The Art of Maturation

The maturation process is of the utmost importance in creating great Scotch whisky. Putting clear, new distilled spirit into an oak cask is the process of whisky maturation. Selecting the type of wood and how long the spirit is matured is the Art of Maturation.

 

Barrels

For the last quarter of a century, our Whisky Creations Team have been prominent innovators of cask maturation, challenging the status quo of the Scotch whisky industry.

Questioning the standard conventions of maturing whisky in commonplace casks, our team developed visionary maturation techniques, seeking exceptionally well-sourced oak casks from the very best vineyards, bodegas across Europe and whiskey-makers of America.

This is inspired Scotch whisky.

Art of Maturation - Men with barrels
Art of Maturation - Men rolling barrels

We understand the importance of maturation in the making of exceptional Scotch whisky. Around 75% of a whisky’s flavour will develop from the cask. This is why we use the very best wood, not only to balance the natural character of spirit but also to gradually develop it into something truly extraordinary.

This is the Art of Maturation.

‘Our goal is to complement the spirits character with exceptional oak casks

This is the Art of Maturation’

With over 40,000 casks, from over 90 different distilleries from across Scotland, our inventory of Scotch whisky is vast.

We buy spirit at many different ages, some not yet old enough to be called a Scotch whisky whilst a small amount in the shopping cart has already been maturing for thirty years. Our Whisky Creations Team assess not only the quality of new spirit coming into our warehouses but also the structure of the spirit with one question in mind… what would elevate the character of this whisky?

Whether it’s a hearty peated malt from Islay or a soft sweet malt from Speyside, the interaction between the spirit and oak is equally as critical but they need to be treated differently. A light style of spirit, distilled using tall copper stills, will require a gentler style of maturation – just a few months in a 1st fill bourbon barrel or a refill Sherry hogshead. A thick, oily style of malt will be able to stand-up to a heavier style of maturation, multiple years in a 1st fill red wine barrique or a Pedro Ximinez Sherry cask.

‘We believe casks are the most important component when creating exceptional Scotch Whisky’

At Murray McDavid, we believe the oak cask is the most important factor when creating exceptionally balanced and delicious whisky. It’s for this reason, our Whisky Creations Team invest in searching for the very best quality casks from around the world.

90% of cask whisky that we acquire from source has been stored in ‘tired’ wood, casks that have been used multiple times to previously mature Scotch whisky – this is great for containing spirit but terrible for the development of the whisky’s character.

We work to build relationships with fellow producers of exceptional drinks by importing their freshly emptied casks for the additional maturation of our ever-growing inventory of Scotch whisky. Using these casks fresh is of key importance. This is where we not only get beautiful colour into the spirit but most importantly enrich the spirit’s character to create a dram with an exceptional depth of flavour.

Within the traditional whisky warehouses at Coleburn, our team monitor each and every cask to capture the perfect moment when the nature of the cask has perfectly intertwined with its resting spirit. This is the Art of Maturation.

‘Behind every Dram is a journey; often many years of developing sublime complexity for you to share, savour and enjoy’

Port Pipe

Port Pipe

Puncheon

Puncheon

Hogshead

Hogshead

Sherry Butt

Sherry Butt

Barrel

Barrel