|Here’s a question you don’t come across very often: what year is your whisky?
Most Scotch and whisky makers don’t specify the year that their product was casked. They go by the age: 10 year, 15 year, etc. Balblair, which recently launched in the US, is mixing things up a little bit. They want you to pay attention to the Scotch’s vintage, not just the amount of time it spent maturing.
Like wine, the bottles have dates prominently displayed, and each vintage has its own flavor profile. The single malt selections are chosen for release by year. According to the distiller, only the best whiskies from a particular year, that have reached their optimum peak of maturation, are selected for release.
This means you’ll see a smattering of dates available on the market, and each will appeal to a different type of Scotch lover. The Balblair ’97 contains hints of oak and vanilla. The Balblair ’91 contains hints of spice, and will appeal to those who like a more potent flavor and finish.
Will this “spirits-vintage” trend catch on? Next time you go into the liquor store, don’t be surprised if you see some Vodka 1981.
-James Mulcahy writes about New York food and drink at his blog, NYBarfly.