Maybe a verry simple question for all you connaisseurs :
All whisky books tell you that the age mentioned on the bottle of blended whisky is the age of the youngest "ingredient". OK, so far, but does this also refer to the non-single malts in the blend ?
In other words : if a blend says it is ten years old, does this mean that even the (cheaper, less aromatic) patent-still alcohol has been maturing for at least ten years ? I would find that odd...
I am not very familiar with the production of blends, but am I wrong to say that keeping a grain whisky five or ten or fifteen years in a cask won't have that much effect on the taste of the final blend, at least far less than the evolution in taste of a maturing single malt ?
I suppose this legal obligation to mature the grain whisky for a considerable period of time is a heavy investment for the blend producers, compared with the little return in terms of taste...
But I may be wrong.
Grain whisky is a lighter-styled whisky than malt whisky, but it can surely mature to something very good. If you want to know how delicious well-matured grain whisky can be, get yourself a bottle of 'Hedonism', vatted from grain whiskies from two now-closed distilleries: Cambus and Caledonian.
Even so, I've heard that grain destined for blends is sometimes aged in refill casks that malts have already gotten the most out of.
That's exactly what I'm afraid of.
I'm sure that there are very good grain whiskies, but I think in some cases very poor distillations just remain for years in casks (like you say, maybe in totally used casks), only because they have to...
But my next bottle of whisky will be a grain !
Greetings from Belgium.
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