Originally Posted by Brussell
Still somewhat of a beginner having sampled about 30 whiskies so far. I'm wondering if I should put my financial resources into buying many of the readily available, cheaper and younger bottles, or should I put that money into buying fewer of the older, rarer and/or more expensive bottles.
My understanding (and experience so far) is that the longer a whisky sits in the barrel, the more of its fundamental flavor it loses, the more it smooths out and picks up the wood flavors. For this reason I didn't even bother to try Laphroaig's Triplewood. If I want Laphroaig, I want it to taste like Laphroaig. That's what I'm buying it for... the peat. The idea behind triplewood is to give it that aged taste in a shorter time... which means less peat taste... and that's not what I'm looking for in my Laphy.
If a whisky's fundamental flavoring IS the barrel, then I suppose the longer it sits in the barrel ,the better it would be. But in the case of Laph and other islays, the barrel can just soak up the flavor you're after.
To answer the question, I would spend time with all the younger whiskies and only move up in age if I thought the added wood flavor and subtracted malt flavor would be a good idea. Or if it had too much of a "spirit taste". Or if I was bored out of my mind with the whiskies I'd tried and had nothing left to try