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Kentucky Bourbon Maturing in Scotland


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Hello All,

I am hoping to get some suggestions from people that know a lot more about this stuff than I do... so that likely means almost anyone on this board.  There are some 8 year Heaven Hill cask maturing in Scotland.  This is not as uncommon as it might sound, given the reliance of the Scotch Whisky Industry upon ex-Bourbon casks.  The story goes that an order for the casks had been placed and so all of the the casks have been emptied into a tank. Subsequently, the client had canceled the order, so the whiskey was refilled into casks previously holding the whiskey for eight years... so now all of the casks are essentially the same.  Now for the question.

When I sampled the whisky last summer it had an ABV of 63.1% and was fairly light in color and intensity.  It is clearly a balanced Bourbon, but the darker color and deep caramel, vanilla notes that one might expect from an 8 year Kentucky Bourbon are not quite there.  I have assumed that this lightness is due to the cask maturing in the much more mild climate of Scotland rather than varying extremes of Kentucky over the years.  In order to deepen the whisky's color and intensity, I was considering suggesting that it be put into a new virgin oak cask for a few years... but I don't want to make anything to extreme or out of balance.   Some are thinking of putting it in an ex-Islay whisky cask or a sherry cask and while that could make for something fun, I am trying to suggest something that would keep it more traditional (or as traditional as one can while aging in Scotland).

I understand that this is all conjecture, but I would be curious to know peoples thoughts.  

Thanks much!



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