As to age...let's take the 1960's so we are pre many bourbons (or ryes) as a percentage were sold with more than 8 years of age? I'd think a very small figure compared to today. I mentioned an increase in the starch in corn and I see that for scotch, Oliver Klimek in his blog Dramming, argues the same with regards to more recent barley and the need for wood and longer ageing. More starch equal more alcohol but less proteins, minerals and fats that give flavor. The many factors that create the difference between old and new are of course many and discussed numerous times before. Chuck's write up in The Bourbon Country Reader on the Fairfax County dontated by smokinjoe, which was chemically analyzed is also recommended.