Like them or loathe them, no age statement single malts are gaining popularity. No age statement (NAS) means that there is no age specified on the bottle. In the case of Scotch single malt, it is a legal requirement to have been matured for a minimum of three years.
When it comes to single malt, there is no need for age snobbery. If the liquid delivers the right balance and flavour profile, why discriminate based on age.
A newcomer to the single malt category may find it difficult to navigate the world of whisky, so we’ve put together five entry level whiskies suitable for beginners.
Here are our recommendations for 5 No Age Statement Single Malt Whisky for Beginners:
1. The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
When The Glenlivet 12 yo was replaced with The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve (40% ABV), die hard fans were in uproar. But the Speyside single malt wasn’t meant for whisky connoisseurs but for those entering the single malt category for the first time. Fruity with honey sweetness and notes of subtle spice with candied orange make it a good introduction to The Glenlivet range. More on The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve here.
2. Hibiki Harmony
Hibiki Harmony (43% ABV) is one of the most approachable Japanese single malts. Light, elegant and refined with fruit notes and honey sweetness, the palate leads to chocolate with traces of orange peel. Enjoy over an ice ball for slow dilution. More on Hibiki Harmony here.
3. Starward Wine Cask
From New World Distillery in Melbourne comes an Australian whisky matured in 100% Australian Shiraz casks. A complex single malt suited for beginners as well as whisky enthusiasts, Starward Wine Cask (41% ABV) has rich aromas of raisins and toffee and a rich palate of red fruit, plums and some spice. Easy to sip on its own or in cocktails, it goes equally well with a cheese platter. More on Starward Wine Cask here.
4. Talisker Skye
With its sweet, smoky with maritime character, Talisker Skye (45.8% ABV) makes a good introduction to smoky whiskies and the Talisker malts from the Isle of Skye. Versatile for sipping as well as in mixed drinks, it lends itself very well to cocktails. More on Talisker Skye cocktails here.
5. Laphroaig Select Cask
By their own admission, Laphroaig state that their single malt whisky can be divisive. For an introduction to the world of Laphroaig and the briny, medicinal notes of this Islay dram, Laphroaig Select Cask (40% ABV) makes a good choice. Approachable and sessionable due to its subdued smoke, brine and iodine characters, the palate enjoys a mix of peat smoke, ripe fruit and a hint of sweetness. More on Laphroiag whisky here.