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20 Year Old Whisky

Twenty-year-old whisky represents a significant milestone in the realm of spirits, a testament to the patience and craftsmanship required to create a beverage that can not only withstand but also improve with the passage of two decades. Whiskies of this age have typically passed through multiple seasons, surviving the ebbs and flows of economic cycles and changing consumer tastes to emerge as revered elixirs that promise a remarkable depth of character and complexity.

The journey of a 20-year-old whisky begins with the selection of the ingredients. The water, drawn from ancient springs, the quality of the barley or grain, and the precise distillation process all play critical roles in shaping the spirit's fundamental character. After distillation, the clear, potent new make spirit is laid to rest in oak casks, where the true alchemy begins. These casks, often having previously held sherry, bourbon, or even wine, contribute layers of flavours, infusing the spirit with notes of vanilla, caramel, dark fruits, and spices. The oak's tannins add structure and a soft, drying quality.

Throughout its long slumber, the whisky is subject to the whims of its environment. In Scotland, for example, the damp, cool climate allows for a slow and graceful maturation process, while in other regions, such as Kentucky or Taiwan, more extreme shifts in temperature can lead to a more accelerated interaction with the wood. No matter the location, the angel's share – the portion of liquid that evaporates through the cask – concentrates the remaining whisky, intensifying its flavour and aroma over time.

Upon reaching the two-decade mark, a 20-year-old whisky has typically developed a remarkable array of nuances that can only be achieved through extended ageing. The initial fiery edge of the spirit has softened, allowing subtler notes to come to the fore. Each sip can reveal a tapestry of tastes: a wisp of smoke, a touch of oak, a burst of ripe fruit, or a whisper of floral notes. The texture is often rich and velvety, coating the palate with a weight that lingers long after the liquid has been swallowed.

The experience of savouring a 20-year-old whisky is as much about the moment as it is about the drink. The ritual of pouring the whisky into a glass, observing its deep amber hue, swirling it to release the bouquet of aged aromas, and taking the first contemplative sip is to partake in a tradition that spans generations. It's a moment of respect for the distillers' foresight and a celebration of time's ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

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Mortlach 20 Year Old product image
Mortlach 20 Year Old
70 cl / 43.4% ABV
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7 Reviews
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Millstone 100 Rye Whisky product image
Millstone 100 Rye Whisky
70 cl / 50% ABV
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8 Reviews