Master of Malt: 5 Brilliant Wine-Finished Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


Dear Customer,

We don’t know how you think about traditional Scotch whisky, but certainly images of big green valleys, fireside armchairs and tartan may well spring to mind. However, whilst the old school distilleries will always be popular, a few modern malt makers are experimenting with a range of unusual methods, and one of the most interesting of which is “cask-finishing”.

Cask finishing involves ageing the whisky in a standard sherry or bourbon cask, before moving it into an unusual cask for the latter part of its ageing period.

The result of all this experimentation is a number of utterly unbelievable whiskies. With this in mind we’re going to look at 5 of the best and most interesting wine-aged whiskies from recent years.


– The Chaps at Master of Malt –

Mixing Grape with Grain

Five of our very favourite wine-finished whiskies from recent years…


Edradour Sassicaia Straight from the Cask –You can’t discuss wine finishes without mentioning Scotland’s smallest distillery, Edradour. Their whisky is a little unusual to begin with (rum-like, very thick and sweet), so it lends itself to experimentation. The Straight from the Cask range is one of the best examples of wine and whisky working together and this particular example was finished for two years in a Sassicaia hogshead. The cask came from Italian wine producer Tenuta San Guido, and their Super-Tuscan, Sassicaia, is one of Italy’s foremost “Bordeaux-style” reds. It is even rumoured that San Guido creates their wine using vines that originated from Château Lafite Rothschild! Buy a bottle for £40.95


Bruichladdich First Growth Cuvée E: Sauternes – Bruichladdich are a bit like the self-appointed kings of the wine finish and their Master Distiller Jim McEwan has an insatiable appetite for trying out new things. The First Growth range was a selection of six malts, which were finished in wine casks from France’s most legendary wineries. Our favourite example – and by far the most popular of the range – is the Sauternes finish. The casks came from none other than the First Growth wine maker Château d’Yquem – heralded as one of the world’s very best producers of dessert wines. Buy a bottle for £46.95


Arran Madeira Cask Finish  – One of Scotland’s youngest distilleries, Arran was founded in 1995. Critics like Jim Murray regular comment on how wonderful Arran’s malty, citrusy whisky can be and we just love this particular example, which was finished off in a cask that previously held Madeira wine! Madeira is a fortified wine from the islands of the same name and it’s marvellously rich and spicy – particularly good in the Winter months! Buy a bottle for £34.95


Springbank 12 Year Old Claret Wood– The great Campbeltown distillery, Springbank distilled this in May 1997 and finished it for 3 years in fresh Claret wine casks. The result is a single malt that offers the oily coastal character of Springbank, with the oaky, supple mouthfeel of a top quality red Bordeaux – well worth a try! Buy a bottle for £38.95


BenRiach 18 Year Old Gaja Barolo Wood Finish – Speyside’s BenRiach distillery is very creative and it’s one of the few distilleries in the region to experiment with peat, and of course wine-finishes! One fine malt that really stood out for us was their Barolo finished 18 year old. The Barolo casks came from “the undisputed king of Barbaresco”, Angelo Gaja, whose world famous wintery produces some of the finest Italian reds you’ll ever try. Buy a bottle for £48.95 

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