How Do They Age 40-Year Old Scotch?

Discussion in 'Beverages' started by Jimbee68, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Jimbee68

    Jimbee68 Member

    Making whiskey is an interesting process. After distilling the neutral spirits, they age the product in charred oak barrels. This is the case for all whiskeys, as far as I know. Bourbon, Scotch, even Canadian Whiskey.

    But there is a slight drawback to this process. Because the barrels are naturally porous, esp. after being charred with fire, they let some of the ethyl alcohol escape. This is called the "angels' share". For this reason, they deliberately put it in the barrel at an usually high proof.

    As I said, it can't be helped. It is simply a natural part of the process. My question is, How then do they make 40-year-old Scotch? Would basically ALL the alcohol evaporate, after 40 years? Or do they cheat, and re-blend it (blended Scotches are also a little cheaper, you know)?

    Please let me know. Because if I ever save up enough money, I plan on buying a forty year old scotch. (BTW, do any of you know any sellers online? I'm serious.)

    :) [​IMG]
  2. TheGhost

    TheGhost Auuhhhhmm ...

    Not only the alcohol evaporates but also some water. From what I hear it's all about timing it right. Once you bottle it you can dilute it to get it down to 80 proof but if it's already under 80 proof you're screwed. If it says Scotch on the tin then that is what it should be.

    More important though: don't buy some 40 or 50-year old whisky. It's basically throwing away money. They'll charge you an outrageous price and you get nothing that you wouldn't get from a whisky that has aged for "just" 18 years.
  3. ZenKarma

    ZenKarma Tralfamadorean Staff Member Super Moderator

    Yes there is some evaporation, but not as much as one would think. Scotch is distilled in Scotland if it's Scotch whiskey. It's damp and humid there, so evaporation isn't as powerful as it would be for example in New Mexico.

    Upon visiting a few distilleries I find that 50 year old Scotch whiskey is sublime. 18 years is barley enough to take out the burrs and sharp edges. The price is absurd however, but as in all things made traditionally with artisanal (=made in a traditional or non-mechanized way) methods there is a cost to be paid for the luxury.

    It's like this, would you willingly smoke cannabis smuggled in a gasoline tank? Or would you prefer some finely grown, cured and trimmed sensimilla from California? (Just for comparison purposes :)

    Thank you for posting this question. I suggest you find a friend who enjoys such spirits and try some before making an investment.

    This bottle costs 22,850 POUNDS in the UK... not a good bargain


    But if you shop about you can find something respectable for $45 and up...

    There is another aspect, single malts vs. blends. I prefer the single malts, but they take a bit of getting used to with their exceptionally strong flavours of peat.

  4. Mallyboppa

    Mallyboppa Nails Mc Fugger

  5. TheGhost

    TheGhost Auuhhhhmm ...

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