Sherry is protected with it’s own appellations of origin, meaning it can only produced within the 'Sherry Triangle’ in Southwest Spain - Jerez.
Historically, sherry was shipped from Jerez Bodegas to the rest of the world in cask. When these casks arrived on the shores of Scotland they would then be bottled locally. It made little financial sense to ship the empty casks back, so sherry casks became a ready source of seasoned wood for the storing of Scotch whisky. The discovery of the wonderful effect sherry could have on maturing whisky was, at least in part, something of a happy accident.
Presently the Scotch whisky industry generally uses what are known as ʻseasoned Sherry casksʼ. This means casks that are made new, then filled with mature sherry for a short period as a quicker method of seasoning the wood. This sherry is then tipped (for by-products like sherry vinegar) ready for the whisky distilleries to refill with their stock for maturing and cask finishing.
It is rare for even top whisky distilleries to gain access to old Sherry ‘Bodega casks’ (casks used to age vintage sherries for sometimes well over 30 years) but even rarer for whisky-makers to have the technical expertise to use them to their full potential; to impart the treasured ‘antique qualities' to their own ageing liquid.
The Dalmore Cask Curation Series is a celebration of this. Each edition in the series, the first focussing on Sherry and Dalmore’s exclusive relationship with González Byass, presents three single casks selected by Dalmore whisky makers Richard Paterson and Gregg Glass. Each bottle has a focus on a particular style of sherry cask finish:
Bottle No.1 - A 26-year-old Dalmore Single Malt Scotch whisky finished in a Gonzales Byass 2002 Vintage sherry cask
Bottle No.2 - A 28-year-old Dalmore Single Malt Scotch whisky finished in a Gonzales Byass 30-year-old Matusalem sherry cask
Bottle No.3 - A 43-year-old Dalmore Single Malt Scotch whisky finished in a Gonzales Byass 30-year-old Apostoles sherry cask
The new Dalmore bottle, designed by Burgess Studio, is finished with a solid silver stopper and collar inlaid with foiled Saffiano leather. The long voyages of the casks serve as inspiration for the case. Evoking the spirit of travel, each round ‘hat box’ style presentation case is wrapped by Italian luggage makers in 'Sherry red’ Saffiano leather with a matching handle and luggage tag, which contains the whisky information. The case acts as both a carry case and display plinth for the trio of bottles. An accompanying book documents the history and journey of the casks and the partnership of these two great houses.