Yesterday I posted this wee question on Facebook, in the hope to get a simple answer and move on:
To the whisky community:
When a distillery puts 2 bourbon barrels with Single Malt (200+ litres) into one sherry butt for finishing (this should fit), can you still bottle it as a single cask?
This proved to be not so simple. At first, the thoughts were that when, at the time of bottling it is a single cask, you can bottle it as a single cask. That makes sense and as far as most people know, that is how things are done in Scotland.
According to the SWA this is where consumer information becomes very important. Officially there is no definition of what a Single Cask bottling is, but since it is imperative that consumers get the correct information, the SWA thinks that from the moment the spirit is filled until the moment it is bottled, without any revatting, finishing or whatever is what a single cask is.
The strange thing is that even though there are no official rules or laws that state this, the SWA said they would take action to any who would break above rule. Which means all single cask whiskies with a finish, the Dalmore Constellation collection and so on. It means that most of the single cask whiskies around are actually not single cask bottlings!
Sander B. made a good point in stating that if there is no official definition on this subject, how can a consumer be mislead, since there is nothing defined? And secondly, if there is no definition, but the above rule cannot be broken and will be enforced, is it therefore not defined?
A simple question with a rather complex answer. I’m starting to get the feeling that English grammar is becomes very important here:
“A sherry finished single cask whisky” is something illegal, but when you write it down as a “single cask whisky finished in a sherry butt” you state that the single cask was finished, not that it is a single cask afterwards.