When the word "New" does not mean "new" when it comes to Oak casks


This is a special post regarding an urgent update I had to do to, to my Whisky List. After an email conversation with Rabbi Akiva Niehaus of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, I am forced to remove two whisky entries.

1. The Glenlivet 15 Year Old French Oak Reserve

2. Speyside 12 Year Old.

Here is the explanation:

Anyone who reads "matured in New Oak" would surely understand the term to be synonymous with the term "Virgin oak", that is, casks that have never been used to mature anything in.

The “The Glenlivet 15 YO French Oak Reserve” clearly states on the box:



"The Selective maturation in New French Oak Casks made from Limousin oak....."

I have been informed that "The French Oak Reserve" has actually been matured in a combination of ex-bourbon, ex-sherry and new French Oak casks.
Being that's the case, not mentioning the other forms of maturation and only mentioning the influence of a particular type of maturation, that is "New French oak", must lead the reader to conclude that all the flavour influence of this whisky comes from maturation in virgin French oak. The Internet site however seems to contradict what is written on the box.

I
t says (I have highlighted it below in blue): "selected maturation; a proportion of the spirit is matured in a selection of French Oak casks...".
This rather confusing sentence does seem to contradict what is printed on the box and informs us that there in fact have been other (but unnamed) types of maturation used.




Despite the Internet page now saying that "New French Oak" maturation was selected amongst others....it goes on to talk exclusively about the characteristics of French wood maturation and how it has influenced this whisky. (See the green highlighted section). There is absolutely no mention of other maturation types such as ex-sherry which if being used would also be a contributing influence upon the whisky's ultimate flavour.
I have found another example of the weird (by weird I mean inaccurate or deceptive) use of the word "New" for Oak casks.


See Speyside 12 Year Old:

 
On the left, it states Ex-Bourbon and "New Oak" indicating maturation in Ex-Bourbon and finished in Virgin Oak. Notice no mention of any sherry cask influence at all. Yet on the right hand side in the tasting notes it uses the word “Sherry” twice! Suspicious to say the least.

I have written emails to both Pernod Ricard (Chivas) and Speyside distillery and have as yet received no reply from either.

 

 

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