Bruichladdich "Bourbon Cask Aged" - "The Sixteen" matured in Chometz casks



I have had to make a rather unusual update to my Scotch Single Malt Whisky “Stam Yeinam” list and remove the Bruichladdich "Bourbon Cask Aged" 16 YO "The Sixteen" even though it is matured in 100% Ex-Bourbon casks!
Please note: This comes in a dark charcoal coloured can (See here) and should not be confused with the "Bruichladdich" Blue can of "The Laddie Sixteen" which has no problem. (See here).

This one has no problem!
 So why did I remove it? Well, I received a kashrus update from the Chicago Rabbinical Council informing me that they suspected the whisky had been matured in Ex-Bourbon casks bought from a distillery called “Buffalo Trace”. Buffalo Trace Distillery is owned by The Sazerac Company, owned by the Sazarac family -who are Jewish.
This is a statement from Star-K’s spring 2015 Kashrus Sheet “Kashrus Kurrents”, Volume 37 No.2, Spring 5775 explains what the problem is:
“The Sazerac Company is a privately held alcoholic beverages company, and is the largest distilling company in the United States.  Although it produces a variety of alcoholic drinks, the primary focus of its business is bourbon.  Although there is some discussion in the Poskim, the general consensus is that the prohibition of chometz sheovar olov haPesach applies to bourbon.  To the best of our knowledge, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sazerac Company is Jewish.  Although the Sazerac Company recently began selling some of its chometz for Pesach, it will be eight to ten years before that bourbon comes to market.  The Sazerac Company ages bourbon for years before selling it, so all their bourbon should currently be considered chometz sheovar olov haPesach and is not recommended year-round.”
The funny thing was that I was at Bruichladdich distillery the day before I received this email and had been granted exclusive and privileged access to their warehouse. I had of course taken loads of photos of the casks. (Shame the camera cannot record the smell!!!). When I received the email I went into my photos and sure enough, there, on one of the casks was “Buffalo Trace” printed on the side. I sent this photo off to Rabbi Akiva Niehaus of the CRC (no easy task as the Internet connection in Islay is slow to non-existent) and I hope he was suitably impressed.

 

Comments

  1. R Mordechai, the issue of the chometz casks are not nearly as serious as the bourbon itself STAR K certainly has not taken the position that they affect the kashrus status of the scotch

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