Luxebook May 2023

Does it matter where whisky is matured? BY ARUSHI SAKHUJA The Cask Factor Exploring Distillers’ Experiments in Maturation Styles and categories differentiate themselves with the use of different grains, yeast strains and maturation climates. Scotch, bourbon, rye – no matter the classification, one of the most important factors affecting the final flavour of a whisky is the wood cask or barrel it’s aged in. “I would say probably 90-95% of the flavour profile of the whisky comes from the cask. Whatever we get from the cask is pretty much the character and the flavour of the whisky– all the colour, character, notes that you get in whiskey result from the casks you’re ageing them in,” shared Angad Singh Gandhi, Brand Ambassador, Glenfiddich. As we can’t judge a book by its cover, the subdued appearance of a cask can belie the beauty within. In the whisky business, a lot of fuss is made over the vessel in which drinks are served and matured – from appropriate tasting glassware to the cask. For some, these are less important than the beverage itself. But for others, the choice of container is a key component of the drinking experience. However, the real presentation vessel for whisky is the humble cask. While there may be something appealing in the vibrancy of a virgin oak barrel, the cask lacks the pleasing aesthetics of other vessels in the whisky experience. Whisky casks are an apt example of the famous quote, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Those notso-visually-appealing casks are the true magic behind a beautiful whisky – one that holds vibrant flavours.What’s more, the presence of casks in the global transportation of alcoholic drinks gives distillers myriad flavours to play with. From these casks, distillers and blenders can pick ingredients and craft a recipe that complements the character of their new make. Whisky is matured for several years in casks of different origins. What influences the maturation process? Why do Whiskies from one distillery sometimes taste so differently? LuxeBook dives deeper. History of the Cask The history of the wooden cask reaches back more than 3,000 years to the ancient woodlands of north-western Europe. These vessels were skilfully constructed and secured to hold liquid such as beer and mead. Casks were one of humankind’s most robust and versatile containers until the advent of steel drums and moulded plastics in the 20th century. And... nothing can surpass oak containers in flavour maturation for wine and spirits, and there would be no modern whisky without oak containers. At whisky warehouses worldwide, nearly 60 million oak casks lie in storage, maturing the whisky of the future, and oak, above all species, serves as the ideal wood that produces the most desirable flavour for whisky. Angad Singh Gandhi, Brand Ambassador, Glenfiddich THE CASK FACTOR 22|LUXEBOOK|MAY 2023 MAY 2023 |LUXEBOOK|23