If you are a brandy lover, you have probably heard about the famous Sherry Casks, but do you know what are they, what are they used for and why are they so special?
Find out everything you need to know about the world’s most acclaimed Sherry Casks in our article.
What does Sherry Cask mean?
Sherry Casks, also known as Sherry butts, are a fundamental part of the ageing process of many spirits, specially the famous Brandy de Jerez.
These casks, used by all the bodegas which are part of the Jerez-Xérès-Sherry Denomination of Origin, have previously contained some of the sherry wines: Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso or Pedro Ximénez. In this way, and depending on the type of wine they have held, they will provide different characteristics to the liquid that will age, resulting in a product with its own personality.
What are Sherry Casks like?
These butts are made of American oak wood and have a capacity of 500 litres.
Their special characteristics make them the most suitable for the ageing process of brandy and other spirits, as the porosity of this type of wood is perfect for resisting the passage of time and absorbing the best nuances of the wine they contain.
One of the qualities that distinguishes our Sherry Casks from the others is that, in addition to being located in the oldest bodega in the Marco de Jerez, it is the oldest collection of casks in the region, in which, among other liquids, the three expressions of Fundador Supremo are aged in casks that have contained 12-year-old Pedro Ximénez, 15-year-old Amontillado and 18-year-old Oloroso, respectively.
What are Sherry Casks used for?
Sherry Casks are used for ageing Brandy de Jerez and other spirits such as Whisky and Rum, but what is so special about ageing in these casks?
Sherry casks, as their name indicates, are impregnated with sherry wines before being used for ageing other liquids, providing the best nuances of the wood for subsequent maturation.
In this process, the inner layer of the casks is impregnated with the attributes of each wine, penetrating the interior of the oak wood and giving it particular characteristics to each type of cask; in other words, the type of seasoning that the Sherry Cask has, will provide different sensory qualities to the liquid that it will later contain. Moreover, time is key, as the longer this contact lasts, the more intense the transfer of components to the wood will be.
Sherry Casks give the brandy they contain a very special and characteristic sweetness and smoothness. The ageing process in our collection of Sherry Casks, butts to which very few liquids in the world have access, gives exclusivity to our products.
Discover the most exclusive Sherry Casks
Brandy de Jerez is elaborated exclusively in the Jerez area (municipalities of Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda) and, as explained above, it is aged in Sherry Casks, which differentiates it from other brandies, both national and international.
Our bodega, Bodegas Fundador, is the oldest in Jerez - founded in 1730 - and it is where the first Spanish brandy, Fundador, was born.
At Bodegas Fundador we have one of the largest collections of Sherry Casks in Jerez, which along with the experience and tradition that characterises us, makes our Sherry Casks the most acclaimed.
Since 1874 we have united wisdom in the ageing of brandy and know-how in what, for us, is an art. Centuries of experience and knowledge in distilling brandy have led us to achieve excellence.
It should be remembered that this is the birthplace of Fundador Supremo 18, a Prestige brandy aged in casks that have contained 18-year-old Oloroso, awarded as the Best Brandy in the World 2019. Expert tasters from different origins awarded us the top prize at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition, in which more than 100 brandies are competing every year.
Surprised? If you want to know more about our brandies, we invite you to visit our website.
Sources used and linked to in this article
Sherry Wines. Vinos De Jerez - The most versatile wines in the world. Available at: https://www.sherry.wine/es/vinos-de-jerez. Accessed July 29.
Sherry Wines. The history of Sherry Casks. Available at: https://www.sherry.wine/es/sherry-cask/la-historia-de-los-sherry-casks. Accessed July 29.
Sherry Wines. The history of the Sherry butt. Available at: https://www.sherry.wine/es/sherry-cask/blog/la-historia-de-la-bota-de-jerez. Accessed July 29.
Sherry Wines. The seasoning. Available at: https://www.sherry.wine/es/sherry-cask/el-envinado. Accessed July 29.
Sherry wines. The effect of wine on wood. Available at: https://www.sherry.wine/es/sherry-cask/el-efecto-del-vino-en-la-madera. Accessed July 29.
Brandy de Jerez. Frequently Asked Questions. Available at: https://www.brandydejerez.es/nuestra-filosofia/brandy-de-jerez-faq. Accessed July 29.