Wire Works Whisky Virgin Oak Finish
Wire Works single malt English Whisky finished for the first time in virgin oak. The release was previewed to great acclaim at a number of the Autumn 2022 UK whisky festivals and we’re excited that it’s since been bottled and ready to enjoy.
Maturation & Finishing
A limited release of 3,061 bottles, this is a vatting from 12 virgin oak barrels. The lightly-peated single malt spirit began its maturation journey in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels sourced direct from our partner Heaven Hills Distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. After 3+ years, the whisky was then vatted, slow-proofed to a lower % ABV and re-casked in virgin oak for approx. 8 months. The virgin oak barrels were coopered to our toast & char specification by our friends at Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky.
Finishing the whisky in virgin oak adds complexity and introduces new layers and dimensions of flavour. Equally, the additional fresh oak can be overdone, or become too dominant, so it’s important to keep a close watch on the whisky during the finish period.
Virgin Oak Barrels
The virgin oak barrels have been toasted and charred to a specification we agreed with Kelvin Cooperage. The toasting process and toasting level adds more depth of flavour than charring alone can provide. Toasting at relatively low intensity heat is done ahead of charring, and is more controllable and helps to develop wood sugar and vanillin in the oak, ultimately developing more of the vanilla-style flavours in the whisky.
The 12 barrels used to finish this release had a mixture of level 3 and level 4 char levels – the latter also known as alligator char, as it gives the oak a burnt rough, shiny texture, looking much like alligator skin. The combination of char levels gives an elegant rich smoke aroma and flavour.
We’ve already put the wheels in motion to re-fill both the ex-bourbon and virgin oak barrels used for this release; a future Wire Works Whisky bottling in the making.
Caramelised sugar, leather and apples on the nose, good mouthfeel with pepper and fruit flavours on the palate and a smoky-sweet clove finish.