An exchange between CL and Paradox in another thread reminded me of a question that came up over the last week or so.

Like most of us I have become accustomed to seeing certain bottlings affixed with the "Single Barrel" designation. I understand that to mean that many barrels may be used to produce that bottling, but that the contents of each bottle comes from only one barrel.

Recently I have seen two instances (both connected with Sam's and Buffalo Trace Distillery) where the term "Single Cask" was used. In one of these instances, namely the barrel proof, 20 year-old, Van Winkle Family Reserve, we were told that the entire bottling came from just one barrel. Now those of us on Sam's email distribution list have been reminded that the "single cask" designation is also being used for a bottling bearing the Bufffalo Trace lable. Somehow it seems unlikely to me that this bottling came from only one barrel, especially since, as I believe Paradox pointed out, the words "single cask" don't even appear on the label.

My question is two-fold. What does single cask mean? Are we witnessing the genesis of a new market niche/descriptor?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield