Re: Risky Experiment [Geddit?!]
Up to a point, but like MPG it's only a valid comparison if you are comparing like with like.
A whisky aged in a Quarter Cask (80 litres) will mature much faster than a whisky aged in a Hogshead (250 litres) - it's all to do with the volume-to-surface area ratio as the whisky takes on colour and flavour from it's contact with the wood.
So a 10 year whisky aged in a smaller cask could be darker/richer/smoother/fuller bodied compared to a 12 or 15 year aged in a larger cask or butt.
Also, the evolution of flavour means a whisky could pass it's sweetspot and take on unwanted flavour or character. I've certainly had 18 year or 21 year whisky that tasted harsher than 12 year from the same distillery.
Finally, and this seems to be particularly true for Japanese whiskey, the production methods and techniques have evolved over the decades. From what I've tasted, recently made Japanese whiskey is preferable to the much older stuff (huge generalisation, but true in my experience).
Whether they have taken a while to settle on a style, have been tweaking their production or maybe there is some other reason (perhaps I just don't like older Japanese whiskey) I don't know.