The Angels’ Share
During the ageing process, at least 2% of the whisky in each barrel evaporates through the oak. The distilleries refer to this portion as the Angels’ Share. Well, we’ve always known that whisky is a heavenly drink!
The exact amount of whisky lost depends on factors such as temperature and the quality of the cask.
Although 2% may sound like a small amount, over a ten year maturation period it can add up to many hundreds of thousands of litres (and surely some very tipsy angels!).
Finishing With Finesse
Scotch Whisky must be matured in oak casks for a minimum of three years, and is often matured much longer. ‘Finishing’ is an extension of the maturation process, when the spirit is subsequently filled into empty casks that previously held other wines or spirits for a further relatively short period at the end of maturation. The cask used for finishing must have been drained of any liquid prior to its use and any change in the spirit will therefore result from its interaction over time with the wood of the cask.