Toasting: Setting the Foundation for Flavour
This is the beginning of the maturation of the wood, where the stage is set for distinct flavour notes to develop. Patience once again plays an integral role in the journey of the wood, this time in its toasting. In contrast to ‘charring’ the wood (often used in ex-bourbon casks whereby the cask is heated quickly and creates a ‘char’), toasting the wood is a slower, more measured process.
In preparation for the sherry seasoning of the casks, the wood is toasted for longer at a lower temperature. Both European and American oak are toasted in the cooperages. This lower, sustained heat causes a caramelisation of the wood, which contributes to the sweet, toasted, candyfloss flavours.
Toasting enables these characteristics to be passed on to The Macallan new make spirit, which then culminates in the variety of colour and flavours present in the The Macallan Double Cask range.