Eight ways that whisky tells you you’re getting older

In many of life’s pursuits, there are often tell-tale signs along the way that you’re getting older.   For example, that radio station you used to love listening to in your teens no longer does it for you.  Certain drinks you used to enjoy no longer agree with you.  Or you discover your favourite bands that you grew up with are now referred to as vintage or classic rock.  Or that 5km jog you used to do in 25 minutes now takes you 40 minutes to complete.   You get the idea.

Whisky is another such medium that delivers the not-so-subtle message to you that – just like a perfectly balanced Glenfarclas – you’ve been maturing for quite a few years now.   Whilst the whisky industry seems to be hurtling you down a steep path towards a No Age Statement retirement, there are…particularly if you’re older than 40 and have been drinking whisky since the 1990’s…plenty of signs that you, personally, are carrying an age statement.

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An audience with David Stewart & Balvenie

If you’re an employer or in charge of Human Resources, you’ll be aware of the dynamic and shifting nature of your workforce in recent years.  Being Generation X myself, it was drummed into me that you should show loyalty to your employer and stick around.  We were constantly told by the Baby Boomer generation above us that “your CV will look more impressive and you’ll be rewarded if you’ve demonstrated that you stay at the one place for five to ten years.”

This is in stark contrast to the Gen Y and Millenial approach, where the thinking seems to be that a CV littered with multiple positions and experience gained across a many different roles and jobs is the more attractive pursuit.

So with that as context, what do we make of an employee who sticks with his boss for 54 years?  What do we make of a role and a career that has outlasted many people’s lives, let alone most people’s professional undertakings?  Such is the story and the appeal of Mr David Stewart.

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Teeling “The Revival” 15yo

Teeling Whiskey, the new Irish brand (and new Irish distillery!) continues to make waves and inroads since announcing itself on the world stage.  Whisky & Wisdom has written much about this in the past, but rather than repeating the history in this little piece, you can read the goss here.

With the Teeling Distillery opening in Dublin in 2015, there is a true sense of revival, and so what better name than Revival to give the first of the updated Vintage Reserve Collection.   (Revival – a 15yo release – will be followed by a 24yo and 33yo release).

The new 15yo Revival – limited to 10,000 bottles – consists of whiskey distilled in 1999 and matured exclusively in ex-rum casks.  Bottled at 46% and non-chillfiltered, it’s a juicy whiskey that provides an interesting mix of both spirit and wood-driven characteristics.

A sample was provided to Whisky & Wisdom by the local distributor, so yours truly sat down recently and spent some time with a dram.  Thoughts as follows:

Colour:  Pale gold, with a slightly greenish hue?

Nose: Tropical fruit, particularly paw paw.  Robinson’s Lemon Barley Water powder.  Fruit flan and Danish pastry.  Very soft lemon sherbert / lemon citrus.

Palate: Lemony.  Lemon meringue pie.  Barley porridge.  There’s a nuttiness (roasted macadamias?) and toasted spice note under the barley, seemingly the contribution from the rum cask.   

Finish: Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits, cereal.  Just a touch of bitter oak right at the tail, which becomes increasingly drying.

Comments: A true delight to nose – so sweet and alluring, yet complex and interesting.   The palate starts off with bittersweet lemon, but it takes on an increasingly bitter edge with repeated sips.  As Irish whiskies go, it’s got more depth and mouthfeel than many of its peers, but the balance was just slightly off centre and the bitterness didn’t quite gel with me.   Nevertheless, a reasonably solid dram all around, and it fits in nicely with the rest of the current Teeling range.

The Revival 15yo is available through the usual outlets and has an RRP of $160.

[Update – Teeling has just announced a second bottling of Revival, coined “The Revival Volume II” to mark the one-year anniversary of the distillery and visitor centre opening.  The Volume II bottling is a 13yo Irish malt whiskey distilled in 2002 and matured initially for 12 years in ex-bourbon casks before being transferred to ex-Calvados casks for a 12 month finishing.]