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The Good Life

Into the Woods

Scotch whisky never fails to delight with novel tasting notes. One big reason is the casks used to age them.
By Jack Bettridge | From David Harbour, September/October 2020
Into the Woods
Photo/Jeff Harris
The rules for making Scotch single-malt whisky are largely straightforward. You start with only barley, malt and water, and ferment it into beer, which you distill in copper pots and age for at least three years. So how is it that Scotland continues to thrill us with innovations while sticking to the same formula? The answer can be found in the wood used for aging the whisky. While barrels that once held American Bourbon are, by far, the maturation casks of choice, a slew of fine Scotch makers have turned to a spectrum of vessels to add interesting new twists to their products. Casks once used to age liquids as diverse as rum, Sherry, Port and wines are now lending …
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