Find out where casks start their life and see how Scotch is dependent on Sherry.
Wine Folly.com–According to one of the principal players in the Scottish whiskey business 60% of the taste of a great Scotch whiskey is thanks to a great Spanish barrel. George Espie, managing director of the Clyde Cooperage, which negotiates some 10 million British pounds worth of American and Spanish oak cask wood annually, affirms that “60% of the finished whiskey quality comes from the cask.” According to Espie all of that oak wood is cut into staves in northern Spain, then shipped to Jerez de la Frontera where it is turned into casks by expert Spanish coopers. The casks are then filled with sherry wine–the best for this purpose is an aged oloroso–for two to three years before the casks are sent on to Scotland for aging whiskey.
Read more and see the infographic on Wine Folly.com: http://winefolly.com/update/life-of-a-cask-from-wine-to-whiskey/ (After reading the Wine Folly article, don’t forget to come back and see the video, below.)
See the three-minute video interview by Gerry Tosh with George Espie, managing director of the Clyde Cooperage, about the importance of wood and the quality of casks to the single malt whisky from Highland Park Whiskey: http://youtu.be/hfMno67gfWk