The cask determines the result
The most important influences in cask maturing are (in order of intensity):
- Character of the distillery
- Activity of the wood / cask quality
- Maturation time – dependent on cask quality
- Environment / microclimate
Casks can be used more than once. For the repeated use, they are again “toasted” or burned out to reach the deeper layers of the wood.
At first, the distillate matures in normal American casks until it has developed a basic aroma. This process takes about ten years. After that, the distillate is filled into European oak casks which originally contained various types of wine. However, the 1st fill is the important one. After another one or two years, the character of the distillery and the casks have blended into a harmonious whole in an interactive maturation process. Good examples for that are the whiskies from Balvenie or Glenmorangie.