hello Elliot, Cadenhead give details on the labels of their "Authentic Collection". The bottles come in black tubes. So does Signatory with the "Cask Strength Collection". Murray McDavid give these informations on their old orange boxes and on the new metal tubes as well as on the bottles. Duncan Taylor does give details of their bottlings on the labels.
I do not want to be obnoxive or to give offence but what is that about sherry casks? Of course you do not have to answer this in public, just curious. On second thought I might not have the right to be curious in that case.
But it strikes me that that would rule out many OB bottlings as most of them are vattings and therefore contain sherry cask matured whiskies.
I presume the issue is whether or not sherrywood whisky is kosher. My understanding of the whisky making process is that sherry casks are thoroughly scrubbed (and charred?) before reuse. The flavour comes from the wood, rather than the sherry - in which case it shouldn't present a problem. You might want to take religious advice.
In terms of terminology, some IBs unhelpfully tell you the size of cask rather than the former contents. In this context, butt usually means sherry and hogshead almost always means bourbon. But beware, it can be misleading. If in doubt, you could contact the bottlers.
Cadenheads currently has a Bourbon cask Glen Grant 16yo, but they have so many Glen Grants you would need to be careful to get the right one.
I'll try to kep this simple, but don't worry if you don't fully follow the reasoning.
Religious Jews cannot drink grape based bevarages (e.g. grape juice, wine, brandy, sherry, port etc.) unless it is certified kosher. For this to happen it basically has to be made by Jews. If you feel this is racist, you're right, you should taste how foul Kosher wine can be ! But seriously, there is good theological reasoning behind this, consult your local Rabbi for a full explanation.
Following on from this - there is obviously a question of whisky being, for lack of a better word, "contaminated" with non kosher sherry, or port, or whatever the next crazy finish is. Different local Jewish authorities (Beth Din) hold by different views - as I stated before, the London one believes that the effect of the sherry is not sufficient enough to cause a problem. Most others, especially in the US, feel that the effect is too great and makes the whisky non-Kosher. Having had experience of cask effect though, I would reluctantly agree with the latter opinion - I don't believe differences can be put down to the different oak alone.
Having said all this, if a distillery could get its hands on casks that held kosher sherry in, they would have a very large and grateful market to sell their whisky to. Unfortunately though, the only kosher sherry that I know of is a light fino, which may not have such a good effect on a whisky.
Hope this makes things slightly clearer,
I had no idea that grapes and their products are in a way considered not to be kosher. Sorry for my ignorance.
There is a bourbon, Old Williamsburg No. 20 with a certificate in Hebrew that it is kosher. I do not know of a malt so certified unfortunately.
And thank you robs42 for explaining.
I've covered the kosher issue extensively, but will be happy to answer any further questions on the topic. No offense whatsoever is taken to your questions. The origin of the religious laws have their origin with the Ancient Greeks, so I don't think anyone here will be offended by the explanation.
Robby, the LBD permits whisky in general, but as explained by one of the main authorities from Melbourne, this is done as bedieved, or second-best, instead of lechatchila, or what is preferable, as if they actually certify the product there is no "contamination" allowed from non-kosher products. As for kosher wine, yes, it can be foul, but there is some excellent kosher wine on the market, some of it even selling for $60 + a bottle US. Tio Pepe has a kosher bottling, which is the only true sherry on the market, but as you mentioned, fino sherry is not conducive to further use for whisky. There are two varieties of American-made sherry, but diplomatically speaking, they are far from superior.
Kallaskander, grapes and their products are not non-kosher per se, but once they have begun the process of being made into a beverage, there are very strict religious laws governing their production. Bourbon is regarded as kosher due to US law concerning its distillation, particularly the requirement that the cooperage be new. I have seen Old Williamsburg, but it always struck me as bizarre seeing as it is Kentucky bourbon, the company is in Princeton, Minnesota, and the image on the label is of New York. I've seen the Celtic Malts article, which is very good. The problem is that the rabbinic authorities who have given their opinions on the standards for whisky are typically unfamiliar with the objects, which leaves me in the position of finding which prodcuts satisfy those requirements.
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