If you’ve happened to glance at the news in the last couple of years, you’re sure to be aware that a millennial drinking revolution is afoot. While many are choosing to drink less, or none at all, those who do still indulge in a tipple are opting for bevvies which fall under the ‘craft’ or ‘premium’ category with growing enthusiasm, choosing to pay more, and drink less. And while that would’ve once sounded like a teenage me’s worst nightmare, this can only be a good thing; our taste buds and livers are doing leaps of gratitude, in both the short and long term.

To paraphrase Munchies, one of our favourite websites – the days of young people drinking shitty beer and crappy vodka are over. Indeed, choosing a tipple which makes a statement of restraint and sophistication seems to be the way forward, with that same beloved website declaring Scotch Isn’t Just an Old Man Drink Anymore.It seems that the youth are starting to appreciate this ‘liquid sunshine’ drink again.

While there are myriad different brands and brews around, not all scotches are made equal, Maturity (the drink here, not the consumer) strongly speaks to the quality of a particular scotch, and so, for many scotch lovers, a 17 year old scotch may not match up to a 21 year old scotch. With this in mind, here are 4 IDEAL reasons a 21 year old whiskey is so lovely. 

IT’S RARE

A 21 year old scotch is not something you simply find on a shelf in every bar. With a rare bottle of scotch, you know that you are getting something special. You’ll be sipping on sophistication that is not typical of all varieties of the famed liquor, but only unique to a 21 year old scotch whisky. You can count on a rare bottle of scotch being a fine drink, which means that it evokes luxurious pleasure.

IT’S AGED TO PERFECTION

Age matters when talking scotch. The general notion is that the older a scotch is, the better, or in other words, old scotch is unequivocally delicious, thanks to aging that enhances the taste. It’s not simply aging that does the trick though, rather its being aged in oak barrels which typically break down the rougher flavors of alcohol. The longer the alcohol ages in the barrels, the smoother the scotch will be; helping avoid that embarrassing, hardly ‘grown up’ wince after each sip. 

ITS HAS A HUGE AMOUNT OF CHARACTER AND COMPLEXITY

A scotch whisky, like the Glenlivet 21, aged for a minimum of 21 years, is rich in character, complexity and subtlety.

  • Appearance: Aged in an oak cask, the scotch will be darker and more intense than younger versions, with a deep copper colour, or golden hue. Colour is generally the best indicator of what to expect in your scotch in terms of flavor and taste.
  • Nose: A 21 year old dark scotch is associated with rich and luscious aromas. You can get some divine notes that could be airy and delicate as well. Expect a deep and well-balanced mix of aromas of aged oak, ripe fruit, leather and toffee.  
  • Palate: Also lovely in a 21 year old scotch is the complex tasting experience; a palate full and rich, with a variation of core flavors, including roasted nuts (hazelnut, walnut), spices (ginger, cinnamon), burnt sugar and some degree of tangy oak.
  • Finish: You can anticipate a finish that is long and sweet, and malty, with warm spices and woody notes.

IT’S A GOOD INVESTMENT

Perfectly aged scotch, like a 21 year old whiskey, is a fine spirit to collect, share and enjoy. It is truly lovely because it is not only rare, but it is matured beautifully, with character and complexity. What’s more, a closed bottle of whisky can even be good for 100 years, meaning you don’t have to get stuck in to the bottle the moment you buy it, but rather keep it saved for a special occasion.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.