How Long is Whiskey Matured in Oak Barrels?
The amount of time that whiskey is matured in oak barrels can range between and two and twelve years. Depending on the type of whiskey that is produced, the amount of time that the spirit is
The amount of time that whiskey is matured in oak barrels can range between and two and twelve years.
Depending on the type of whiskey that is produced, the amount of time that the spirit is left in the oak barrel can range dramatically.
With Scottish Whisky is required, by law, to be aged in the oak barrels for a minimum of three years in 700-litre casks.
For the production of Bourbon, the spirits are required to be matured in new American oak barrels for at least four years. However, most would agree that Bourbon is at its optimal after spending at least 12 years in oak barrels.
On average, most producers and consumers would agree that the best whiskeys are matured for at least six or seven years.
The purpose of these oak barrels is to allow small amounts of oxygens to enter the barrels through the pores, which influences the color, flavor, structure and mouthfeel of the whiskey. So this addition of oxygen, over more extended periods, will soften the wine and add more complexity the longer the wine is spent in these barrels.
So although whiskeys are required to be matured for at least a couple of years, the longer these whiskeys spend in barrels, the better.