Shaving – each cask went through a unique shaving process whereby the cask staves have been shaved to expose a combination of lightly wine soaked and virgin oak staves.
Toasting – Using oak chips, this helps to caramelise the wood sugars and vanillins that have been exposed by the shaving process. This is a very delicate process: the wine contained inside of the staves must be caramelized too but overheating can potentially spoil the wine.
Recharred – this increases surface area exposed to the spirit and maximise flavour extraction.
These casks were then partially filled with oloroso sherry to keep the wood hydrated in transit from Spain to Annandale Distillery.
These casks have provoked some real intrigue to us here at Annandale and have always been a favourite to taste during our days within the Annandale warehouses sampling from maturing casks. In fact, by November of 2017, we drew some stock from two of these casks at just 8 months old. We felt it was so stunning in flavour even at just 8 months old that we served it as part of Annandale’s 15th of November launch event- the day in which cask number 1 officially became whisky.
When these casks did ‘come of age’ and after much consideration and discussion, we are delighted to present to you casks 307(Man O’ Words) (filled 16/03/2017) and 348(Man O’ Sword) (filled 23/03/2017) which were bottled on the 12th June 2020. Two wonderful whiskies which combine delicious fruits including pear, strawberries and coconut with superbly delicate hints of spice and pepper to just tickle the palate.
Founders’ Selection STR Man O’Words (Unpeated) – Cask 2017/307:
Appearance – Rich, golden amber
Nose – Spicy hints of cinnamon and nutmeg precede creamy vanilla, butterscotch and sweet caramelised demerara sugar
Palate – Hot melted butter initially which coats the palate, followed by hints of fresh conference pear, summer strawberries and fresh cream, Braeburn apple, blackberry, prunes and cool fresh honeydew melon