There is More to Scotch Whisky Than its Age: The Endless Debate

‘Always wear proper shoes, your shoes say a lot about you’, says dad. Certain things I like about my dad’s generation like their sincerity and loyalty towards their work, their formal yet stylish dressing style and their Black Dog whisky. They understand computers, our ‘can do anything’ attitude and our Black Dog whisky. Yet, there are things about each other that we don’t understand. Generation gap!

It is probably a matter of habit or their attachment to tradition that they are often unwilling to confirm new ideas. I respect tradition too, and that is one of the reasons that I love the original Black Dog from their time too. I thought it was bordering on rigidity when my dad was reluctant to try the new label introduced by Black Dog. I think I pushed it too far when I said that he should change his routine label and replace it with something new, the Triple Gold Reserve.

I said that it was as good, perhaps even better than his regular 12 Year Old Scotch. He said no, Quintessence, the 21 YO by Black Dog is the best, 18 YO may be better but his 12 YO is perfect and there can be nothing equivalent or better than it. He said, “You young people buy into anything that is new and exciting. Anyone can lure you in with his or her marketing. Your generation is the promiscuous consumer”. I was really offended, I said, “We are just open to new things, so that we get to better our experience”.

He has said this to me before. That we are a disloyal and confused generation with far too many choices and no idea about what is right for us. I had had this argument with him far too many times. I literally knew what his exact words and arguments will be but I wasn’t about to give up so easily. I was confident about my opinion about the Triple Gold Reserve whisky, that it was as good as any 12 Y O Scotch Whisky. I also knew that if he had tried it before I introduced it to him, he would have liked it too. He takes pride in his knowledge and taste for Scotch whisky, and until now it was always he who introduced me to the best whiskies that I have ever tasted.

I thought that I would let him decide for himself. Only problem was that now he was prejudiced about this label, and it would be really hard to make him try it and know his honest opinion. So I came up with a little trick. A few days after this argument I casually walked up to dad, he was just about to pour himself a drink before dinner. I offered to get his drink for him, and instead of the regular I poured in the Black Dog TGR. I didn’t really succeed in fooling him. The moment he got a sniff, he gave me a hard stare.

I’m sure he liked what he smelled or he just wanted to give his verdict and close the debate. I stood their staring at him after he took a sip. I asked him, “Well, what do you think”. He did not say a word, just stared again and took another sip. I kept standing there for several minutes, hoping he would say something, but he finished the drink but did not say a word. Finally, he just looked at me and said, “Pour me another one”. “Which one?” I asked him. “This one”, he said. We both smiled at each other and I brought him another drink.

You see, eventually it wasn’t about winning or losing but more about getting to try and appreciate a really good label of whisky. I think the age factor matters more to my dad’s generation. They strongly believe that age, and only age can really build a good whisky. Dad believed that no other label could be a match to his favourite 12 Y O Scotch.

I agree that our generation is crowded with too many choices but we do know how to make the right choices. We know that exceptional taste in Scotch whisky can be contributed by factors other than just the age of the whisky. In case of the Triple Gold Reserve for instance, the complex tastes in the whisky are built not just by a matchless and fine blend but also by the process of triple maturation. Individual maturation in Bourbon casks followed by maturation of the blend in Sherry butts results in exquisite flavours.

My friends and I enjoy Triple Gold Reserve and find it as good and perhaps better than our 12 Y O Scotch Whisky. My dad enjoys this label too, but he still likes to stick to his opinion about the age of whisky is all that matters. TGR by Black Dog is our choice of beverage when we hold little gatherings or even when we go out partying. The generation gap will always be there but I think when it comes to delicious whisky we all agree.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is meant only for readers above 25 years of age.

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