TRANSPARENCY IN SPIRITS
At Navigate World Whisky, transparency is a golden thread running through our portfolio, here is why…
Copper pot stills and barley site map, Waterford Distillery
No, this is not a piece about chill filtration. Rather, the topic of the day, transparency, is really about your drinking experience.
A bottle of fine spirit is a little investment in your future. In a bottle you are buying (depending on your heavy-handedness) approximately 15-30 flavour experiences, moments with yourself or moments shared with friends. Unlike wine, a single open bottle can be treasured and revisited for years. When parting with your hard earned moola to buy a premium spirit, whether it be fine whisky, rum, cognac or mezcal, you should expect some transparency from the producer. And here is why…
Your drinking experience is made richer by knowing something about what is in your glass. Where it was made, when it was made, what the raw materials were, how it was distilled, how it was matured and what casks it was matured in. To truly be transported by a fine spirit, to be spirited away by its provenance, you need this information. It is no coincidence that the most discerning customers tend to gravitate toward producers or bottlers that are regularly putting the effort into presenting this information. This not only elevates the consumer experience, it establishes trust. It is empowering for you.
The world is awash with regular age statement whiskies, many of them excellent, but many of them are reflecting the excess of demand over supply in terms of access to quality casks. This is all very good and well, and goes somewhere to contain costs in some instances, but many an expert and experienced whisky writer laments the dilution of house character that has occurred comparing bottlings from the 70s and 80s, with now. But perhaps more than this, these bottlings are often short on transparency. What do we know about them, other than their age and the alcohol level they were cut down to?
At Navigate World Whisky, transparency is like a golden thread that weaves through our portfolio. We are passionate about this, as are our partners at La Maison du Whisky, and La Maison & Velier. We have scores of selected cask bottlings and single cask bottlings of whisky, rum or cognac. These bottlings are singular, and awash with geeky detail.
But what really sets the example are the producers that pour as much information into their regular releases. Take Waterford, for example. Whether Waterford releases one of their single farm expressions, or a Cuvée of several farms, the TÉIREOIR code on the back of each bottle allows you to trace that whisky backwards in the most minute detail, every cask it was aged in, right back to the soil conditions of the farm/s the barley was grown in. This is inspiring, unparalleled traceability and it thoroughly enriches the experience of drinking Waterford.
In the world of pure single rum, La Maison & Velier have been hugely influential in bringing transparency about provenance and production to the fore. And rum is better for it. Better yet, pure single rum is surging because of it.
The most captivating brands are eager to show you their provenance. Not just does this set them apart, you can smell and taste the skill and care given to deliver you a pure spirit. You no longer need to wonder about where the rum is from, what was the raw material, has its character been dulled, or its faults plastered over with sugar, has it been flavoured or coloured? Instead you are transported.
Demand transparency from fine spirits, reap the rewards.