Scotch Can Now Come From Tequila Barrels

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Jun 20, 2019

In a rare change to the rules governing how Scotch whisky can be made, it can now be aged in barrels previously used for tequila and other spirits.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Scotch Whisky Association has allowed the change in response to distillers who want the additional versatility. Scotch can now be stored in barrels that had contained tequila, mezcal, cachaça, shochu and baijiu. Under the old rules, only barrels that had previously stored bourbon, cognac, sherry or port wine were acceptable.

The loosened rule will help Scotch distillers two ways: It will give them more options for flavor notes, and it will increase the supply of potential barrels, lowering costs. For instance, Diageo, the world’s largest producer of Scotch, will now be able to use barrels from its Don Julio tequila for its Johnnie Walker and other Scotch.

Scotch is the most popular kind of whiskey worldwide, with a 47.4% market share. But that is down from 59% in 2008, according to statistics from IWSR quoted in the Journal.

Meanwhile, if you're in the mood for some lighter fare, check out this news brief about how drunk shopping is impacting e-commerce