Whisky maturation is so much more than simply putting a spirit in some wood and waiting; it’s where the majority of flavour is created.
As with his unique spirit creation, our whiskymaker’s expertise in sherry cask maturation has shaped whisky-making at The Lakes.
The oak type and the liquid used to season that oak has a considerable impact on the maturing spirit, adding their own personalities, integrating with The Lakes’ spirit, then working in combination to produce a new array of flavours, while building up layer upon layer of complexities.
At The Lakes, contrary to most contemporary distilleries’ use of ex-bourbon casks, 80-90% of our spirit is filled into different types of ex-sherry cask.
The standard type of ex-sherry cask used by the whisky industry is a 500 litre ‘butt’ made from Spanish oak and has been seasoned with Oloroso sherry giving a flavour base of dried fruit, clove and a firm tannic grip. The large size also makes it ideal for longer-term maturation.
Dhavall, on the other hand, has widened the net. As well as this type of cask, we are also ageing in ex-sherry casks made from American and French oak – giving creaminess and spice respectively – seasoned with sweet styles of sherry like Pedro Ximenez, and Cream, as well as the drier Fino. 250 litre ‘hogsheads’ are also widely used, adding yet more flavour options.
This sets The Lakes apart.