My brother-in-law is opening a distillery in Canada, which has got us discussing whisky on the regular. And by the sounds of it it looks like there are certain techniques that can be used these days that 'age' whiskies faster than has classically been done.
So what this has got me wondering is whether the 12 or 18 year old labels of some Scotches are more of a placebo, and a product of popular opinion on how Scotch should be distilled? In other words, the history of Scotch has created a situation where the consumer demands a specific age, when in reality it's not really necessary. And so Scottish distillers use this aging method more for image than necessity.