High-Quality Casks For Aging Liquor | Casks For Brandy
What Is a Cask?
A cask is a barrel-shaped container used to store wine or other alcoholic drinks. If you visit a vineyard, you will often see many rows of wooden wine barrels lining the property’s caverns and basements. If you’re hosting a huge gathering, you can crack open a cask of wine.
What Is Aging?
“Aging” is the process of aging distilled spirits (or wines) in casks for a period of time. The purpose of maturation is to reduce harsh qualities from the raw alcohol, while imparting flavor characteristics derived from the barrel’s wood.
Barrels (casks) are often made of charred wood. Other woods can be used, but the kind of wood employed has a considerable effect on the spirit’s ultimate flavor profile.
- Brandy and whiskey are the most often aged liquors. Numerous types of them must spend a minimum period in casks before bottling (usually 3 years).
- Many rums and tequilas are also aged; however, not all kinds of these liquors need aging.
- Superior spirits develop longer and are thus more expensive to compensate for this increased maturation time. For example, a 50-year-old scotch will be more expensive than a 10-year-old scotch.
What Is Cask-Finished Liquor?
While whiskey and bourbon are the most often aged alcohols, the method can also be employed to age tequila and other spirits. As the whiskey matures in the barrel, it takes on the flavor of whatever was previously in the cask. This is how distilleries sometimes develop diverse taste characteristics for their products, despite beginning identically.
This occurs because the casks used are not completely airtight, allowing oxygen to enter. When this happens, the wood begins to absorb some of the flavors of the liquid contained inside. Even after the barrel is emptied, that liquid which the wood has absorbed remains. When new liquor is moved to this barrel for maturation, it will naturally absorb some of the characteristics of the spirit that came before it.
This is why you may taste numerous different types of whiskey and identify accents of distinct tastes. While cask finishing is possible with various liquors, we focus on whiskey since it’s the most popular.
Types of Casks
There are several options for aging liquor in barrels throughout the cask-finishing process. Each imparts a distinct taste character. Bourbon barrels are perhaps the most often utilized casks for maturing liquor. This is because bourbon and whiskey have a similar flavor profile, yet they are not identical.
Another common option is a sherry barrel, although these are more difficult to come by and are more costly. Port barrels are another alternative, providing the whiskey with fruity and peppery aromas. Whiskey aged in wine barrels (especially those which previously held red wine) has a rich, fruity flavor. This is not a very popular barrel type, yet it’s an excellent alternative to other barrel types. Rum casks can be utilized to create a more sweet and fruity whiskey.
Other barrels like cognac, marsala, and young virgin wood are sometimes used to mature liquor. Each provides a distinctive flavor to a liquor drink, while they are equally delectable on their own.
Why Is Cask Aging Important?
Wood casks seem to have an intuitive influence over the aging of spirits. These casks guide airflow, gradually introducing oxygen into the aging process while allowing for evaporation and filtering out flavors which might otherwise impart an unpleasant flavor. Additionally, the woodwork reduces the amount of ethanol in a spirit, removing the rubbing alcohol effect.
Cask aging results in a final whiskey or spirit product rich in scent and taste – and free of characteristics that may detract from the essence loved by so many. To really appreciate the product, one must first realize the process’s significance. To express thanks for each sip, taste, or bottle of whiskey, one must raise a glass to the wisdom of cask aging.
Choose BPS for Your Liquor Aging Casks Needs
BPS Glass is the world’s largest provider of oak barrels and other casks to the distilling and brewing industries, with a diverse array of products. Our clientele includes big beverage corporations, craft distilleries and breweries from 6 continents. We also work with forward-thinking winemakers, coffee roasters, condiment producers and cooperatives.
We have exclusive, unrivaled access to the best and freshest casks from over 45 different sorts of spirits, wines, and sauces from across the world thanks to our relationships with the bulk spirits sector. All used casks possess the highest organoleptic and structural quality thanks to our global network of regional vetting hubs. BPS Glass also makes virgin barrels for spirits maturation and finishing from responsibly managed niche oak species and other woods.