Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Old Sherry vs. New

One of the long running debates within the whisky community is whether there was something about older sherry casks (roughly before 1980) that made them significantly better than what's available these days. Theories range from the use of transport casks, older oak being used to construct casks, higher quality sherry being used to season the wood, ex-bodega casks being used, or paxarette.

The debate has come to a higher pitch as more and more malts have entered the market with an increasing emphasis on their sherry character, often after less time in the casks. What kicked off with the rise of Aberlour A'Bunadh has crested in Kavalan's stratospherically expensive sherry cask malts and shows no sign of abating.

While my sample size will not be large enough for a real data set, over the next couple of weeks I'm going to compare and contrast two new school sherry cask malts from Craigellachie and Inchgower to a couple of sherry cask malts from Bruichladdich and Glen Keith from the supposed 'good old days' of the 60s and 70s. From that phrasing you can already glean that I already have some feelings on the subject, but I'm hoping that I can get some other perspectives since my own experiences have been limited.

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