Game Changing Finishes

The process of transferring whisky from one cask type to another for a period of secondary maturation, in order to impart a different array of flavours to the spirit, has been around for a while now, but it has become increasingly prevalent over the last few years.



Better known as Cask Finishing, the technique has its detractors, but it’s impossible to deny that it has broadened the whisky spectrum and helped Scotland’s national drink to reach a wider audience. 

So, where did it all start? While Balvenie and Glenmorangie are often credited as the pioneers of finishing, the first distillery to use the technique is thought to have been Auchroisk. They just didn’t brag about it. However, Glenmorangie were undeniably one of the distilleries that took things to the next level, looking beyond the traditional Bourbon and Sherry casks to incorporate Bordeaux wine barriques, Port pipes and rum barrels, amongst others.


Innovative at the time, these types of finish have almost become the norm, paving the way for the Scotch Whisky Association to relax the rules on what cask types could be used in whisky production. With Mezcal and Tequila finishes now popping up, some of early efforts from Glenmorangie and Balvenie might sound tame by comparison, but these are hugely important whiskies that have had a profound effect on the industry.



This month’s auction features a fantastic selection of some of the most influential expressions from Glenmorangie, such as the 1975 28-Year-Old Tain l’Hermitage Finish (lot 212), 25-Year-Old Cote de Nuits Finish (lot 210) and the wonderful 1987 vintage finished in wine casks from a single Chateau in Bordeaux’s Margaux commune (lot 215). An essential part of any whisky collection, don’t miss out on the opportunity to bid on these pieces of liquid history in our Festival of Flavour auction on 16 August!



McTear’s is the longest-established auctioneer of whisky in the world. Entries are invited for this international auction. For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, visit our Glasgow Galleries or contact our specialist on 0141 810 2880 or

Ewan Thomson

Ewan Thomson

Ewan Thomson

Whisky & Wine

find out more

What's it worth?

Find out what your items are worth by completing our short valuation form - it's free!

Get started

Get the McTear's News!

Sign up for our free newsletters - we'll never pass your details on to third parties. 

Get in touch

Upload images if relevant to your enquiry Add file
Select fileChange Remove