Hot drinks trends set to hit the UK in 2017
21st September, 2016 by Arabella Mileham
Youth and whisky
Aged expressions of whisky have been long regarded as a mark of quality but according to Sukhinder Singh, co-founder and md of The Whisky Exchange, the importance of age has been over-stated. He maintains that younger expressions are likely to shake up the market more than the release of ‘no-age’ whiskies, and some of this comes on the back of better quality wood.
“People talk about the important of age of whisky – but it isn’t important,” he argues. “I look at it for the products itself, what is good about it, what do I like about it, then the price and if it offers good quality for the price.”
Whisky, he argues, is increasingly getting younger – and more importantly, consumers are beginning to accept and embrace the trend.
“In 2004 we bottled an Isle of Jura 5-years old. When we released it, it was a first – no-one has seen a five year old malt before, they were used to ten or fifteen year old whiskies – and it was difficult to sell, no one wanted to buy it. But after we put it into blind tastings, people were amazed it was only five year’s old and couldn’t believe it – today that bottle of five year whisky sells at auction for £250.”
“There is a debate, but my feeling is that whisky is getting younger. People are bottling it young and although it’s always been around (they did it a lot in the 1960s and 1970s before moving to ten or fifteen years old), we saw a huge response to the Lagavulin 8-year-old whisky and the Bowmore 9-year-old as an ongoing expression,” he says.
The trend is likely to broaden the spectrum of styles, expressions and varieties on the market, he said – which can only be a good thing