The history of whisky production is closely linked to law, taxation and the attempts of distillers to avoid the latter. Taxation dates back to 1643 in Ireland and 1644 in Scotland. A state license for distilling whisky has been required in Ireland since 1661, and in Scotland since 1707. The number of illegal distilleries throughout history has far exceeded the number of legal ones. That changed in Scotland with the Act of Excise 1823.
At a time when France was bringing down the monarchy, another revolution was taking shape across the Atlantic. Less violent, but at least as unprecedented. The whiskey rebellion would ignite the minds of the very young republic. To get around the prohibitions, the colonists would find a solution that would ultimately give birth to bourbon as we know it. “Perhaps there is no other nation on the earth, that has in so short a period experienced such various and interesting scenes as the people of the United States.
The worldwide consumption of sherry has been declining since the late 1970s, but the demand for Scottish single malt whisky is constantly increasing and with it the demand for sherry casks - an unhealthy relationship. To make matters worse, since 1981 sherry can legally only be exported in bottles. The earlier synergy of the simultaneous export of sherry and casks has therefore been eliminated. This is the most common reason given for the introduction of paxarette but as with all aspects of whisky the truth is a little more complex.
After bourbon casks, Sherry butts are the most used type of cask used for whisky maturation, though once these casks were far more common. Today Sherry casks are a benchmark in terms of flavor input but what is sherry and how did it enter whisky history? Sherry a definition Sherries are Spanish white wines from Andalusia. Most of the production takes place in Jerez de la Frontera in the Cadiz region.
The blend market The most commonly drunk whiskies in the world are blended whiskies, that being a combination of grain, and malt whiskies. Many of these are destined to end up in cheaper supermarket blends, others are destined for more exclusive blended products such as Johnnie Walker Blue, or will end up in offerings by smaller blenders such as Compass Box. Regardless every producer from the most premium blend down to the most entry level bottle will be seeking to maintain a signature style for each batch.