What have Bordeaux Chateaux and Whisky got in common? Barrels. Not just any old barrels either. Finishing is the procedure that some whiskies go through where the whisky is matured in a cask (barrel) of a particular oak and then spends time in a second cask. It’s the second cask that bears the link to the chateaux. Over the last decade there has been a growing trend in using barrels from top flight Bordeaux chateaux.
Sue spotted that Bruichladdich produce a rare whisky DNA_1: The “36*” which is a very limited offering of the last of their late 60s and 70s casks finished in barrels from none other than Le Pin.
Bruichladdich’s Redder Still is finished in Chateau Lafleur (see Sue’s blog here). Past bottlings of Bruichladdich have been matured in casks from Chateau Haut Brion: the Bruichladdich Links Carnoustie was part of their celebrated Golf Course Series, released to coincide with the Open Championship and the Bruichladdich The Sixteens Cuvee was finished in casks from Chateau Lafite.
Other ex Lafite barrel whiskeys are the 1999 Laphroaig 11 Year Chateau Lafite Rothschild Cask Murray McDavid and the Tullibardine 1992/2010 Premier Cru Classé Bordeaux Chateau Lafite Finish.
Following the acquisition by LVMH, Glenmorangie produced a limited edition aged in casks previously used to mature Château Margaux and Glenmorangie Pride 1981 is finished in casks from the Sauternes Chateau d’Yquem.
Auchentoshan’s18 Year Old 1992 Mission (Murray McDavid) is aged in bourbon casks before being finished in Sauternes casks from Chateau Climens. Auchentoshan also produced a limited edition 18 Year Old 1992 finished in casks from Chateau Montrose and an 11 Year Old 1999 aged in casks from the Saint Julian Chateau Lagrange.
Bowmore also produced the Bowmore Cask Finish Chateau Lagrange, the Bowmore Cask Finish Chateau Haut Brion and the Bowmore Cask Finish Petrus.
Isle of Arran created the Pomerol Bordeaux Wine Cask Finish which was matured for eight years in conventional ex-Bourbon barrels before spending six months in 20 casks previously used by Château La Conseillante.
The Dalmore 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon was matured in American White Oak followe
d by several years in casks from Chateau Haut Marbuzet (Saint Estephe).
Doubtless there are more and I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the whiskies if you have tried them!
It was common in the past to see whiskies matured in sherry barrels but the finishing fad has not only encompassed chateaux. I have seen whiskies finished and matured in casks previously used for Tokaji, Port, Madeira, Amarone, Moscatel, Calvados, Cognac, Cuban Rum, Burgundy and Chardonnay wines and Beer!