Back to Finishing School
By Jonny McCormick
Finishing is the popular term for transferring a mature whisky to a second cask, perhaps one that previously held port or rum, a first-growth Bordeaux, or is crafted from uncommon oaks like mizunara or Irish oak to give a different flavor profile. The purpose of finishing is to create a new whisky that complements the house style. Think of finishing like the secondary boosters on a space rocket, helping it to achieve a higher orbit, or like precious sapphires set around a diamond by a nimble-fingered jeweler to enhance the sparkle. When done well, finishing adds shades of color and flavor, swaddling the whisky with complementary tones and imbuing the spirit with extra personality. Come with us, back to finishing school!
To learn more, subscribe to Whisky Advocate magazine.