NAS – No Age Statement – love it, hate it, indifferent towards it or undecided? However you feel about it NAS whiskies are everywhere and they’re here to stay!
Way back when near the dawn of my blog (December 2015 actually) I wrote a piece entitled NAS – Good or Bad? where I looked at what NAS is and why it has become so popular. If you’ve not heard of NAS or No Age Statement before then it basically means you don’t have an age on the bottle of whisky. By law if you display and age statement on your whisky then it must be the age of the youngest whisky in the bottle. If you’ve not heard of NAS before then you may also be confused by this concept as you may be under the impression that a Single Malt contains only whisky from a single barrel – it actually contains a blend of whiskies however they all come from a single distillery, unlike blended whisky which can come from a range of distilleries.
So why is NAS good? Well as stocks of aged whisky need time to replenish NAS is there to fill that gap, allowing distilleries much needed time. It also allows for experimentation and the freedom of not having an age on a bottle means some new and exciting whiskies can be produced. “That all sounds great!” I hear you cry in unison, so why do some people hate NAS?
Well because they’re stuck in the past, unwilling to accept change and unable to accept that the revolution is here and its name is NAS! Okay not really, well maybe in some cases… There are 3 main reasons some people hate NAS though:
- Their old age statement whisky is now gone, in that case yes it’s a shame but while stocks replenish it’s necessary and there’s no use crying over what once was.
- Some NAS expressions are seen as overpriced for what you’re getting. Well yes some of them probably are, but then whisky in general is more expensive now and you need to remember that. Also some age statement bottles are overpriced as well. When it comes to quality and taste though what you hate someone else may love and be willing to give their left eye for (not Haig Club though).
- The last reason is the evil entity known as “Marketing” (I know, that word sends a shiver down my spine too). NAS seems to be all about a snazzy name and a fancy (sometimes a tad too fanciful) backstory. That or a celebrity who seems to have created the whisky themselves rather than just pretending to drink it while on camera… cough, cough Haig Club cough, cough…
Personally I haven’t tried a NAS I haven’t enjoyed yet (I haven’t tried Haig Club yet so that may change). I also have never felt that I’ve paid over the odds for a NAS, although that might just be because I don’t have the money to buy anything too expensive. Overall I understand the need for NAS and welcome some of the invention that might come from it. If you hate NAS for any of the reasons above then try not to let that colour your view of all NAS whiskies as you may well find some of them surprise you and might change your mind.
Hopefully you’ll all soon be joining me in welcoming our new overlords NAS! 😉