This week’s The Spirits Business magazine reopens the no age statement (NAS) debate on Scotch whisky within travel retail/ duty free.

I had the opportunity to contribute to the article and share my personal views on this debate with Kristiane Sherry, the editor of the magazine. I have asked for permission to share the article through this blog and have added the extracts below. It is worth a read and for sure a debate that will rage on within the industry.

The latest printed edition of The Spirits Business magazine is now out including this article and I would definitely recommend it as a subscriber!


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  • Scotch is a relatively new subject for me, but I don’t believe NAS will hurt business. I deal predominantly with bourbon in my work and most bourbons do not apply an age to the bottles. You do see the boasting of ten + year agings, but generally that is what you pay for…the age. The full range of flavors is lost, especially in new oak barrels ( regarding bourbon), when allowed to mature for that length of time. You loose the fruit notes, some spice notes, and the finish is often so harsh it’s painful to drink. I can’t imagine Scotch to be much different. Several bourbon producers achieve a similar profile by heating their Rick houses in the winter allowing for year round summer type conditions. I am anxious to see if environmentally controlled warehouses do not flood the spirits industry allowing for perfect conditions year around to speed and perfect the maturation process.

  • Is the really reason for dropping the age statement more to do with the lack of old whisky stocks in Scotland?
    Also, the realization that other countries can produce great whisky in half the time as the Scots.
    Age, does not always = Quality! After 15 years in a cask what activity is left ?
    Its been a great selling point for years, but we all need to embrace change !

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