Single malt lover all my adult life; new to learning and reading about it more systematically…
Not an ethical or even (bio)chemical question.
I have read that 60-70% of the (end) flavor of single malts come from the casks… ex bourbon or ex sherry.
I believe I also have a (basic/lay) understanding of the many other variables that go to make up a single malt. But how can it be that what seem like processes which I would have considered central/essential to the character of a distillery are all rendered less significant (that is, account for only 30-40% of the whisky's flavour) by such an apparently external factor as cask origin?