It is no secret that opening a new distillery is a hugely demanding and expensive project and with this in mind, it should come as no great surprise that some distillers are choosing to release their output as soon as possible. The current, almost unprecedented interest in whisky is making this a viable way of generating revenue from young spirit, which can only be a good thing for those interested parties who wish to follow a distillery’s product as it matures.
While this all seems fairly win-win on the surface, it must be said that these young releases are not always much more than a curiosity. On one had they can sometimes be spirity and rough with obvious signs of immaturity and on the other, they can feel hurried along by very active oak, adding a veneer of maturity but at the expense of individuality. Obviously, personal taste is always key and the vibrancy of even the more suspect bottlings can charm, fitting the mood on certain occasions. Sometimes though, when the spirit character is right and the maturation is well handled, they can be truly excellent.