Bourbon Cask Single Malts

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Elliot
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Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby Elliot » Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:41 am

What are some of your favorite single malts that have been aged exclusively in ex-bourbon casks? I know that a large number of the highly rated malts are aged in sherry casks or are at least sherry or port finished, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to drink them. I'm primarily interested in ones that are rather widely available.

As an aside, as a newcomer to this board I am very grateful for the knowledge of the forum members for both advice and help in becoming a more knowledgable consumer.

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Re: Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:45 am

Elliot wrote:I know that a large number of the highly rated malts are aged in sherry casks or are at least sherry or port finished, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to drink them.


:? Some sort of peculiar Spanish vendetta?

Elliot
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Postby Elliot » Sun Jun 05, 2005 5:58 am

I believe in re-sinking the Spanish Armada each and every time I pour a dram. :D
Actually, it's for religious reasons with reagards to most wine on the general market, and as a result, the casks that previously contain the remains of their former contents.

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Postby JimHall » Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:31 am

Religious reasons ? tell us more.

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:56 am

Fascinating. But let's not get personal; someone answer the poor lad's question.

Elliot
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Postby Elliot » Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:40 pm

I didn't necessarily want to burden anyone with a theological expose, but here is a copy of a short piece I wrote for another forum on the subject.

There are a number of issues regarding the kosher status of foods, but I'll stick to the most common ones that pertain to alcoholic beverages for the sake of this conversation. First of all, the biggest problem is generally wine. Products derived from grapes are not considered kosher unless they have been handled exclusively by Sabbath-observant Jews from the time of pressing to the final bottling or until the wine (or spirit derivative) has been flash pasteurized. This law originated during the time of the ancient Greeks, when it was common to pour libations to the gods upon drinking wine. As a result, wine, brandy, vermouth, sherry, and the like require kosher certification. Most gin, vodka, rum, and tequila is kosher because of the absence of any ingredients other than the pure distillate and yeast. Problems arise, however, with flavored spirits, as different chemicals and additives are introduced. Scotch and Irish whiskies can be problematic if sherry casks are used because the sherry used to influence the flavor is almost certainly not kosher. Canadian whisky also poses a problem because the 9.09% flavoring component may include wine or a grape derivative.
Liqueurs generally require kosher certification. Because of all of the ingredients that may used in their production, many liqueurs are not kosher. Aside from those cordials that are brandy-based, many may include glycerine, which often is derived from animal products such as gelatin which are forbidden under Jewish law. The standard in North America and Israel is to require rabbinic supervision for the production of liqueurs, while the rest of the world generally relies on scientific testing to determine the presence of any prohibited ingredients.

On the subject of sherry, I actually have a Kosher bottling of Tio Pepe which is certified by the London Rabbinical Court.

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karlejnar
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Postby karlejnar » Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:39 pm

Some of my favourite malts from bourbon casks are.

Ardbeg: TEN, Very Young

Bruichladdich: Full Strength, XVII, Twenty (the 1st edition), Sinnsear (only available through their website or at the distillery), Vintage 1970 (getting rare)

Laphroaig: Quarter Cask, 10y Cask Strength

Springbank: Bourbon Wood

Bladnoch: "Belted Galloway" (13y CS), "Black Faced Sheep" (15y CS) , John McDougall's Selection (15y CS Single Cask)

Aidan
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Postby Aidan » Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:47 pm

Hi Elliot

Cooley use exclusively bourbon casks. I think the Connemara is very nice, and some of the independent bottlings are lovely too...

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Postby Admiral » Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:07 am

Yes, the Ardbeg 10yo certainly comes to mind.

There was an argument here about 4 or 5 months ago as to whether various Laphroaig expressions contained any sherry casks in the vatting. Opinion and evidence was divided, although I seem to recall Tom submitted correspondence from the distillery or some other knowledgeable source that suggested it was all from bourbon.

Cheers,
Admiral

Elliot
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Postby Elliot » Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:23 am

Aidan,
I'm familiar with the Cooley line. They even have gone one step further and have gotten certification of their products from the LBD, though last I checked the certificate had expired - no big deal unless they have altered their production practices. I'm not familiar with the independent Cooley bottlings. Which ones are of note which are not exorbitantly priced?

