you may have noticed - 8 years old, 12 years old, 18

and 21 and so on and so forth. These are the ages of the whisky but mean nothing if the

whisky has been staying in glass bottles for that period. The richer tastes are imparted by

 

the wooden oak casks for exactly a period of three years and a day (now by law in the EU

nations) for the fermented malt distill to be officially called whisky.

 

A famous line by Errol Fynn that went on to become a legend goes like this:

I like my whisky old and my women young.

 

That should set the requirement about aged whisky in your head for starters. Now if a

whiskey has been sitting too long in a glass bottle, it is not becoming better over the years.

That, however, seems to be a common misconception among people.

Whisky aging is done in wooden casks or barrels, made of Oakwood and it is this process

that gives a whisky more than 80% of its taste and flavour. Now aging times can vary based

on climate, for example, if you are in warmer climes such as those in Tennessee or

Kentucky then aging completes in 5 years. If you are in the cooler places like Ireland or

Scotland, aging can take up to 10 years.

It is law in Ireland, for a distill to be called whiskey, it has to be aged in charred wooden

casks for at least 3 years. However, too much of something is not good either, and if you age

your whisky in charred casks for too long, it ends up tasting like ash.

Uncharred casks are used in the US where they are used anew. Old or used casks are then

used in Ireland and Scotland because they want the previous flavours of the whiskey to mix

in.

 

In reality, it takes only a few days to distil a barrel of whisky, but it takes time for the

golden beverage's taste to mature.

You could any day drink it straight away, but then, it wouldn’t be the peaty, rich liquor

that whiskey fans typically relish. So what transpires in the months, years or even

decades that a whiskey is left to age?

When whisky is first distilled and sealed up in its barrel, it is nowhere near what you’d

expect in a scotch or bourbon. Instead of golden-brown, brand-new whisky is clear and

tastes a lot like the malted barley.

For every batch of whisky, there are two major factors that determine what it will taste

like decades into the future: the wooden barrel it’s aged in and the environment around

it!

Ageing is a process where fermented whisky is left in casks or barrels for a period of three

years, and so ageing is the period between the distillation of whisky and bottling of the

whisky. Whiskies are not aged in the bottles they are stored in for the basic reason that glass

is not reactive and does not impart any flavours to the whisky.

Charred oaks, Maple lined oaks, Uncharred oaks, on the other hand, are the commonly used

in the aging process and typically impart the distinct flavour and colour to the whisky made.

Whiskies that have been bottled for many years may have a rarity value, but are not "older"

and not necessarily "better" than a more recent whisky that matured in wood for a similar

time. After a decade or two, additional aging in a barrel does not necessarily improve a

whisky.

While aging in wooden casks, especially American oak, and French oak casks, whisky

undergoes six processes that give it the character it finally has: Extraction, evaporation,

oxidation, concentration, filtration and colouration.

Ageing is a process where fermented whisky is left in casks or barrels for a period of three years, and so ageing is the period between the distillation of whisky and bottling of the whisky. Whiskies are not aged in the bottles they are stored in for the basic reason that glass is not reactive and does not impart any flavours to the whisky. Charred oaks, Maple lined oaks, Uncharred oaks, on the other hand, are the commonly used in the aging process and typically impart the distinct flavour and colour to the whisky made. Whiskies that have been bottled for many years may have a rarity value, but are not and not necessarily than a more recent whisky that matured in wood for a similar time. After a decade or two, additional aging in a barrel does not necessarily improve a whisky. While aging in wooden casks, especially American oak, and French oak casks, whisky undergoes six processes that give it the character it finally has: Extraction, evaporation, oxidation, concentration, filtration and colouration.