peergynt323 wrote:Many distilleries got their license in the 1800's. I don't know when bottling began, but how did whisky used to taste?
Was it malted over a pure peat fire? Was it really all sherry casks as Macallan claims? I'm guessing they were of various kinds and mostly second/third fill, correct? When did American oak come into the mix?
Anyway, I'm sure people have studied this subject. Please provide input.
Maturing whisky was quite unknown. Among the first companys to mature whisky on a steady basis was Gordon & MacPhail, who started this in 1890's. Most whisky was consumed as what we today know as 'new make'. The 3 yo law was made up in 1914.
The industry started to use bourbonbarrels in the 1920's.
Just for precision: in 1914, by law, the whisky had to mature at least two years before being called whisky and one year later, in 1915, the minimal age was increased to 3. The Scotch industry could only have access to the american whisky cask in 1936, but started to import them in 1946, just after WW2. Until then, mainly sherry casks were used, but also of kind of other casks (wine casks, beer cask) were used. Casked were used only for transportation, not always for maturation. A lot of whisky was sold straight from the sill and tasted like new make spirit.
In the 1800s, peat was used for all steps of production. Later, with coal mining, distilleries closed to coal mines or railways switched from peat to coal for heating. Unpeated barley started to be produced only in the 1960s (anyone has some data on it?).