Youthful energy or wise complexity?
Each has its place, so don't let an age statement or lack of one hold you back from trying a whisky.
For the most part, the longer the whisky spends in a oak barrel the better it gets. But as whisky gets older, it becomes exponentially more expensive.
If I were to give you a straight off the still new make spirit and a three year old whisky would you notice a difference? Hell ya you would. That is the equivalent of comparing a baby and a teenager. Sure when I was a baby i was cute as hell but I pooped my pants and was far away from being ready to take on the world. The same goes for unaged whisky, it is still has some time to go before it is ready to drink.
When I was in high school I probably didn't put enough deodorant on and I needed a haircut, I needed it badly. There we a couple things that held me back from being a mature adult, but I was definitely entering manhood. Just as a three year old whisky usually has a few minor flaws but is definitely on its way to becoming good whisky. There is a big change between diapers and high school, the same goes for the time whisky spends in the barel.
But what if I gave you a 21 year old and 24 year old scotch, which is better and would you notice a difference? That is like comparing a 42 year old to a 46 year old. Sure you may have changed, your kids may have moved out of the house you and you recently took up a new hobby. Or for the first time you had to get classes as your eyes are starting to go. Sure you changed but much slower of a pace then when you were a kid. Plus that 24 year old whisky probably costs twice as much as the 21!
My final example, I swear. Betty White, 94 as of this writing, would probably be the coolest grandma ever but most by her age have lost their mobility, memory is starting to go and have gone back to using diapers. Yikes! This sounds a lot like that baby I talked about earlier. The same goes for whisky that is really, really old. The whisky becomes overly bitter and tastes like licking burnt firewood. Old whisky costs a fortune and I am not sure which is the crime, drinking the oh so expensive whisky or letting it go to waste in a display case. Babies and old people are cute, but for the most part useless and they both cost a lot of money!
Somewhere between being a teenager and going through a mid life crisis is probably the prime years of your life. Same goes for whisky, somewhere between 3 and 18 years is probably best. But heck, there are exceptions to this, just remember Betty White. Yes I did just hate on young and elderly whisky. But I drink them both from time to time. All whisky has its time and place.