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Jan 7, 2013 07:41 AM

Whiskey / whisky matured (not just finished) in wine casks?

After immensely enjoying a bottle of Yellow Spot (Mitchell & Son), which was matured a full 12 years in different barrels (one of them being malaga wine), I was trying to think of other whiskeys that have a full maturation in wine casks. Many finish, but I think it's rare (although I'm a relative whiskey n00b) for something to be aged entirely in wine casks. I imagine this is going to limit it mainly to blends, but I'd love to discover any similar whiskeys if they're out there. Any ideas?

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  1. It is my understanding that, historically, Scotch distillers never bought new oak . . . Bourbon barrels, Sherry casks, yes; new oak, no. Ergo . . . .

    1. Macallan does full maturation in Sherry casks.

      1. As Zin notes, almost all Scotch is aged in used casks, mostly either bourbon or sherry. There are many Scotches fully matured in sherry casks, including the standard offerings of Macallan, Glenfarclas, Glendronach and many others.

        In terms of wines other than sherry, there aren't as many, but there have been some. For instance, Auchentoshan released an 11 year old which was fully aged in Bourdeaux casks.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sku

          Aberlour A'bunadh is also aged only in sherry casks, I believe.

          1. re: sku

            As sku correctly interpreted, what I was getting at specifically were sweet wines (ports, malagas), Bordeaux (like the Auchentoshan mentioned), Chatea d'Yquem, that sort of thing. I've seen a lot finished in these, but few fully matured. Pretty embarrassing blind spot there that sherry is obviously a wine.

            (The Yellow Spot I believe is sherry and bourbon casked in addition to the malaga casks, but it's the malaga casks that impart the biggest flavor profile to this whisky, or at least I think so.)

            1. re: lambretta76

              I have had the Glenmorangie Quinta Rubin recently (port finish), and with the amount of flavor imparted by just the last two years in port casks, I would imagine aging the entire time would throw it way out of balance.