This article was published on The Age online on January 30, 2015
Many great wineries have played a crucial role in the development of some of the world’s best spirits at a subterranean level. What am I talking about? Barrels. The wooden guardians that have been storing, transporting and – most importantly – flavouring booze for centuries.
When I first entered the arcane world of spirits appreciation, I was so confused and enchanted by this relationship that I travelled to Scotland, Spain, Portugal and the US to trace the lives of the barrels that often mean the difference between a good spirit and a great spirit.
To make the best whisky in the world, you need to make the best barrels.
Overkill? Maybe, but my booze sleuthing will pay dividends the next time you look into your glass and wonder how something so delicious came to be.