Whisky in Marsala wine casks
1. The Origin
The Marsala wine is a fortified Italian wine that comes from the city of Marsala on the island of Sicily. Sicily is the big island in between Italy and Tunisia in the Mediterranean sea. The climate is mild with temperatures varying from 13°C (55°F) to 29°C(84°F). The European Community protected the term Marsala for wine that is produced inside Italy.
2. Production and post treatment
The most unique feature of the Marsala wine is the special maturation method. The locals call their special maturation method Perpetuum. This word came from the wine (not fortified) that had been produced on Sicily before. In the Perpetuum method the casks are never emptied completely. The casks are filled with the latest harvest, matured and then drawn off in respect to the necessary demand. When the next harvest is ready the casks are then filled up again. This means every Marsala wine is a combination of different vintages.
The difference between the indigenous Perpetuum wine and the Marsala wine is that the Marsala has been fortified by brandy to make it more durable on long sea journeys.
3. Effect on the taste
The Marsala wine has a sweet, complex, spicy and sometimes nutty aroma. This is also reflected in the whisky that had a Marsala wine maturation or finish.
Usually the spiciness and taste of the Marsala is used to make the famous Chicken Marsala.
4. Effect on the colour
The different Marsala wines come in different colours, ranging from dark amber to a light brown tone. The Marsala wines chosen for the whisky maturation are usually made from sweet, dark Marsala wine. So the Marsala wine finishes and maturations are usually darker than normal whiskies.
5. Whisky Examples
It is a very new fruity Italian spirit matured in Marsala wine casks.
This Edradour was first matured in Ex-Bourbon casks. Later it was finished in Marsala fortified wine casks. The Marsala casks come from the Marsala Region on the isle of Sicily, Italy.
This Benromach was finished for another 36 month in selected Marsala wine casks.