This past weekend marked my 30th birthday. What better way to celebrate (mourn?) than with a glass of fine whisky that is much older than you? Thanks to Master of Malt’s miniatures program, I was able to relax with 30ml of Glenfarclas 40 year-old for very little $$. I didn’t write any tasting notes and I’m not going to do a review (how many of you are itching to go out and buy a $400+ bottle of scotch on my recommendation? If any, you haven’t been listening to me.) Instead, I just sat back and experienced it. 40 years in a sherry cask (I don’t know if any ex-bourbon is in the vatting) does interesting things to a whisky. It was resinous, with notes of molasses and tree sap, and extremely woody. In fact, I think the wood notes (furniture polish, bitter walnut skins, etc.) overruled the sweetness and fruit of all that sherry. I don’t think I would want an entire bottle, although I’m very grateful to have been able to taste it. It certainly confirmed the notion, for me, that “older isn’t always better” – it was good whisky, but it wasn’t 4 times better than a 10 year-old, or even twice as good as a 20 year-old. It was old, and had old whisky flavors. Often, I find I’m more interested in young whisky flavors – bright, fruity, and tart – or at least a nice balance between youth and maturity. Speaking of which, now that I’m 30, striking a nice balance between youth and maturity sounds like a good goal for the next 30 years. Oh, and trying lots of whisky. Cheers!