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Tequila Flavored With Wood Is The New Big Thing

on 02/05/14 at 12:10 pm


indexWith Cinco de Mayo drawing near, tequila consumption will be at an annual high this weekend and through Monday, but at the same time, there is a much publicized lime shortage nationwide and in Mexico hurting the margarita and cerveza businesses. That’s good news for the newest wave of ultra-premium tequilas, which allow you to forego the lime altogether, since they are meant to be enjoyed more like fine whisky than in mixed drinks. Here’s the scoop.

For years, The Macallan established its reputation as the world’s most revered Scotch whisky by continuing a practice most distilleries had long abandoned – the once common aging of whisky in casks formerly used to store Spanish sherry. Already imbued with sweetness and flavor from the fortified wine, the wood imparts these properties to the whisky through a delicious alchemy that has kept Macallan at the head of the single-malt class.

It took a while, but other whisky makers realized what they were missing and jumped on board. Today Scotch is aged in everything imaginable, from charred American oak barrels leftover from bourbon production to casks used previously for port, madeira, Pedro Ximenez sherry, burgundy wine, sauternes and even super Tuscans, along with double and triple-wooded combinations of the above. Long unusual, the use of flavored wood in aging is now common among top single malt brands.