From Jameson Caskmates to Hyde No 8: Whisk(e)y finished or matured in beer casks

Stout and IPA casks have become popular for whisky maturation

 

Recently, the Hyde No 8 Stout Cask Finish was released. Not long before, the West Cork Distillers had presented two new whiskeys, finished in beer casks. One of them also was influenced by stout casks, the other by IPA casks. “Ah”,  some of you may probably think now: “IPA casks? Did’nt Glenfiddich use them?” Yes, the Glenfiddich IPA from the Experimental Series was probably the first contact with a whisky finished in beer casks many whisky friends had.

However, the Dufftown distillery was not the first to use beer casks on a larger scale: Jameson Caskmates, matured in stout barrels, has been on the market since 2012. Stout is a popular beer in Ireland, strong and dark. In fact, most whiskies that came into contact with beer casks are Irish products. Meanwhile, Teeling and The Quiet Man have also released Stout cash finishes.

But when it comes to the question "Who was the first to do it?", the answer might be surprising for some of you: It was a Swiss Distillery. Säntis was launched in 2002 as a beer cask matured single malt whisky.

We got a short list here with whiskies that had contact to beer casks. Of course, the list is not declared as being complete. The titles are linked to the product in our database.

Whisk(e)y with beer cask influence

Glenfiddich IPA Experiment
In 2016 Glenfiddich launched the series Experimental Project, starting with the Glenfiddich XX and the IPA. The latter was produced in collaboration with the Speyside Craft Brewery and received a 12-week finish in casks that previously had held India Pale Ale for four weeks. Bottled at 43% ABV.

Hyde No 8 Stout Cask Finish
A triple distilled blend of 75% grain and 25% malt whiskey. The stout casks for the finish came from the Cotton Ball Craft Distillery in Cork. The whiskey is limited to 5,000 bottles at 43% ABV.

Jameson Caskmates Stout
The “Cask mates” are Jameson and the neighboring brewer Franciscan Well Brewery. When the casks that Jameson loaned to the brewery to be used there for the beer production, come back, the triple-distilled Jameson is poured into it. The Stout casks leave a clear impression on this Irish blend. Bottled at 40% ABV.

Jameson Caskmates IPA
In 2017, Jameson IPA joined the Jameson Stout Cask Finish. It is finished in casks that previously held that fruity, high-hoped India Pale Ale. It is also bottled at 40% ABV.

Säntis Malt
The Säntis Single Malt of the Appenzeller brewery Locher is generally stored in beer casks, so every Säntis bottling could be listed here. However, Säntis does it the other way round: The Swiss whisky is initially stored in old beer casks for several years before it is finished for several years in other casks as wine, sherry or Madeira casks.

Teeling Stout Cask
200 former rum casks, which had been used to mature the whiskey for the Teeling Small Batch before, found their way to Galway Bay Brewery to be filled there with Imperial Stout. After storing the beer, the casks went back to Teeling to give the blended whiskey a six-month finish. Bottled at 46% ABV.

The Quiet Man Imperial Stout Finish
The Irish blend initially was matured in bourbon casks, before experiencing a ten-month finish in stout casks. Limited to 360 bottles, bottled at 43% ABV.

West Cork Stout Cask Finish
This whiskey has only been on the market since middle of the year. First-fill bourbon casks and then a finish in Stout casks from the Blacks Brewery in Kinsale, Southern Ireland, influenced and formed this triple distilled blended whiskey, which then was bottled at 40% ABV.

West Cork IPA Cask Finish
The brother of the Stout Cask got his finish in India Pale Ale casks, which were also taken from the Blacks Brewery. The whiskey presents 40% ABV.