Nearly all of the taste of whisky comes from its contact with oak casks. Though every whisky has its peak maturation point, the general rule is: younger whisky has more distillery character, older whisky more cask influence. There is, however, much more to it than that.
The perceptions of fruity flavors differ slightly around the world, but can often be split into four areas; tropical fruits such as mango and banana, orchard fruits such as apples and pears, citrus fruits such as grapefruit and lime, and dried fruits such as raisins and dates.
To some, smoky flavors all taste the same. To others, smoky flavors can be split into two different areas; fresh woody flavors, and more earthy flavors such as peat smoke, dark roast coffee and cigars.
Sweet flavors typically fall into three areas; confectionary sweetness such as honey, chocolate and pie crust, caramelised sweetness such as toffee apples, golden syrup and fudge, and vanilla sweetness such as custard, marshmallows and vanilla ice cream.
Where Does Flavor Come From
Virtually every stage of the production process influences the final product.