These American oak casks were filled for a period of 2 years to season the oak with the beautiful complexities of Amontillado sherry prior to being emptied and shipped to be filled immediately upon arrival at Annandale.
This vast array of influences on the fruit driven characteristics of our peated and unpeated new make spirit is expected to give notes such as dates, raisin, caramel, vanilla, and nutty hints to the final whisky.
During the maturation of sherry, a key stage of this process involves the creation of a biologically active layer inside the cask called ‘Flor’. This waxy, Ivory coloured layer develops on the top of the sherry in cask and acts as a barrier to oxidation. The Flor is also not inert as it interacts constantly with the wine with yeast cells consuming certain compounds found in the wine, while also creating new compounds. This metabolic action of the Flor constantly changes the composition of the wine and therefore its final aromas and flavours. Amontillado Sherry is produced initially with this layer of ‘Flor’ which is then disturbed 8 to 10 years into the maturation process to expose the Amontillado underneath and allow it to oxidate.
What this maturation disturbance method creates is a complex and elegant mix of aromas including caramel, almonds, roasted nuts, figs, raisins, tobacco, and herbal undertones.