whiskyrific

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Madeira basics for the Whisky drinker

Part 3 in this little fortified wine series.

Madeira is a fortified wine that occupies a range of flavours from sweet toffee to dry almonds. It has a distinctive oxidised toast taste to it due to the way it is made. Wine from Madeira was fortified to stabilize it for the long sea journey to the New World and an unsold shipment returned better than when it left – due to high temperatures and rough handling of the trip – and a whole new category of wine was discovered.

(This is why it had to be shipped)

Today this heating and aging process is no longer carried out on ships but on dry land in a process called Estufagem.

Stock Photo #1566-0220531, Grapevines. Estreito da Camara de Lobos. Madeira. Portugal

Grapes are grown on  hanging trellises in Madeira, to control fungus and rot in the island’s sometimes unhelpful weather.

Madeira

 

Of course we know that Madeira casks are sometimes used to finish or mature whisky, but it is not a modern thing apparently:

In 1927 the connoisseur George Saintsbury lamented that: “the older whiskies were darker in colour from being kept in golden sherry or Madeira casks, rather sweeter in taste, and rather heavier in texture.” 

(Source: https://www.bruichladdich.com/library/whisky-casks-and-oak/real-sherry-casks)

 

There is some regrettable opacity on how and which Madeira casks are sourced for the Whisky industry. We know Dalmore had a Malmsey matured Black Pearl, So did Bruichladdich, and the Murray McDavid range had a Malmsey finished Macallan. But I have not turned up any known Bual, Verdelho or Sercial cask matured whisky – though Glenglassaugh does have a 1979 39 year old ‘Sherry Style Finish’ out on sale now, which going by the blub did seem to have been martured in Verdelho and Sercial casks for a ‘Sherry’ finish.

Last macabre pre bedtime fact:

In Shakespeare’s tragedy Richard III, George Plantagenent, the Duke of Clarence is drowned in a butt of Malmsey by assassins sent by Richard.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on May 9, 2014 by in Madeira basics and tagged .
Follow whiskyrific on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19 other followers

Whisky Advocate

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

WHISKY REVIEWS

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Blog

A Whisky-Lover's Whisky Blog

Dramming

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Whisky Science

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

TheMaltedMilk

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

The Singapore Whisky Blog

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

%d bloggers like this: