Oftentimes, drinkers base the value of a particular bottle of whisk(e)y on the age statement located on the label. The older the age, the more nuanced, complex, and thereby expensive the whiskey. But while we’d never tell you not to hold on to hope that one day you’ll get a chance to try Hibiki 30 or Glenlivet 25-Year-Old, there are myriad whiskeys on the market without an age statement at all that definitely deserve your attention.
Sure, blended Scotches like Johnnie Walker, Famous Grouse, and Chivas don’t carry age statements and people don’t seem to mind. But we’re not talking about blended whisky today. That’s too easy. We’re talking about brands that have other expressions that do have age statements.
To find the best options, we once again turn to the experts. We asked a handful of bartenders to tell us their favorite no age statement whisk(e)ys to drink this fall.
Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Marla White, lead bartender at Lona Cocina & Tequilera in For Lauderdale, Florida
Auchentoshan American Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured and stored in American Bourbon Casks that give it a desirably different flavor profile than other whiskies. With notes of vanilla and coconut, this is the perfect whiskey to enjoy outside.
Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask Japanese
Frantjesko Laonora, lead bartender at Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort in Curaçao
Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask Japanese Whisky is one of the few NAS whiskeys named “World’s Best Whisky” and offers fruity notes, fragrant sandalwood, and sweet coconut. It’s certainly a whisky where you get lost in the smell.
Booker’s Little Book Bourbon
Hayden Miller, head bartender at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila in Miami
Booker’s Little Book has consistently been worth anticipating year by year when they release the new blend. Always a variation of tasting notes but subtly different with each bottling.
Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon
Molly Safuto, bartender at Mila Rooftop Bar in Glendale, California
Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon, the first of it’s kind with a unique bottle design to represent to Colonel Blanton’s pioneer history. Sweet and citrusy with an accumulation of spices make this Bourbon a favorite for myself and even my parents.
Kaiyo The Peated Mizunara Oak Japanese Whisky
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#happysunday! Loving this @kaiyowhisky #thepeated #japanesewhisky from a recent #whiskyhunt in #vegas! #smokiness #honey #sweetfruit #nuts #whiskycollection #whiskyhunting #kaiyothepeated #whiskyporn #liveforethemoment #japanesemizunaraoak #92proof #whiskydram #whiskylover #hibiki #yamazaki
Crystal Chasse, beverage director at Talk Story Rooftop in Brooklyn, New York
I was first exposed to Kaiyo “The Peated” Mizunara Oak Japanese Whisky about a year ago and I am still obsessed. Aged in Mizunara Oak and Madeira Casks it has the perfect amount of smoke mixed with honeyed coconut and apple.
Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon
Andy Printy, beverage director at Chao Baan in St. Louis
Elijah Craig Small Batch may be the best whiskey on the market for the price. Lots of caramel and toffee throughout but assumes an unmistakable oak and butter on the finish. It’s the equivalent of eating a blondie in the whiskey world.
Glyph Molecular Whisky
Brendan Bartley, head bartender and beverage director at Bathtub Gin in New York City
A very controversial category in whiskey is molecular whiskey. One of my favorite “no age statement” whiskeys comes from that field. Glyph is the first molecular whiskey and I think they do an amazing job. I think it’s more the language that people have a hard time digesting the liquid. I’ve sold this whisky in the bar now for nearly two years. Every time I give someone a blind tasting, they love it. Once I reveal what it is, their faces drop.
Progress will change the way we view things and drink. What is a foreign idea to us now will be common in the years to come. It’s great whiskey and you should certainly give it a try — you might actually start loving science.
East London Single Malt Whisky
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Our #EastLondonSingleMalt is product of the week at @BoroughMarket. Matured in ex -Bourbon and Rye casks and bottled at 47% abv; enjoy notes of peanut butter and almonds from this whisky. Pick up a bottle from our @BoroughMarket Bottle Shop. #eastlondon #londonwhisky #singlemalt #boroughmarket
Max Stampa-Brown, beverage director at Borrachito in New York City
I was very fortunate to travel to London for a competition with the East London Liquor Company last year. Even more fortunate I got to try their London Single Malt Whisky ahead of its release to the masses. Tasted like hot cocoa and scones. Being the only American in the room I nervously said after my first sip, “is it too cliché for me to say this is quite biscuity.”
We had a really good night that night.
E.H. Taylor Straight Rye
Gavin Humes, bartender at Scratch | Bar & Restaurant in Encino, California
Go with the Colonel E.H. Taylor Straight Rye. It comes in at a hefty 100 proof but doesn’t read super-hot. In fact, it’s got some great vanilla, caramel, and even some peppery quality. The rye gives it a complexity that balances what is sometimes overly cloying in the case of some bourbons. Really a delicious product.
Lagavulin Distiller’s Edition Single Malt Scotch Whisky
While you’ll find many great whiskies from Lagavulin that do have age statements, Distiller’s Edition is so good, you won’t even wonder how long it’s been aged. It’s a great combination of sweet vanilla and caramel notes melding with herbal and smoky peat flavors.