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Help us understand NAS bottlings

Normally we write our blogs only in Dutch but this time I feel I have to write it in English. Why? Well I hope that distillers all over the world will read it and think about what I have to say about the NAS phenomenon. Maybe other bloggers and Whiskyclubs can do the same in order to create more understanding in how NAS prices are set.

NAS stands for No Age Statement. Distillers don't have to mention the age of the youngest spirit anymore. Instead a flashy name and a big marketing campaign should do the trick. Ardbeg has done it for years and quite succesfully. Allthough questionmarks are set with every high priced fantastic new expression, people still buy it. "It's Ardbeg so it must be something good..." More and more distillers now switch to NAS bottlings as well but what does that mean for us? Do the distillers feel ashamed for bringing young spirits in the blends?

On Facebook I participated in a discussion on the subject. A well known Whiskybrand launches a NAS sometime soon and one of my Facebook friends asked them how they came up with the pricetag. In the answer only the use of special types of casks was mentioned. Nothing was said about the maturation time or age of the spirits. It could very well be that the Whisky contains a bit of a 7 year old spirit to spice up the other ages. And thát's the information I would like to get!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Would I pay €100,00 for a NAS bottle with a flashy name and good marketing?
  • Would I pay €100,00 for the same bottle including name and marketing ánd a list of different vintages used?

For example, brand X launches a NAS and the price is set on €95,00. The flashy name is made up and a big marketing campaign is started as well. In addition a label containing a content list is put on the back of the bottle.

"This Whisky contains:

  • 60% 1993 spirit
  • 15% 1997 spirit
  • 10% 1999 spirit
  • 10% 2002 spirit
  • 4% 2004 spirit
  • 1% 2009 spirit"

Allthough in normal standards this would be a 5 year old Whisky I would be very interested in a NAS knowing this kind of information. Wouldn't you?


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