Lindores The Casks Of Lindores II STR Red Wine Barriques Limited Edition 49.4% 70cl
STR stands for Shaved, Toasted and Re-charred. It's associated predominently with Dr. Jim Swan, a consultant who worked with a large number of new distilleries before his untimely death in 2017. Swan wanted to ensure new distilleries produced flavour-forward whisky almost from day one, but at the same time minimise the costs required to purchase old Sherry and Bourbon barrels that would help achieve that. Red wine barrels are (or at least were) much cheaper, due to the fact if you filled them with spirit the end result would contain drying, tannic notes. It turns out those compounds that create those tannins sit closer to the edge of each stave in a barrel, whereas softer, fruitier notes can be found further within. If you shave a few centimetres off the inside of a cask and then toast and rechar the barrel again to caramelize and seal the remaining compunds within, you have a cask that can offer a fantastic flavour profile at a cheaper cost.
STR has become quite common in the industry now, particularly with young distilleries wanting to get flavourful whisky onto the market at an early stage. If you want to know which distilleries Jim Swan consulted on, just look for an STR release in their line-up.
Bottled at 49.4% - not cask strength, but a selected ABV to highlight the flavour profile - and aged for around four and a half years, this second release has distinct notes of plum jam and frangipan, with more pronounced red fruit notes than the first release, which appears to be the advantage of using older stock. It's very suitable for Autumn evenings, with a lovely salted toffee note running though to the finish.
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