Cask Finishing at Home - Cask Spirit Company

Cask finishing at Home

‘Home finishing’ whisky in a small cask that has been seasoned with a conditioning liquid, such as sherry or port, adds greater intensity, richness and character than the impact of the wood alone. 

Create unique flavours

Conditioning liquids trigger chemical changes in the wood that are more nuanced and interesting than both the separate finishing liquid and the spirit. For example, a cask seasoned with Pedro Ximenez sherry, does not make a whisky taste of Pedro Ximenez sherry, but a much more complex flavour that is derived from the chemical reaction within the wood. As time passes, the seasoned wood will continue to influence the profile of your spirit.

pouring cask whisky from cask finished whisky at home

Conditioning liquids

At the Cask Spirit Company you have the option of ‘seasoning’ your oak cask with one of four conditioning liquids.

oloroso sherry for cask finishing

PX or Oloroso Sherry

Pedro Ximinez sherry imparts a deep sweetness, with notes of dried fruits and baking spices, together with the tannins from the oak, this makes for a rich coloured end spirit. Oloroso sherry imparts a much drier flavour with earthy notes of nut, noble wood and golden tobacco.

porto bridge

Vintage Ruby Port

Port is mainly used to finish whisky as it imparts rich, spicy, juicy and jammy flavours with notes of berries, blackcurrants and raisins. Ex-port casks can also give hints of dark chocolate. The colour produced has a rich red hue.

madeira wine for cask finishing

Madeira WINE

Madeira ‘finishing’ results in dark-fruit notes, with a touch of sweetness. This classic fortified wine adds a luscious sweetness and fragrance.

Our recommendations

pairing conditioning liquids with whisky regions

See the FAQ for more information on different types of cask finishing.

edinburgh lowlands for cask finishing

Lowland Malt and Irish whisky

Pair with

Oloroso or Madeira seasoned casks. These conditioning liquids both work well with light and floral whiskies.

keith speyside for cask finishing

Speyside Malt

Pair with

Oloroso.  This is a classic conditioning liquid for finishing Speyside whiskies.

Note that if a Speyside malt has already been matured in an Oloroso cask, finishing in Port or Madeira will add an additional layer of complexity.

Rare cask strength whisky from Finlaggan castle

Islay Malt

Pair with

Pedro Ximenez (PX)

The additional sweetness rounds off the phenolic notes of moderately peated whisky, producing a beautifully balanced spirit.

If lightly peated pair with

Madeira, which provides a better balance as it is less sweet.

scottish highlands for cask finishing

Highland Malt

If heavily to moderately peated pair with

Pedro Ximenez (PX)

If lightly peated pair with

Oloroso, Ruby Port or Madeira.

mull of kintyre for cask finishing


Pair with

Madeira or Ruby Port as the whisky benefits from red fruit notes.

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create your unique whisky

Please let us know if there’s a particular type of whisky, cask wood or conditioning liquid you are interested in.  This will help guide our initial conversations.