Ex-sherry casks have the most dramatic effect on a whisky's flavour of all the types of cask used. They offer fruit cake, toffee, and sometimes a suplhury character not unlike struck matches.
As much a style of whisky as an Islay, Island or Speyside, fans of heavily sherried whiskies love that dark, deep rich sweetness.
Whisky is very, very rarely filled into new casks, but casks that have been seasoned by a different alcohol, most commonly bourbon, port, whisky or sherry....
These other alcohols extract some of the tannins from the wood, which would overpower a whisky during its long journey to maturity.
Although commonly referred to as 'sherry casked whiskies', in reality it is the species of oak that has the greatest influence on flavour, not the sherry it contained.
Spanish Oak (Quercus Robur, for the latin fans) is finer grained, knotted, and higher in tannins than its American counterpart (Quercus Alba).
These mighty slow-growing European oaks can be 100 years to be ready for use as casks, where they may hold sherry for another two before being ready to be used as whisky casks.
The type of sherry used does also have influence on flavour, with the rich sweetness of Oloroso casks highly regarded, but being quite different to the crisp dryness of a whisky matured in an ex- Fino sherry cask (less commonly found).
This 'Sherry Monster' category contains examples of the Oloroso-style.
Unfortunately sherry did catch the imagination of drinkers in the later 20th century, and sherry casks are much more expensive, especially when compared against the readily available bourbon casks.
How many of these noble beasts will we see in the future?
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.
Pale in color
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.
Somewhere between Amontillado and Oloroso.
Although popular in Spain, it is not well known internationally.
A good Palo Cortado is clean and crisp and has a deep, subtle bouquet.
This type of sherry is more popular outside Spain.
Cream sherry is produced by sweetening oloroso, traditionally with Pedro Ximenez.
Pale cream is a sweetened Fino.
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.
One thing is for sure.
The impact that sherry bodegas have on the whisky industry is enormous and will continue to be so.
To quote David Robertson, "without the sherry casks and Spanish oak, it just wouldn’t be The Macallan."
amberkleurige sherry met een zacht aroma.
Deze sherry-soort is genoemd de montilla, een wijn die niet in Jerez wordt verbouwd.