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The process of whiskey aging in sherry cask is referred to as finishing’ of the whiskey. “Finishing” is transferring the whiskey from its initial cask and putting it into another that was used for maturing sherry. Sherry casks are usually made from special Spanish oaks which are known to have the greatest influence on flavor. These special types of casks are known to hold sherry for a while before being used as whiskey casks. This species of oak has been known to have a great influence on the flavor of the whiskey.
Sherry casks are known to be much more expensive as compared to other types of casks because they are mostly imported from Spain that make a lot of sherry. This is because they are not easily available as compared to other types such as the bourbon casks. What difference it makes is that it helps to add new dimensions of flavor to the whisky. This is because the whisky flavor is influenced by the sherry infused in the wood. This is because the type of sherry used does influence the flavor of the whiskey. Aging whiskey in a sherry cask gives it a crisp dryness and a nutty flavor. The whiskey also has a darker colour and deep rich sweetness.
Here you can see the “Auchentoshan Three Wood”. Three wood means that it has been aged in three different types of barrels. That’s pretty impressive. Isn’t it?? And this definitely makes this whisky much more interesting to drink. Well again I’m not saying that Auchentoshan is the only one who does this magic to their whisky but it’s definitely not something which is very common in the market because it’s an expensive and more time consuming process for sure. If you pay careful attention to the label it’s also mention “Finished in Sherry Casks”. Well I believe after reading till here it’s not that difficult to understand that three different casks were used to age this beauty but the last cask as in to finish the product was Sherry Cask.
Sherry finished whiskies differ in the amount of sherry taste and amount of alcohol in them. This helps determine their quality. The top five sherry finished whiskies are Macallan 12, Glendoranch 12 y.o, Aberlour A’bunadh, Ben Riach sherry wood 12 and Glenfarclas. These types are known to have all the abundance that one would want in a bottle of whiskey. These whiskies are known to get better with time and thus the longer they are matured the finer and smoother they get. The other good thing about them is that it will definitely enhance your overall drinking experience.
Another great example here is Amrut Indian Single Malt Whisky which has been Aged in PX (Pedro Ximenez) Sherry cask. Aged in a cask that previously had sticky, sweet PX sherry. Bottled at a cask strength of 62.8% this is definitely a spicy sherry monster.
Recently entered in the market “The Chivas Regal Extra” known to have influence of a sherry cask. Unlike above mentioned whiskies, Chivas extra is a blended scotch whisky which falls under Chivas 12 and 18 and it does not carry any age statement on it. Chivas extra contains blend of some of the finest malt whiskies matured in Oloroso sherry casks.
Whiskies matured in Oloroso sherry casks usually takes up its dark flavours and the nuttiness. The dark flavours usually contains figs, raisins, and many more fruits. Most of the whisky experts usually find the Oloroso sherry cask matured whiskies more oily and smoother than all other whiskies in the market.