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New Distilleries releasing young whisky, good or bad

karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 12-09-2019 at 22:20 pm

I have been reading comments over the years about new distilleries releasing their whisky far too early. Some people approve some don't. Personally I  think if it's good enough get it out. I have tasted some real gems. Early Kilchoman springs to mind. I had a great very young English Whisky Company bottling and a very impressive Spirit of Yorkshire maturing malt. Any thoughts?

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
ahroeen
Expert Senior Senior Expert
Posted on 12-09-2019 at 22:37 pm

As you say, as long as it's good enough release it. I find it interesting and rewarding to follow the spirit as it ages, from the first young releases to maturity. From a business point of view, I guess it also makes sense at it helps create brand loyalty. Makes us as customers feel as we are part of their journey.

Alcohol can be a good friend, but a bad master. - Christopher Hitchens
Ganga
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 12-09-2019 at 23:17 pm

Overall, I would say it is a good idea.  New distilleries need the income to survive.  Kilchoman comes to mind as a very good example of young whisky that is enjoyable.  Arran comes to mind as one that was not so exciting.  


But why do we limit this to only New Distilleries?  Shouldn't this question be proposed about all distilleries?

lincolnimp
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 12-09-2019 at 23:28 pm

I have no problem with a distillery putting a 3 year old out but the price points from these new distilleries for a 3 year old are too high.

But I agree if its good enough, why not but equally if it is not , do not take the mickey out of punters with a sub standard product, which does happen.

Ganga
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 13-09-2019 at 06:03 am

I have no problem with a distillery putting a 3 year old out but the price points from these new distilleries for a 3 year old are too high.

But I agree if its good enough, why not but equally if it is not , do not take the mickey out of punters with a sub standard product, which does happen.


But can't the same be said for those established distilleries that are putting out stuff in the 3 to 5 yo range?

peatbogger
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 13-09-2019 at 19:19 pm

Ganga wrote:

lincolnimp wrote:

I have no problem with a distillery putting a 3 year old out but the price points from these new distilleries for a 3 year old are too high.

But I agree if its good enough, why not but equally if it is not , do not take the mickey out of punters with a sub standard product, which does happen.


But can't the same be said for those established distilleries that are putting out stuff in the 3 to 5 yo range?


Established distilleries do not place an age statement on the 3-5yo they put out.

They chill filter and color it, then gives it a fancy name and pour out unlimited amounts of NAS.

And if you had something from that distillery already you kind of know what to expect, and if you had a couple of the recent NAS bottlings from established distilleries you know to lower your expectations.


Young whisky is best from IB's. I've bought a lot of 4-8yo IB's lately and just about everything I've opened have been worth the price.

They are almost without exeption cheaper, most are single or 2-3 cask releases, mostly un-filtered and un-colored, few are less than 46%

Not every bottle will be typical of what is put out by the distillery, but usually interesting and with a good price/value ratio.


When it comes to new distilleries it's all about how it's financed.

Kilchoman was financed by investors that was unpatient to see a kick back on their £3M investment, so they had to do small releases as soon as they could.

Daftmill is a one man show where the owner has pulled everything from his own pocket.

No one were pushing from the shadows and he had economy to let it sit for 12 years.

In fact, as he said in a Ralfy interview; I don't have to sell it, I might decide to keep it all in the family.


First releases will always demand collector prices. If you're not willing to pay that price just sit it out and wait for something more reasonable.

And if you're not happy with what's in a "young bottle" it is most likely you're expectation and not the whisky that is at fault.

It is strange how many people that claim to be adventurous is disappointed when the adventure actually leads to new and unknown experiences.

Like going to Thailand and be disappointed by the local cousine because it's nothing like the junk you get served at your local take away.


As for young releases, from any distillery; as long as you put an age statement on it and price it accordingly, bring it on.

karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 13-09-2019 at 19:41 pm

https://www.thewhiskyexchange.com/feature/bimberthefirst?utm_source=mailjet&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new-in-september-1-twe-2019-09-13

This is Bimber's first whisky release. I know it's a limited release but £120? Apparently the packaging was hand crafted so that might have something to do with it. 

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
Ganga
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 14-09-2019 at 23:17 pm

peatbogger wrote:


Established distilleries do not place an age statement on the 3-5yo they put out.



And if you had something from that distillery already you kind of know what to expect, and if you had a couple of the recent NAS bottlings from established distilleries you know to lower your expectations.



