They offer flavours like fruit cake and toffee, which give the fans of heavily sherried whiskies that beloved dark, deep rich sweetness .
Whisky is usually filled into used casks (however the ¨virgin oak¨ are becoming more common nowadays) that have been seasoned by a different kind alcohol, most commonly wine, bourbon, port, whisky or sherry.
One of the main reasons that whisky matures on used barrels is that these other alcohols extract the tannins from the wood, tannins which would otherwise overpower a whisky during its maturity period.
Its not only the formerly contained sherry that influences the taste of the whisky, the species of oak used for the barrel has a major influence on flavour too.
Unfortunately sherry matured whisky has become very popular, resulting in a shortage of quality casks, therefore sherry casks are much more expensive, especially when compared against the readily available bourbon casks.
The type of sherry used influences the flavour below youĺ find a summary of the most common sherries and their characteristics in taste
Pedro Ximenez, a rich, naturally sweet wine from grapes ripened in the sun for longer.
Traditionally used to sweeten other sherries.Expensive to produce. Give a rich, dark, zesty flavour.
The combination of the two results in an avalanche of sublime tastes that leave an indelible impression on the taste buds.
Manzanilla, pale in colour, Dry, delicate Fino made from grapes grown by the shores of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and matured in local cellars.
Sharp, aromatic – some claim to detect a salty tang.
Oloroso, ("scented" in Spanish) is a variety of fortified wine (sherry) made in Jerez and Montilla-Moriles and produced by oxidative aging. It is normally darker than Amontillado. Oloroso is usually dark and nutty.
Amontillado, is a variety of sherry wine characterized by being darker than fino but lighter than oloroso. It is named after the Montilla region of Spain, where the style originated in the eighteenth century, although the name 'Amontillado' is sometimes used commercially as a simple measure of colour to label any sherry lying between a fino and an oloroso.
Fino, ("refined" in Spanish) is the driest and palest of the traditional varieties of Sherry and Montilla-Moriles fortified wine. They are consumed comparatively young, and unlike the sweeter varieties should be consumed soon after the bottle is opened as exposure to air can cause them to lose their flavour within hours.
Brandy de Jerez, 90% of Spanish brandy is produced in Jeréz.
The wine spirit is matured in old sherry casks. It is sweeter than French brandy and may be classified as solera, gran solera and solera reservada.
Nowadays the majority of whisky brands offer whisky that has been matured or finished in sherry casks.