As part of Teeling’s Sommelier Selection we have the Amarone cask finish. This is the second such expression to come from Teeling, but the first that has been distilled at Newmarket distillery, not Cooley. (Although it’s possible this may be a blend from the two). A non-age-statement blend, this whiskey has been finished for at least 16 months, so expect heavy influence from the sweet Amerone casks. Produced in Veneto, northern Italy, a wine producing region hailed as one of the most important in the state. Protected by European law, strict processes and local traditions are followed when producing Amerone wines. Only the ripest grapes are harvested in the beginning of October. Once picked, they go through a process known locally as appassimento, a extra process of drying the grapes to raisins. This concentrates the sugar in the grape, and once pressed, results in a rich treacle like wine. After a lengthy fermentation of between 1 and 2 months, the wine is then aged for a period of at least 2 years by law, with many producers opting for at least 5 years. Slovenian oak is the wood of choice the barrels. Slovenian oak possesses a finer grain compared to typical European oak, which suits the longer ageing periods Amerone wines demand.
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