Over the years I have heard the opinion expressed that some aged bourbons are not as good as they could be because they weren't made to age well, and of course, the vice versa.
E.g. recently I heard someone say that Prohibition-era bourbons are often not that good because when released they were much older than was intended by the makers (often 15-17 years old).
In thinking about this, I am wondering though, how does one make a bourbon intended for long - or short - aging?
Is there something in the mashbill that would be different? We have today older wheat-recipe and rye-recipe bourbons. We have lots of old ryes. So I don't think there is anything there that impacts on this question.
I can understand up to a point the issue of warehouse location. You might intend a quicker-aged product if you put the barrels in the part of the warehouse that matured them most quickly (often at the top), and again the vice versa.
But can that explain why so much Prohibition whiskey tastes woody, because it was placed on the upper portions and intended for sale, say, in 1922 (if made say in 1918) but was only finally sold years later? Considering that the aging whiskey was moved around (a lot of it) and probably vatted with other whiskeys, I am not sure that makes sense either.
Any thoughts on this?