When it comes to new distilleries it's all about how it's financed.

Kilchoman was financed by investors that was unpatient to see a kick back on their £3M investment, so they had to do small releases as soon as they could.

Daftmill is a one man show where the owner has pulled everything from his own pocket.

No one were pushing from the shadows and he had economy to let it sit for 12 years.


And if you're not happy with what's in a "young bottle" it is most likely you're expectation and not the whisky that is at fault.

It is strange how many people that claim to be adventurous is disappointed when the adventure actually leads to new and unknown experiences.


I think Daftmill is the exception and that Kilchoman is more the norm...except Kilchoman started releasing "new make" at 1 yo and 2 yo.  I don't mind having young stuff that may or may not be good because I do enjoy the journey.  However, I wish they would make the first releases large enough so that the consumers get a chance to try it before the flippers gobble up the whisky.

My biggest disappointments have always been the older whiskies and not the younger whiskies.  Probably something to do with my expectations but sometimes it truly is the whisky.  Offensive flaws in whisky cannot be attributed to the expectations.  Example:  Battle Hill Bowmore 25 yo.  This was a soap bomb.  

holborndrinker
Connoisseur Connoisseur
Posted on 15-09-2019 at 12:11 pm

In fairness to Bimber they are keen that their product is drunk rather than flipped - there is a campaign to post a photo of the bottle open with a prize of going to the distillery for a private tasting.


They also seem quite hot on being an artisan producer - from details like  crushed not milled barley, seven-day fermentation in open wooden washbacks and direct-fired stills.  They have their own coopers and are based in the Big Smoke so their costs are likely to be higher than if they were based in Scotland.


I purchased a bottle to support my old home town - will crack it when I have something special to celebrate.

  Edited on 27-09-2019 at 21:34 pm
Nunc est bibendum - mine's a double!
praisethepasta
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 16-09-2019 at 14:32 pm

to kick down an open door: good whisky takes time to mature, but equally important are the conditions in which the  production and maturation takes place (from the quality of the grain, the potstills through  the casks and the warehouses). 

One good example is Cotswold's I believe. Yes, prices can be high for young whiskies - I paid €47 for their 3.5 yo , which I don't consider cheap, but looking at the result, I'd say it was worth the price. And when youtake into account the way it's produced - short chain- limited capacity, from local grown barley to production and packaging,...I at least got the feeling it 's a genuine story and not just some more marketing bs.

Furthermore: new, young distilleries often have  limited acces when it comes to distribution, branding, marketing, advertising...  so all those factors also increase the price.

 I'm sure there are plenty of examples to contradict the Cotswold's story,  so all in all I suppose  the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

  Edited on 28-09-2019 at 12:52 pm
The turtle moves My Collection
Ganga
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 16-09-2019 at 19:17 pm

so all in all I suppose  the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.


Hear, hear!

mrgood
Expert Junior Junior Expert
Posted on 27-09-2019 at 19:17 pm

Ganga wrote:

Overall, I would say it is a good idea.  New distilleries need the income to survive.  Kilchoman comes to mind as a very good example of young whisky that is enjoyable.  Arran comes to mind as one that was not so exciting.  


But why do we limit this to only New Distilleries?  Shouldn't this question be proposed about all distilleries?

If anything I would argue we should be more critical of established distilleries doing it than new one.  New distilleries HAVE to do it to get the cash flow started.

robain
Moderator Moderator
Posted on 07-10-2019 at 10:35 am

For any distiller with no to little economic investment will need income for the following 5 years to make their first single malt. Yes i said 5 because of everything that comes around, getting pot stills, locations, contracts and laws in order etc.


I dont mind distilleries selling young malts, you get an idea of a distillery's character etc,

i always find young malts interesting, young malt is not as common in Scotland though but new distilleries is more common in central and northen europe. Germany, Sweden, Denmark etc.

My Collection My Market
karloff
Specialist Specialist
Posted on 07-10-2019 at 14:22 pm

You look at how much Annandale is asking for their young single  malt whisky compared to someone like The Spirit of Yorkshire. When you walk around Annandale distillery you can see there has been a lot of money invested, it really does look the part and there is a lot of history there. No disrespect to The Spirit of Yorkshire distillery but it looks like a unit on an industrial estate. This means absolutely nothing, it's the quality of the whisky that matters and I've tasted both, Yorkshire just tips it for me. 

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Tom Waits
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