The Importance of Wood

July 31, 2019

There are many factors that impact the final flavour of whisky. From the distillation process comes a clear liquid known as new make spirit. This must then be matured for a minimum of three years inside a Scottish bonded warehouse to become Scotch Whisky.
 
Throughout this process, wood is a vital element that affects the flavour and colour of the spirit. Oak is the only wood that can be used as its natural structure prevents seepage while allowing the contents to breath. The species of oak, location and age are all vital contributions to the taste and colour of the spirit. Oak from America infuses notes of vanilla, honey and citrus fruits while oak from Europe has spicy and rich notes. 

The Macallan, Masters of Photography, Jerez Cooperage, Spain

 

The oak casks that house the spirit are small masterpieces of craftsmanship. Today, the traditional process of coopering has become more mechanical yet the manufacturing is still done by hand by skilled coopers. In order to construct a cask the staves must be bent into shape which, traditionally, was done by arranging them around a fire. This also chars and toasts the inside of the stave, changing the chemistry of the wood and impacting the depth of flavour. 

 

 

In the past, consumer demands for whisky dramatically increased which resulted in greater need for casks. The easiest solution was to use casks that had held different liquids such as Sherry and Bourbon. The taste and colour is altered depending on the cask and time of maturation. Sherry casks infuse flavours of spice and dried fruits while bourbon develops flavours of vanilla and caramel sweetness. Double cask is another process that changes the flavour of the liquid by maturing the spirit in two separate casks and combining flavours from different cask origins.

 

 

Often casks are repaired and reused but typically the life of a cask would reach 30 to 40 years. At Angels' Share Glass we are proud to recycle casks into our product range. Our uniquely crafted oak staves use 'retired' oak cask wood to form stylish holders for our Angels and whisky glassware. Here are our top four recycled cask products:   

1. Oak Stave Whisky Flight with 4 Glasses 
2. Whisky Miniature, Mini Dropper and Glass Set 
3. Angels' Share Angel and Oak Tealight 
4. Whisky Dropper Set with Jug & Mini Glencairn Glass with Oak Stave 
 

 

 

 

 





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