Wood is fundamental to all whiskies. For many years, producers have experimented with wine-cask finishing, but it was almost exclusively the domain of Scotch whisky and most of the barrels were previously used for traditional fortified wines like Sherry and Port. However, whiskeys finished in wine casks are suddenly more popular and more diverse than ever. There are wine cask-finished Bourbons, ryes, blended Scotches, Irish whiskeys, American single malts and more. The wine barrels for finishing have expanded beyond fortified wines to include those used for dry reds, white wines and dessert wines. Get executive editor Jeffrey Lindenmuth's recommendations for some top bottlings now on the market. Whether a whisky fan or wine lover, this is an exciting time to experience the resulting marriage of flavors when wine meets whisky.
From the Oct 31, 2021, issue