Whiskey and oak barrel on a black background
Food - Drink
What Does It Mean When A Distillery Says It 'Finished' A Whiskey?
There are many different varieties of whiskey, and even more distinctions and terms that distillers use to label their bottles, based on where the liquor is made, its proof, barrel choices, how long it’s aged, and more. One such designation is "finished," and this is what it means when distillers apply this term to their whiskey.
The basic steps of the whiskey distilling process includes the mash bill, malting the grains, milling, mashing, fermenting, aging in a barrel, and proofing. A whiskey is "finished" if it's been through the distilling process, then aged for even longer in a different barrel than it was aged in for most of its production, traditionally sherry barrels.
Finished whiskeys are a fun change from more traditional kinds, and when it comes to tastings, being aged in two kinds of barrels add another level of flavor and additional notes to the liquor's profile. Still, some purists feel that finishing takes away from good whiskey and is more about masking alcohol that would otherwise be of lesser quality.