Whisky isn’t whisky without the barrel it’s aged in. Whether it’s the vanilla and caramel notes of bourbon, or the rich, fruity influences of a sherry finishing cask, many classic whisky flavors can be attributed to the barrel—and more often than not, it’s made out of white oak. Since barrels curve and trees are straight, not all wood types are equal when it comes to barrel-making. White oak triumphs because of its density and strength—those elements make it able to stand up to being bent and curved into staves, while still maintaining its structural integrity. Here, we break down some of the key metrics of this crucial whisky resource.
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