TBWC said the new Scotch Whisky Transparency Campaign, launched by fellow independent bottler Compass Box earlier this year, acted as the group’s “final motivation” for the move.
Since launching in 2013, TBWC has exclusively bottled its whiskies as no-age-statements, but “with immediate effect” will declare the ages of all its future bottlings.
“This categorically doesn’t mean that we now believe that age is the most important thing about our whiskies,” said TBWC’s Ben Ellefsen. “The most important thing is, and always has been, flavour – and we continue to make cask and parcel selections on that basis alone.
When we launched TBWC, we wanted the liquid to be judged on its absolute quality – not its age. We’re 3½ years on now, and feel that we’ve established a reputation for exceptional liquid, and the feedback we’re consistently getting from our customers is that they’re really interested in how old the whiskies inside are.
“This and the recent launch of the campaign for transparency by John Glaser of Compass Box – which we wholeheartedly support – combined to make adding age statements to our bottlings somewhat of a no-brainer.”
Ellefsen said the company will release whiskies with “tiny” age statements, including a three-year-old expression from Germany, as well as whiskies with “super-punchy” age statements.
“We are also committed to revealing all the information we have on the breakdown of the ages of the various whiskies that make up each bottling as soon as the campaign for transparency is successful, and the EU legislation – which is at best a blunt instrument – is modified to allow us the freedom to do so,” added Ellefsen.
After being called out by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) for breaching EU regulations by listing the proportions of each age statement in the final blend of its This is Not a Luxury Whisky and Flaming Heart whiskies, Compass Box launched a campaign calling for a change in industry regulations.
The bottler believes producers should have the “freedom to offer information on the age of every component used in their whiskies”, as well as details of the distilleries from which the liquid was sourced and cask variety.
Under current laws, Scotch producers have one of two options when it comes to age statements – display the youngest age in the blend, or include no age information at all and market their product as NAS.
TBWC’s inaugural age-statement range consists of:
Girvan 52yo (Batch 1) – £247.95
Macallan 25yo (Batch 5) – £497.95
Ardbeg 12yo (Batch 7) – £99.95
Blended Whisky #1 35yo (Batch 3) – £119.95
Invergordon 43yo (Batch 5) – £99.95
Islay Blended Malt #2 27yo (Batch 1) – £127.95
Port Charlotte 13yo (Batch 2) – £79.95
Ben Nevis 19yo (Batch 4) – £66.95
Aberlour 23yo (Batch 4) – £94.95
Paul John 6yo (Batch 2) – £99.95
The English Whisky Company 5yo (Batch 1) – £57.95
Glentauchers 17yo (Batch 2) – £79.95
Mortlach 27yo (Batch 2) – £273.95
Lagavulin 10yo (Batch 2) – £99.95
Glenrothes 10yo (Batch 2) – £54.95
information from the spirit buisness.