• Jan 28, 2021
  • By: j sams
  • Jan 28, 2021

3 Vital Features to Reflect on While Buying Your Whisky

Whisky (or Whiskey) is something that’s loved (rightfully so) by many and they don’t miss any occasion—whether big or small--to get their hands on their favorite bottle, to celebrate and enjoy with gay abandon.

Now the important question that surfaces is: what makes a really good whisky? What to look for in your bottle to be sure that it’s the one that you need to buy and enjoy.

Here, we will not talk about any specific make or brand but focus ONLY on the 3 most important traits that usually make whisky really good.

3 Important Features to Mull Over While Buying Your Whisky

1. Fine Taste & Maturity

When we talk about whisky, we usually think of a beverage that’s ‘Dark, full-bodied, old'. Yes, high-quality Whisky usually has these specific attributes even as maturity is incredibly crucial!

So ensure that the Whisky that you purchase is well or ’harmonically’ matured. The new make spirit gets rid of its 'bad characteristics', like a pungent or metallic taste, when it’s subjected to the subtractive maturation in the barrels. These traits get eliminated by oxidation in the breathing barrels. Only post a period of six to eight years, this subtractive maturation gets mainly concluded.

Simultaneously, the so-called additive maturation occurs. Fine aromas from the barrel get taken up by the Whisky, or 'added' to it. Even though this additive maturation occurs swiftly, at first the aromas that the whisky may take up from the barrel, become lesser with time (age of the barrel).

2. Age

Age matters! As mentioned earlier, the older your bottle of your favourite drink is the better it’s. So, look for the age declaration on the bottle’s label. At times, you may not see age such declaration. It will mean the beverage is anywhere from 3 to 9 years old.

You may find several excellent young whiskies with no age statement on the bottle (these are known as No Age Statement or NAS whiskies).  At the same time, you will also find many NAS bottles that are still not outstanding and/or very expensive. Until and unless you are pretty sure that the bottle of young whisky before you is really good, go for a bottle that’s 10 years or older.

3. Alcohol Strength

Also, look for the alcohol strength of your bottle. If the whisky has the strength of 40-50% alcohol by volume (ABV) it denotes that water was added prior to the bottling of the whisky. 51%+ usually signifies that the whisky is ‘cask strength’, and it was bottled minus adding additional water.

Several older cask strength whiskies (25 years+) could still be cask strength even in case the ABV dips under 50%.  Many brands offer excellent whisky bottled at 40% ABV.

Having said this, even though higher alcohol strength may not be an indicator of high quality, whisky with a barrel strength of 50% or above tends to be constantly good. However, add water to your glass to offset the strong alcohol content.

Happy drinking! Get a bottle of your favourite drink today!  

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