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ben nevis distillery
THE CASK

Each Scotch whisky derives its distinctive flavour from a number of factors, among them the barley, the water, the peat used in the kiln, and, of critical importance, the cask in which it is matured.

A cask must impart a particular flavour and appearance to the Scotch. The two principal types of casks are the Oloroso sherry casks and the American oak bourbon casks. Whisky matured in former sherry casks is usually a darker colour. A barrel may be charred before the whisky is added in order to release vanillin from the wood.

A single barrel of whisky contains 500 litres at its initial filling. After 15 years, and after the evaporation that occurs through the permeable cask as the whisky matures, the barrel will contain approximately 400 litres, or 600 bottles.