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Postby Aidan » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:42 am

Elliot

Well the independent bottlings are all priced quite high, I'm afraid. Cooley charges a lot for its casks. Signatory do a 10 yr old peated malt, which is quite nice, but not outstanding. The best I've tasted are the Cadenhead ones. There are a few different versions, but the 12 yr old is very very nice, imo.

I have not tasted the Magiligan, but it's supposed to be nice too. I think it's an independent bottling.

Like most distilleries, they're very approachable in Cooley, so if you e-mailed them, I'm sure they'd let you know if all their products are still kosher.

Also, Bushmills have a few single bourbon cask bottlings out. There are some that are bourbon cask, some rum cask and some sherry cask. Each is labeled accourdingly. I have had the rum cask and it was lovely.

Anyway, I'm not pourposly just sticking to Irish whiskeys, but these are just the ones I know. There must be plenty of single cask releases that are labeled bourbon etc.

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Postby posterboy » Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:17 pm

Bruichladdich 15 is probably my favorite single malt in bourbon casks that is widely available (the 20 first edition is better, but is no longer produced and is extremely scare these days). I believe that Bunnahabhain 12 is also aged in bourbon casks, and is an excellent malt.

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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Jun 06, 2005 3:32 pm

posterboy wrote:Bruichladdich 15 is probably my favorite single malt in bourbon casks that is widely available (the 20 first edition is better, but is no longer produced and is extremely scare these days). I believe that Bunnahabhain 12 is also aged in bourbon casks, and is an excellent malt.

The 15 does also contain sherry matured whisky! The 17 (XVII)however does not - and it's also very good!

Skål!
Christian

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Postby Lawrence » Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:31 pm

Ardbeg 10, Glenmorangie 10, Laphroaig 10 and Cask Strength.

Elliot
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Postby Elliot » Tue Jun 07, 2005 7:42 am

Aidan,
It's good to know that Cooley is approachable and responsive. I don't know if it's typical, but my experience dealing with Irish Distillers was dreadful. Bushmill's is certainly on my list, and I'm interested in trying more of their expressions. The rum cask would be interesting, but isn't rum not the cask's "maiden voyage?"

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Postby Aidan » Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:11 am

Elliot

I don't know much about the rum cask apart from what's on the bottle. It has a very interesting taste, with some notes I don't recognise from other Bushmills.

Yes, Irish Distillers aren't that approachable as a company, but if you ever meet Barry Walsh or Colm Egan, they couldn't be more helpful. Very nice people.

I've also heard that the people at Cooley aren't as approachable as they once were, but I don't know this for sure.

Here's an article I found on Celtic Malts

http://www.celticmalts.com/journal-a14.htm

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Re: Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby ResIpsa539 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:01 pm

Elliot,

Not sure if you're still reading, but I just wanted to mention that the various hashgachos (kosher certifications) only take issues with those whiskies EXCLUSIVELY aged/finished in sherry casks, and not regular, stadard OB vattings. Now, if you're taking an extra stringency on yourself, I can respect that, but I'm just reporting what organizations such as the Star-K and CRC use as their standard.

Alan

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Re: Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby woodhill » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:09 pm

AlanLaz wrote:Elliot,

Not sure if you're still reading, but I just wanted to mention that the various hashgachos (kosher certifications) only take issues with those whiskies EXCLUSIVELY aged/finished in sherry casks, and not regular, stadard OB vattings. Now, if you're taking an extra stringency on yourself, I can respect that, but I'm just reporting what organizations such as the Star-K and CRC use as their standard.

Alan


Alan

at this stage the LBD (London Beth Din - one of the UK's largest authorities on Kosher foods) have continued to allow ALL scotch whiskies regardless of where they have been matured.

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Re: Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby ResIpsa539 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:43 pm

woodhill wrote:
AlanLaz wrote:Elliot,

Not sure if you're still reading, but I just wanted to mention that the various hashgachos (kosher certifications) only take issues with those whiskies EXCLUSIVELY aged/finished in sherry casks, and not regular, stadard OB vattings. Now, if you're taking an extra stringency on yourself, I can respect that, but I'm just reporting what organizations such as the Star-K and CRC use as their standard.

