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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Aging- Barrel Strength vs Flavors

Are there any tables or other information that describe flavors picked up when aging spirits in barrels or on wood at different strengths? I'm trying to figure out how to get certain desired flavors from barrel aging whiskey, brandy, and rum; and am having trouble finding any info on this.


Reply:

I have not seen any info on it in those terms, the only stuff I can find is quick statements from scotch distilleries stating that 63-62% seems to be the standard. It would make sense that different levels of alcohol would induce different extractions from the wood but no one mentions this idea. I think these guys are more concerned about maximizing profits through barrel management and the perfect ratio of angels share and dilution.

Many of the flavors imparted from the wood have to do with the origin of the wood, what was previously in the cask, and the varying levels of char and toasting.

Hope this helps,

Ben


Reply:Are there any tables or other information that describe flavors picked up when aging spirits in barrels or on wood at different strengths? I'm trying to figure out how to get certain desired flavors from barrel aging whiskey, brandy, and rum; and am having trouble finding any info on this.
Reply:

The book he just mentioned is a great resource, though expensive. You can find it here.

It goes into some of the chemistry of barrel ageing.


Reply:Are there any tables or other information that describe flavors picked up when aging spirits in barrels or on wood at different strengths? I'm trying to figure out how to get certain desired flavors from barrel aging whiskey, brandy, and rum; and am having trouble finding any info on this.
Reply:Are there any tables or other information that describe flavors picked up when aging spirits in barrels or on wood at different strengths? I'm trying to figure out how to get certain desired flavors from barrel aging whiskey, brandy, and rum; and am having trouble finding any info on this.
Reply:

Thanks for the input folks, and I appreciate any more that comes forth on this subject.

I have a copy of Whisky: Technology, Production, and Marketing. i got it a week or so after I posted this question. On page 230 there is one paragraph on the subject of fill strength. It's a start, but leads to much more research. At least they mention two articles on the subject of fill strength.

Since then I have done some experiments, but it's slow. I have found that what goes on in a jar with wood chunks, is different from what happens in a barrel, and different size barrels at that. Toast, char, time, size, fill strength, the type of alcohol, used vs. new barrels; they all cause different flavor production.

Right now I'm playing with starting at one fill strength for a period of time, the lowering the strength considerably and putting it back into the same barrel. When I have some solid conclusions I will write about it.