MISTAKE NUMBER FOUR
Obsessing over cask type
It was stunning … that’s all that matters. Time and place
“I only drink sherried whisky”, “The best casks are first fill sherry butts”, “The best whisky ever comes from French oak only”, “Refill ex-bourbon hogsheads aren’t worth drinking”.
I’ve heard those four phrases said at tastings and events, without any sense of comedic intent. I think the same thing every time when I hear them of: “Well, you sure are missing out!” I’m reminded of a Society bottling, Cask No. 36.96: Chocolate cake cookie.
It was by far one of the most exciting single casks I’d ever had from the Society, yet the cask stats really didn’t leap out.
It was 9-years-old, it was from a first fill ex-bourbon barrel, yet it was exactly as our Tasting Panel described – like biting into a chocolate cake cookie.
It was stunning, a tremendous experience to behold, to share, and to be a part of. What it wasn’t, however, was some superstar cask detail, but it did deliver in the glass and in the time and place, and that’s all that matters. Time and place.
Sherry casks aren’t “better” than ex-bourbon barrels or hogsheads, they are just different and impart a different profile to a spirit over time.