The last part in ‘The Future of Whisky’ trio that was bottled for The Whisky Show last month is a Single Grain Scotch Whisky from Invergordon distillery that stands for ‘The Fututre’ in the series.
I know that old grain whisky is far cheaper than single malt whisky when the age counter is rising above 20 (hey, even young grain whisky is cheaper than comparable malt whisky) and for people who look for a suitable aged bottle to celebrate their birthday once they are over 30 year old, it’s far more logical to go for single grain and its cheaper price tag. There’s a reason that it’s cheaper – the process is more efficient and basically strips the resulted new make from most of its origin flavor and it tends to be quite neutral, so you pay for it being cheap.
Also, we should remember that the prices for old single grain whiskies are on the rise as well as they more or less (probably more) doubled in the last 3-4 years. Bottlers and Distilleries got smart and started reserving more old stock towards single grain bottles.
What I think the future of whisky will be is younger whisky. We already see that youth movement with independent bottlers and some official bottlings and this trend will intensify and this market segment will have the highest growth rate. Until the next market correction (or the return of the whisky loch).
And still, there is market for older whisky with their heavy price tag, just like with this Invergordon which was distilled back in 1974 and bottled earlier this year. There are 246 bottles at 51.6%. So how did this Hogshead performed
Nose: Old (and not so old) grain notes with wood glue, polish, varnish, vanilla and caramel, pencil shavings. After a few minutes there’s perfume and depth, fruitiness with pears and peaches, nuttiness.
Palate: Sweet, honey, caramel, oak, polish, a bit of wood glue, pencil shavings, pears and cream.
Finish: Short medium length, sweet, honey and pencil shavings.
Thoughts: It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to grain whisky because most of the work is on the cask and this Hogshead fails to impress me. It did a decent job but it’s not enough. The age is felt here but at the same time there’s too much glue and pencil shavings and far less other notes that comes from good maturation.