The mainstay of the Annandale Distillery’s cask portfolio consists predominantly of once used (‘fresh’) ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky in the United States. Bourbon law strictly dictates that Bourbon must be made from a mash bill consisting of at least 51% corn and be matured in newly charred, virgin oak casks for a minimum 2 years.
Following maturation and bottling, these casks cannot be re-used by the bourbon industry and Scottish whisky industry take full advantage of this as the oak from which the barrels are made is still very active and able to release flavour compounds (e.g. oak lactones, vanillin, tannin, sugary hemicelluloses etc.) rapidly into the maturing spirit. These are the compounds that give bourbon much of its flavour, so it’s not surprising that fresh barrels confer bourbon/vanilla character on the maturing spirit. This sits wonderfully alongside the fruity characteristics of Annandale’s peated and unpeated spirit.
These casks will work beautifully well with the fresh fruit driven notes of our peated and unpeated new make spirits.