[quote=“Kiwi”]Bourbon producers MUST use new oak barrels. That means an awful lot of used bourbon barrels to get rid of.
Scotch producers can use any barrels to age their product but prefer used oak. First, new oak imparts a strong woody taste that is not wanted in Scotch. A big part of the ‘tannin and vanilla’ profile you get in bourbon comes from new oak. Second, used oak barrels are also cheaper than new ones. The large quantities of used Bourbon barrels with no home make them the cheapest option around. Not only a used Bourbon barrels cheaper than new ones, they are also cheaper than alternatives like Sherry, Port, Rum and other barrels - all of which can keep being reused by their original owners.
Many Scotch purists also like used Bourbon barrels because they influence the final Scotch less than do used port or sherry barrels. Sherry or port barrel finished Scotches tend to be darker, heavier and sweeter, often with a sort of ‘fruitcake’ taste. Bourbon barrel finished Scotches tend to be lighter, with the characteristics of the original spirit shining through more clearly.[/quote]
For Christmas I got a bottle of Aberlour 16-year old single malt, double cask. Double cask means it spent eight years in a bourbon barrel, eight in a sherry cask. Bit dark in color.
No fruitcake at all. Some malted barley in the nose, zero peat on the tongue. I’d certainly buy another, though, with my own money. Unusually sweet for whisky - as Kiwi notes - but there’s a helluva lot of other flavor goin’ on here, too. Complements nicely what I’m just now digging out of the Milka advent calendar the Germans gave me a while back at work.
Very nice drop.