Feeling first-date nervous about shopping for Scotch? Here comes Forbes.com’s Felipe Schrieberg with seven things to look for in a bottle. Tilted to noobs, it’s a useful list. Question No. 1: Is there an age statement? If not, you might still be in for a treat. But as a rule of thumb, Schrieberg says, favor a bottle identifying its contents as at least 10 years old. (And see above.)
Other key queries include alcohol strength, keeping in mind that anything 51%-plus is cask strength—bottled without extra water. And if you’re wondering whether a Scotch is artificially colored, chances are yes, unless the label says otherwise. Not that there’s anything wrong with a little caramel.
Whiskey in 2019: How old do you think I am?
To ring in the new year, Schrieberg’s colleague George Koutsakis takes a stab at what’s in store for whiskey in 2019. At the top of his list is—bummer—more discontinuations of popular aged issuances by Japanese distillers such as Nikka and Suntory.
On a brighter note, Koutsakis thinks this could be a good year for no-age-statement (NAS) whiskies. (Again, see above.) He cites feverish demand for Suntory’s 30th anniversary bottling of Hibiki Japanese Harmony: “All it took was a different bottle and label, and fans were hooked.” Last time we checked, that number was all yours for $299.99 at Beverly Hills Liquor & Wine.