So there's much ado about the recent drop in the Old Weller Antique Age statement along with the change in packaging and label. There are pretty much two camps:
Wait and see what happens, but in the end, if you like what's in the bottle, does it matter.
I like an age stated bourbon and I'm mad as hell about this change….it does matter.
Where do you stand? Does the age statement on a bottle mean something to you and if so, what? Does the marketing aspect appeal to you? Does the age statement speak to a level of quality? Does it affect your purchasing decision in favor of the age statement? Is it not a factor at all?
I'll tell you where I stand. I like the age statement. I agree that taste is the important factor when it comes to bourbon and everything else is secondary, for the most part. BUT….if given a choice, I'm more apt to lean toward age stated bourbon over an NAS sitting side by side on the shelf. For the average consumer, I think price is the determining factor, e.g. more expensive means better quality. For those of us that have been around bourbon for a while, we know that's not true, Woodford Reserve 4 Grain is a good example. Some good bourbon has lost their age statement over the last number of years and to me, it's a shame. But, the market and bean counters drive change and as such, it is what it is. I wrote in my earlier blog about the OWA I recommended you grab some bottles to bunker and I think it's still good advice.
My impression in reading the various forums is that an age statement is important to the majority, and I fall into that camp. I would rather have an 8 year Old Fitzgerald 1849 than the current NAS bottling. I would also argue that when the age statement is taken off the label, and younger whiskey ends up in the bottle, taste suffers, but that's just my personal drinking opinion.
So, what say you…..matter or not matter?