Does age matter?
There are many people outside there who think that a good single malt whisky has to be or a certain age before it can be a good whisky. I think this thesis is complete rubbish. Good whisky is no question of age. The only criteria that are important for good whisky are good ingredients (water, barley) and good casks for the maturation. I would even go so far and claim that there are more old whiskies that suffer from too much wood influence than there are young whiskies less than 10 years just ripe for drinking. Believe me or not there are great whiskies out there that are young of age. I will give you each five examples of great young whisky worth trying and partially still available on the market from official bottlers and independent ones through all regions – I will not score them, go out and get them for your own trying!

Official bottlings:
• Auchentoshan Valinch (cask strength, batches around 35 Euro)
• Laphroaig Quarter Cask, 48% (around 35 Euro)
• Port Charlotte An Turas Mor, 46% (around 35-40 Euro)
• Longrow CV, 46% (around 35 Euro)
• Springbank Rundlets & Kilderkins, 10yo, 49,4% (around 70-75 Euro – not very cheap but absolutely stunning whisky!)
• Amrut Fusion, 50% (around 35 Euro, Indian single malt, absolutely worth trying and recommendation of the day, great stuff!)

Independent bottlings (I have to admit that the Bunna, Glentauchers and Tamdhu may be difficult to find):
• Bowmore 10yo 1999, Douglas Laing, The Old Malt Cask, 46% (regular series, so there is no special cask number that I would recommend, around 40 Euro)
• Bunnahabhain 5yo 1997, Murray McDavid Silver Tin, 46%, 1.200 bottles (no cask number available on the label as vatting of different casks, around 35 Euro)
• Classic of Islay (single cask bottlings of youngish Lagavulin), Jack Wieber’s World of Whisky, all cask strength (around 35-40 Euro)
• Smokehead (youngish Ardbeg), Ian Macleod, 43 % (no cask number available as batches of vatted casks, around 30 Euros). By the way – Smokehead Extra Black is a fantastic whisky as well (18 yo vatted Ardbeg) but doesn’t really fit into this category as prizes are around 80-85 Euro ;-)
• Glentauchers 7yo 2003, A.D. Rattray, Cask Collection, 60,5%, cask 900610 (around 55 Euro)
• Tamdhu 7yo 2004, The Ultimate Whisky Company, The Ultimate, 52,9%, cask 5439 (around 55-60 Euro)

All these bottles offer great bang for your buck. And I could have listed many more without problem. They are all younger or at least not older than 10 years. You see – there is no best age for whisky – the quality of ingredients used in the distilling and the casks defines when it is mature and ready to be enjoyed.