Alan


Alan

at this stage the LBD (London Beth Din - one of the UK's largest authorities on Kosher foods) have continued to allow ALL scotch whiskies regardless of where they have been matured.


Yes, Yes. However, both the Star-K and the CRC (arguably the 2 most prominent certifications in the US that opine on the matter) are not as "progressive", and take the stance that anything exclusively matured/finished in any sort of non-kosher wine cask is no good. There are those that follow the stance of the LBD, and there are those that are more stringent to follow the Star-K and the CRC. My point was that even those who want to be stringent like these organizations would only need to refrain from those EXCLUSIVELY aged/finished in wine casks. I'm sure they're out there, but I've never heard of anyone (aside from our friend Elliot here) who refrains from all OB vattings, which ostensibly use some % of sherry casks. Good stuff...

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Re: Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby ResIpsa539 » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Ganga wrote:AlanLanz,

Does this mean that Macallan's Fine Oak series which is a vatting of bourbon and sherry casks is fine but there standard sherry cask line is not? Not thumping here for this line of whisky as I detest it, just looking for a little understanding based on an example.


Exactly, you are correct. Unfortunately, it takes these certifications a while to figure things out, so I'm guessing they aren't even aware of the Fine Oak line; but, as per the precedent, they are no different than a regular Glenmorangie in that they are partially sherry casks and partially bourbon casks, which are fine. But, since they're so used to hearing that Macallan is no good, they probably wouldn't know what to do if shown a bottle of the Fine Oak line.

Further, the problem is compounded by the ignorance of caterers who have no knowledge of scotch. For instance, I was asked to pick out the scotch for my sister-in-law's wedding and brought a bottle of Old Pulteney 12 with me. Little did I know that on the back of the case was a reference to "sherry notes" which were clearly there because they use a % of sherry casked whisky in ther vatting. But, the rabbi in charge saw the word "sherry" and immediately nixed it. I posted about this on my blog: http://alanlaz.blogspot.com/2007/06/kos ... erers.html (Machmir = strict).

Again...all that said...you are correct in making the Kashrus (meaning: regarding Kosher) distinction b/w the Fine Oak line (OK for those who follow the rulings of the Star-K and CRC) and the Sherry Oak Line (not OK). Did that confuse you more? Oy va voy...

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Re: Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby ResIpsa539 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:39 pm

lawschooldrunk wrote:
AlanLaz wrote:Further, the problem is compounded by the ignorance of caterers who have no knowledge of scotch. For instance, I was asked to pick out the scotch for my sister-in-law's wedding and brought a bottle of Old Pulteney 12 with me. Little did I know that on the back of the case was a reference to "sherry notes" which were clearly there because they use a % of sherry casked whisky in ther vatting. But, the rabbi in charge saw the word "sherry" and immediately nixed it.


hey! that's my story!

by the way, star-k has a problem even if it's not predominantly aged in sherry casks. I can forward the idiot's email if you like...


Same thing happened to you? Crazy...happened to me about a year ago.

Further, I have spoken with Rabbi Rosen at the Star-K extensively about this, and it is only those whiskies EXCLUSIVELY aged/finished in sherry (or other wine) casks.

Quoting from their website, "Scotch and Irish whisky would be acceptable unless specifically stated that the beverage has been aged exclusively in sherry casks finished in sherry or port casks. We do not have to assume that this is the case unless the company asserts that it is so. "

And, while we may not agree with someone's religious stringencies, I think it's a bit much to call them an "idiot".

ResIpsa539
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Re: Bourbon Cask Single Malts

Postby ResIpsa539 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:54 pm

lawschooldrunk wrote:not 'them,' "him."

you can call them ignorant, a worse adjective since they don't rectify the situation


It irks me too. That said, I do understand that there are better issues for the Rabbis to deal with in the Kashrus (regarding Kosher) world than the status of sherry-casked whisky.


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