By Richard Thomas
The statutory minimum age for Scotch whisky is three years, but how often do you see an expression bearing that minimal age statement? Even supermarket generics like Glen Orchy don’t go so low as three years with their age statements, the obvious implication being few would want to drink blatantly young whisky… unless, of course, you are curious about what can be done with minimally aged spirit.
That is what got my attention about Amber Glen 3 Year Old, a three year old blended whisky. Amber Glen is an independent bottler, perhaps better known for a line of sourced single malts representing the different Scotch regions. They reportedly draw on Macduff, Glenallachie, Glentauchers and Miltonduff, and maybe other distilleries as well.
The liquid shows the color of white gold. The nose, however, is faint. That wispy scent is predominately grainy, with traces of green wood and dill. The flavor carries a bit more heft, with a sweet, honey-malt base, seasoned with a touch of cookie spice and oak. The whisky is surprisingly smooth for a youthful Scotch, with a silky texture. Enter the finish, which is lightly warm, short, and nearly flavorless.
Compared to some mass market, no age statement (NAS) blended whiskies, Amber Glen is light on flavor but not at all rough. It’s unsophisticated and youthful, but rather nice and easy.
Listings show this priced around $30.