6 Stunning Advanced Age Statement Whiskies

The notion that age is synonymous with quality has eroded over the years, as non-age statement (or NAS) single malts have risen to prominence, and it has more or less been agreed upon that bourbon can at times be too old. When assessing a whisky label to determine potential quality and character, the age of what’s inside is only one factor to consider.

However, there is no denying the allure of a whisky that has spent significant time, sometimes multiple decades, inside the barrel. When you sip a whisky that is up there in age, consider where you were when it was distilled. No matter the country of origin or casks used, advanced age statement whiskies have to be handled with care and monitored closely; to taste whiskies that is as old as these, all from our Fall 2021 Buying Guide, is a special treat indeed. While some of these, like the Craigellachie, are single casks releases, and others, like the Talisker, cost a hefty chunk of change, they all represent potential crown jewels for your whisky bar, and at 92 points or more, they taste great as well.

High-Scoring Mature Whiskies From Our Fall Buying Guide

balvenie 19 year old the edge of burnhead wood scotchBalvenie 19 year old Edge of Burnhead Wood Single Malt
93 points, 48.7%, $300

Distilled from barley grown on Balvenie’s Dufftown estate and dried at the distillery over heather plucked from nearby Burnhead Wood. Tropical fragrance of lime and guava, refined by balanced minerality. Spiced honey greets the palate, followed by bitter chocolate and a deeper note of baked orange. Long and spiced on the finish of honey, lemon, vanilla, and a sprinkling of white pepper. All the elegance of Speyside, with added depth and complexity. (1,200 bottles for the U.S.)—David Fleming

craigellachie 24 year old single cask scotchCraigellachie 24 year old Exceptional Cask Single Cask (No. 4127013182) Single Malt
93 points, 52.2%, $300

Matured in a single oloroso sherry butt. Quite fruity on the nose, with notes of kiwi, juicy mango, fruit cocktail, blueberry pie, lemon bars, and strawberry shortcake, in addition to cinnamon graham crackers and raisin bread. The palate is lively, with cinnamon, tangy lemon-lime citrus, and orange scone. Good length on the finish with lemon-poppyseed muffin. (474 bottles)—Ted Simmons

Blue Note 17 year old Barrel Proof Straight Bourbon (Barrel No. 12841)
93 points, 54.45%, $175

Herbs, spice, mint, and saddle leather quickly reveal this whiskey’s maturity. As it rests in the glass, vanilla ice cream emerges, along with melon and caffé latte. It’s hot and muscular, but its aged and herbal flavors soon cede ground to melted milk chocolate and cinnamon-topped cappuccino. A thoroughly pleasurable melding of chocolate, herbs, and cinnamon spice, with oak influence in tasteful balance.—David Fleming

Talisker 43 year old Xpedition Oak Single Malt
92 points, 49.7%, $4,000

Talisker’s oldest whisky bottled to date, topping a 41 year old manzanilla cask finish released two years ago. Fragrant notes of sandalwood, lavender, and lemon spritz, sweetening to lemon meringue pie and warm peach tart. Vanilla, ginger, melon, and persimmon mark the palate, artfully accented by scents of old candle wax. The subtle Talisker peat has become even gentler with age, and the finish offers spice, old leather, and graceful oak. (1,830 bottles)—David Fleming

MacNair’s Lum Reek 21 year old Blended Malt
92 points, 48%, $220

Bold, flavorsome smoke exudes from the glass of this new blend, mingled with a zesty citrus sweetness, vanilla, and an extra blast of peppery smoke when you delve deeper. It’s mouth-drawing on the palate, with caramel, marmalade, and vanilla sponge cake, getting tangier as the spices kick in, before a conclusion of spice, smoke, chocolate, burnt butter, and stewed fruits. Perfect for outdoor drinking in the colder months.—Jonny McCormick

The Irishman 17 year old Single Malt Single Cask (2021 Release)
92 points, 56%, $160

With a well-matured sherry cask character, this whiskey works beautifully paired with Belgian chocolates after a fine dinner. Rich dried fruits, molasses, prunes, black cherry, aromatic spice rubs, walnut oil, and savory juices on the nose. Luxuriant palate of raisin, stewed fruits, black coffee, treacle, pepper, and clove, with a slight savory return. It rounds off with toffee apple, Brazil nut, and a long finish of peppercorn. Another excellent barrel this year. (600 bottles for the U.S.)—Jonny McCormick

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