Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions 2016-10-28T12:52:40+00:00
What is Cask Strength (aka Barrel Proof)? 2016-10-29T09:38:47+00:00

The ABV of a whiskey during its post-distillation maturation in its cask, or barrel. Part of the concept is that the consumer gets the unaltered whiskey at its fullest flavor, which can be diluted to individual taste. In most cases, the only difference is price and water between a regular strength and cask strength. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is around 69 ABV depending on the amount of water evaporation (Angel’s Share) from the cask. The ABV will vary from cask to cask so each bottling is unique. Regular Elijah Craig is bottled at a constant 47 ABV by adding water and reducing the barrel proof strength.

Whiskey Woman has an article further information on this subject and might explain why it cost a little more.

Our friends at Modern Thirst  took the time to rate some of the more common Barrel Proof Whiskeys.

And finally, the Men’s Journal explains how to drink a cask strength whiskey. {Not that you need any help with that}

What is “New Make”? 2016-10-28T17:32:22+00:00

New make is the spirit that comes from the final distillation process prior to going into a barrel. Other names that you might hear are “White Dog”, “Moonshine” or “Clearic”.  We have added moonshine into this category since many new distilleries sell new make first under this moniker. In the past Moonshine has been the designation for only illegal whiskey [aged or un-aged].

What is Double Wood? 2016-10-28T14:57:04+00:00

Most recently popularized by removing the distillate from the original barrels and aging, or finishing, in different barrels for a short time prior to bottling. In the case of Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, the distillate was taken from original virgin oak barrel and finished in a new virgin oak barrel to enhance some of the oak flavors like caramel and vanilla. Another method is to start in a used whiskey barrel and then finish in a barrel that contained sherry, such as Power’s Signature Release Irish Whiskey Or Macallan Double Cask .

What is Peat or Peated? 2016-10-28T13:57:15+00:00

A process, primarily in Scotland, where the wet grains are forced to germinate by roasting them. The process of peating is using  peat (a partially carbonized vegatation found in bogs) as a fuel source that is abundant in Scotland. The aromatic smoke from this process adds flavors to the grains and ultimately to the spirits.

What is Proof or ABV? 2016-10-28T13:45:34+00:00

ABV stands for Alcohol by Volume which is the amount of alcohol that is in a spirit or beer as a percentage of volume. If you double the ABV, the results are the Proof of Alcohol. For example, 40% ABV is equal to 80 Proof.

Should I swirl my whiskey before nosing it? 2016-10-29T07:52:10+00:00

No, you should not. Most people swirl their whiskey because they have seen people swirl their wine to see the “legs”. Those tear drop formations on the side of the glass are actually alcohol adhering to the glass as it evaporates. When you swirl your whiskey, this alcohol evaporates faster and emits more of a hot or burning smell. This kills the natural aromas of your whiskey that you would normally smell if you had not swirled it.

Keep your glass still before raising it to smell the whiskey. Keep in mind that most of your smell is in the back of your throat so as you smell your whiskey keep your mouth slightly open and you will be surprised at the little bit extra that you get.  One last thing to mention when nosing your whiskey, just raise your glass to the bottom of your upper lip. There is enough aroma to take in from there without overpowering your sense of smell.