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7 Cask Types Used To Finish Whisky

7 Cask Types Used To Finish Whisky

August 22, 2017 –––––– Jonny McCormick, , , ,

Need a cheat sheet for the different types of casks used to finish whisky? This guide covers the seven main categories. You'll be tasting the difference between port and sherry finishes in no time!

WOOD FINISH


Common Cask Name: Barrel


Wood: Virgin American oak, Irish oak, Japanese oak, etc.


Volume: Usually 200 - 500 liters, though quarter casks are 80 liters


Comes from: Country of origin


Typical flavors: Spice, vanilla, sweet oak


Get tasting: Midleton Dair Ghaelach, Octomore 7.4, Arran The Bothy Quarter Cask



WINE FINISH


Common Cask Name: Barrel or barrique


Wood: Typically French oak


Volume: Up to 220 liters


Comes from: Local to each wine region, e.g. Bordeaux, France


Typical flavors: Varies according to wine. Sauternes has notes of fresh bread, tart au citron, and crème caramel. Bordeaux gives red berry, cherry, and plum.


Get tasting: Glenmorangie Quarter Century, Glenfiddich Age of Discovery 19 year old Red Wine Cask Finish, Glenmorangie Pride 1981



PORT FINISH


Common Cask Name: Pipe or barrique


Wood: Usually French oak


Volume: Up to 600 liters for a port pipe, up to 220 liters for a port barrique


Comes from: Portugal


Typical flavors: Berry fruits, red currant, sultana


Get tasting: Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, Angel's Envy Port Barrel Finish, Laphroaig Brodir, Balvenie PortWood 21 year old.



SHERRY FINISH


Common Cask Name: Butt or puncheon


Types: Pedro Ximénez, oloroso, amontillado, fino, manzanilla, etc.


Wood: European or American oak


Volume: Up to 500 liters


Comes from: Jerez, Spain


Typical flavors: Dates, walnut, sultana


Get tasting: Balvenie DoubleWood, Lagavulin Distillers Edition, Glenmorangie Lasanta



MADEIRA FINISH


Common Cask Name: Drum


Wood: Portuguese oak


Volume: Up to 650 liters


Comes from: Portugal


Typical flavors: Sweet fruits, figs, spice,


Get tasting: Laphroaig Cairdeas 2016, Tyrconnell 10 year old Madeira Cask Finish



RUM FINISH


Common Cask Name: Puncheon


Wood: American oak


Volume:Up to 500 liters


Comes from: Caribbean


Typical flavors: Molasses, vanilla, tropical fruits


Get tasting: Balvenie Caribbean Cask, Teeling Small Batch Rum Cask Finish, Angel's Envy Rum Cask Finish



BEER FINISH


Common Cask Name: Barrel


Wood: American oak


Volume: Up to 200 liters


Comes from: Usually a local brewery


Typical flavors: Sweetness, malt, creamy


Get tasting: Glenfiddich IPA Experiment, Jameson Caskmates, Mackmyra Vinterrök